A great day of stepping back in time. We had a private guide for both and that really helps to appreciate exactly how people were living back then.
Herculaneum was a resort spa town. It is smaller than Pompeii but because it was nearer the sea it was preserved differently and in excellent condition. You can see below the high quality frescoes, the bones (replacements as originals being examined at a university) of the people who ran to the sea to escape on boats presumably but didn’t make it. Being close to the sea more people saw it coming from afar and were able to escape. The other great thing about Herculaneum is it has far less visitors than Pompeii.
At Pompeii it is all about scale. This was a busy trading town close to the foot of Vesuvius and was famously instantly clouded in gas and ashes. One of the original archaeologists had the brilliant idea to inject some sort of plaster into the bones of those left before they were dug up and as a result there are some perfect copies of those people including all their features. Many were asleep as the eruption happened in the middle of the night. This one was awake and it is thought he might have been a chained slave or prisoner who was not able to do much except contemplate his fate.
There is also a famous brothel area to view with originally preserved stone beds (easier to clean!) and appropriate “get you in the mood” frescos – but out of respect for the delicate amongst you I have not included those.