Herculeaneum Disabled Access
Although Pompeii is 10 times the size of Herculaneum, you will find that the Herculaneum is better preserved and easier to explore due to the smaller ruin size and good accessibility. The town of Herculaneum was destroyed in a different way than Pompeii which is largely the reason why it has been preserved as well as it has. Herculaneum was covered by mud while Pompeii was covered by ash. Pompeii was severely affected by the first day of Vesuvius’ eruption, and the weight of the falling ashes made many of the roofs collapse. The mud at the Herculaneum did a better job of preserving the buildings and paintings inside the homes. You can see those painted walls.
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Two wheelchair ramps lead to an accessible bridge that brings you over the ancient Herculaneum shoreline and into the city.
Once you get into the city, you can see the interiors of many of the buildings that were buried in the 79 AD Vesuvius eruption. Because Herculaneum was buried deeper than Pompeii, many of the buildings’ upper stories are intact.
I gave Herculaneum disabled access a 4 Star Sage Accessibility Rating because it provides step-free access to many of the ancient streets, sidewalks, and buildings. It did not get higher accessibility rating because some of the sidewalks have uneven terrain and some of the buildings have a step to get into them.
A wheelchair friendly driveway leads 60 meters from the parking lot to the visitors center.
You can either enter the visitors center or go around it. On the backside of the visitors center is a wheelchair ramp shown in the photos below.
An accessible path above Herculaneum provides great views of the formerly buried city below. Wheelchair users can avoid the long ramp shown in the photo on the right.
Some areas contain many steps (such as those shown in the photo on the left) but there are much fewer of those areas than at Pompeii. In the photo on the right, notice Mt. Vesuvius in the background.
There is a ramp that leads down to a wheelchair accessible Herculaneum bridge into the city. The bridge is 200 meters away from the visitors center.
from parking lot to accessible bridge
The bridge is made of smooth boards and metal grating.
The sidewalks in accessible Herculeaneum mainly consists of concrete. There are a few areas that are a little narrow or uneven.
Me and my wheelchair on 2000 year old mosaics!
You can go into many of the buildings. Because the buildings were buried under 25 meters of mudflow, many of the mosaics and paintings still remain. Some buiildings have no step and others have a single step. An accessible Herculaneum tour guide can bring you to the accessible buidlings.
The staff have installed wide metal bridges for wheelchair users and strollers (and everyone else!) to use to get from the sidewalk on one side of the ancient street to the sidewalk on the other side of the ancient street.
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