Say "Pompeii" and everyone knows what you're talking about. Say "Ercolano" and many will reply "huh?"
Destroyed by the same Vesuvian eruption that covered Pompeii with lava in 79 AD, Ercolano was covered with ash. Because the ash was less dense than lava, roof structures were preserved in many structures, giving a different perspective of the buildings and life.
We took the Circumvesuviana train line from Garibaldi station in Naples. There are 2 trains that go through Ercolano. Take the line toward Sorrento to arrive at the Ercolano Scavi station which is straight uphill from the excavation. The train was packed and gave the opportunity to experience some real local color.
Admission was €11 per person. I highly recommend renting the audio tour, which is obtained at a kiosk inside the grounds near the bookstore. The audioguide descriptions of the buildings, the history, lifestyle, artwork and additional background information is well worth the cost (€10 for 2).
We walked around for about 2-1/2 hours, and could probably have used another hour. As with other sites, there is a lot of up and down walking on irregular surfaces.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC