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In late August 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius blew its top off and for three days death rained down upon towns, villas and farms surrounding the volcano. One of the most famous casualties of the eruption was the Roman town of Pompeii, known for its wealthy inhabitants and lavishly decorated homes. The other was Herculaneum, an equally wealthy but smaller seaside resort and trading port. The larger Pompeii, glamourized with its brothels, bars, and amphitheatre, has completely overshadow Herculaneum and many other towns that suffered the same fate. Herculaneum, in particular, is worth visiting because its ruins are far better preserved than Pompeii’s.

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The ruins of Herculaneum. Notice the depth the city is buried. These are boat houses that once lined the ancient shore. Photo credit: Dave & Margie Hill/Flickr

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