The ruins of Herculaneum were discovered by chance during the digging of a well in 1709. The first official excavations, ordered by the Bourbons, started in 1738 digging some underground passages. In fact, unlike Pompeii, the ruins of Herculaneum are under a very hard tufa bed even 8 - 10 metres high. But this huge stratum of lava allowed to protect the buildings in Herculaneum better than those in Pompeii. Organic materials, such as wood, fabric and food as well as many upper floors of the buildings and many sculptures, mosaics and daily objects, as wine containers have been miraculously protected and preserved intact. They are still digging and studying the monumental Villa of the Papyruses, just out of the town, (200 papyruses have been found): discovered digging underground passages, on a large surface, but nowadays only a partial open-air area can be seen.
Stabiae archaeological site
Open: All week
Hours: 8.30 a.m. - 7.30 p.m. (last entrance at 6.00 p.m.)
Tickets: Adults € 11,00 - € 20,00 (it allows to visit in three days Pompeii and Herculaneum excavations, the Antiquarium of Boscoreale, the Villas in Stabiae, Oplonti excavations) reduced - rate tickets € 5,50 and € 10,00 for under 24 and EU teachers - free admission for under 18 and over 65 and for students of Humanistic Faculties