Having visited Pompeii, of course I also had to go to Herculaneum. It’s a nearby town that was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD at the same time as Pompeii, and I’d been told that most people nowadays find it more impressive. This is because it is much better preserved, with a lot of the upper storeys of the houses still intact, and the paintings on the walls in situ. I’m afraid I have to disagree though.
Don’t get me wrong – I loved Herculaneum too, it's a fabulous place! Walking around its narrow streets in the Italian sunshine made me feel as though I had travelled back in time 2000 years. The houses were beautiful and gave me a lot more details for the story I’m planning, and I can see why people would prefer it to Pompeii. But to me, the latter was more poignant because it’s so big and the scale of the tragedy that occurred there just hit me in the gut. I can’t explain it, but that’s how I felt.