Sorrento 02:37 PM
Herculaneum is most famous for having been lost, along with Pompeii, Stabiae, and Oplontis, in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, which buried them in superheated pyroclastic material. It also became famous as the source of the first Roman skeletal and physical remains available for study that were located by science.
The volcanic water, ash, and debris covering Herculaneum, along with the extreme heat, left it in a remarkable state of preservation for over 1,600 years. However, once excavations began, exposure to the elements began the slow process of deterioration. This was not helped by the methods of archaeology used earlier in the town's excavation, which generally centered around recovering valuable artifacts rather than ensuring the survival of all artifacts.
It is very easy to reach Herculaneum. Take the Circumesuviana train from Sorrento Train Station (check the timetable here) and get off in Ercolano Scavi. The escavations entry is right in front of the station.
Train ride: approx. 50 minutes.