Ercolano

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Ercolano
Comune
Comune di Ercolano
Panorama of Ercolano
Panorama of Ercolano
Coat of arms of Ercolano
Coat of arms
Ercolano is located in Italy
Ercolano
Ercolano
Location of Ercolano in Italy
Coordinates: 40°48′N 14°21′E / 40.800°N 14.350°E / 40.800; 14.350
Country Italy
Region Campania
Province Naples (NA)
Frazioni San Vito
Government
 • Mayor Vincenzo Strazzullo \
Area
 • Total 19.64 km2 (7.58 sq mi)
Elevation 44 m (144 ft)
Population (1 March 2010)
 • Total 54,921
 • Density 2,800/km2 (7,200/sq mi)
Demonym Ercolanesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 80056
Dialing code 081
Patron saint Assumption of Mary
Saint day August 15
Website Official website

Ercolano is a town and comune in the province of Naples, Campania (southern Italy). It lies at the western foot of Mount Vesuvius, on the Bay of Naples, just southeast of the city of Naples. The medieval town of Resina - read Resìna - was built on the volcanic material left by the eruption of Vesuvius (AD 79) that destroyed the ancient city of Herculaneum, from which the present name is derived. Ercolano is a resort and the starting point for excursions to the excavations of Herculaneum and for the ascent of Vesuvius by bus. The town also manufactures leather goods, buttons, glass, and the wine known as Lacryma Christi (Tear of Christ).

History[edit]

For the ancient city, see Herculaneum.

The ancient Herculaneum[edit]

Herculaneum was allegedly founded by Hercules coming back from one of his Twelve Labours. Out of legend, it was most likely founded by the Oscans, an Italic tribe of the 8th century BC, and later became part of both the Etruscan and Samnite dominions. Under the control of the Romans, the city was a renowned seaside resort where some of the richest Roman citizens spent their summer vacations. It was built according to the regular model of Hippodamus of Miletus with a grid of crossing Decumans and Cardos. The houses are elegant and large as well as public buildings that are abundant and large compared to the small number of inhabitants (about 5,000). In AD 62 the town suffered major damage by a violent earthquake and works of restoration were still going on when on 24 August of 79 AD Mt. Vesuvius, erupted and completely buried the city under a deep layer of hot mud and other volcanic material. Unlike neighboring Pompeii, the citizens of Herculaneum died of thermal shock from the extremely hot pyroclastic surges, rather than buried under heavy ash.

The settlement of Resina[edit]

After the terrible eruption in 79 AD the area was slowly re-populated and in 121 AD the old coastal street from Naples to Nocera was surely on place. In the Basilica of Santa Maria a Pugliano are two early Christian marble sarcophagi from the 2nd and 4th centuries AD which give evidence of the presence of inhabitants on the spot of the buried Herculaneum.

Unfortunately there is no historical documentation of the age between the collapse of Western Roman Empire and the year one thousand, but it is sure that the coast of Mt.Vesuvius was exposed to the frequent wars of the populations and armies who invaded the Empire. The first news of the existence of a village named Resina or Risìna, (… de alio latere est ribum de Risina… ; … de alio capite parte meridiana est resina …, ecc.),[1] are from the 10th century.

The etymology of the name is controversial: some academic think that it comes from the corruption of Rectina, the name of the noble Roman woman of Herculaneum who asked Plinio il Vecchio for help during the eruption in 79 AD; some other opinions are that the name could come from the Latin word raetincula, the nets used by the fishermen of Herculaneum, or from the resin of the woods grown on the ancient lava, or from the name of the river that flowed by the side of Herculaneum. Finally some suggest that the name is the anagram of sirena, siren: a siren was the symbol of the village and the town of Resina all the time until 1969.

Documents from the 11th century prove the existence of a little oratory dedicated to the Virgin on the hill called Pugliano from praedium pollianum, an ancient estate outside Herculaneum owned by some Pollio.

Feudal era (15th to 17th centuries)[edit]

Basilica of Santa Maria a Pugliano

In 1418 the Queen of Naples Giovanna II d’Angiò conceded the Università (villages with local governments) of Torre del Greco, Resina, Portici and Cremano to her favourite Sergianni Caracciolo and later to Antonio Carafa. Since then, these villages belonged to the Carafa family and passed from hand to hand following the historical events of the family and the Kingdom and Vice Kingdom of Naples.

The main business of the inhabitants of Resina were: agriculture, fishing (also corals, together with the inhabitants of Torre del Greco),[2] and cut and carving the volcanic stone. In the 16th century the worship for the Madonna di Pugliano, venerated in the church of Santa Maria a Pugliano, was so spread that numerous pilgrims flooded from all the surrounding areas and in 1574 the church is first mentioned as Basilica pontificia; two years later became the parish church of Resina, also including the neighbour Portici until 1627.

IN 1631 Mt. Vesuvius violently erupted after a long era of quiescence destroying the area all around, killing more than 4.000 people and altering the geography of the places. It was the second most devastating eruption of Mt. Vesuvius ever, after the one that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. The territory of Resina was struck by two legs of lava that split behind the hill of Pugliano and spared the houses of the village; one of the legs filled the valley on the western side of it and when it solidified the village grew on the new plain and the large via Pugliano was built heading straight to the basilica on the top of the hill.

After about three centuries of feudal submission, in 1699 Resina and the neighbour Portici, Torre del Greco and Cremano set free from baronial status paying 106.000 ducats (and more 2.500 for extra charge) to the Crown property as ransom price. Resina paid one third of the total amount.

The Baronial Ransom is one of the most memorable events of the history of Resina and its neighbouring towns.

The discovery of Herculaneum and the Golden Mile[edit]

The entrance to the underground Theatre of ancient Herculaneum

In 1709 Emanuele Maurizio of Lorraine, Prince d’Elbeuf, while building of his palace on the coast of Portici knew that a man, who was excavating a well in the neighbour town of Resina, found ancient marbles and columns. He bought his farm and started digging wells and galleries underground and excavated statues, columns and marbles that used for his palace under construction and giving them as precious gifts to his friends, relatives and monarchs around Europe.

Finally the king of Naples Carlo III of Bourbon (Charles VII of Naples) bought the prince’s farm in Resina and started a methodical campaign of excavation with the aim of digging out all the treasures underground. In the meantime the news of the discovery of the ancient Herculaneum spread all around Europe, and boosted the cultural movement in Europe called Neoclassicism as well as the custom of the Grand Tour among the British and European upper-class.

A view of the Golden Mile

Enthusiast for the huge amount and the beauty of the archaeological finds, the King built a summer royal palace nearby, in Portici, on the border with Resina where he gathered the treasures of Herculaneum in a dedicated side of the building that called Herculanense Museum that used to open for the astonishment of his guests.

The collection was increased more and more since 1750 when they started the exploration of majestic suburban villa belonged to the Pisoni family where a great amount of beautiful wooden and marble statues were found: the two Corridori (racers) or Lottatori (wrestlers) and the Sleeping Mercury are some famous ones. Even more outstanding was the discovery, in 1752 of the burnt papyrus scrolls of the library of the villa that since then was worldwide known as Villa dei Papiri.[3] They were carefully unrolled by using a special machine made by Father Antonio Piaggio and revealed the work of the epicurean Greek philosopher Filodemus from Gadara.

Following the King’s choice, all the Peers of the kingdom started building their summer villas and gardens aside the royal palace and the surrounding country. On the leg of the main street (called Strada Regia delle Calabrie, that is the royal street heading to the regions of Calabria) from the centre of Resina to the beginning of next Torre del Greco were built the largest, the finest and the most sumptuous villas, at the point that the leg of the street was named Miglio d’Oro, the Golden Mile. Among them there are: Villa Campolieto, designed by Luigi Vanvitelli and Villa Favorita, designed by Ferdinando Fuga, so called because was favourite to the Queen Maria Carolina of Augsburg reminding her of Vienna’s Schönbrunn palace where she spent her childhood.

In 1799 during the last days of the short and unfortunate Parthenopaean Republic, in the streets of Resina (and Portici) took place one of the last fights between the Republican troops and the Bourbon supporters. To celebrate the return of the Catholic King Ferdinand IV Bourbon against the “atheist” and pro-French Republic the inhabitants of Resina erected a chapel with a Crucifix on the spot of the republican Tree of Freedom.

On 27 June 1802 King Ferdinand IV returned in Naples landing to the pier of Villa Favorita. During the kingdom of Joachim Murat Villa Favorita still was used for parties and celebrations held by the king and the winding and narrow leg of the Strada Regia delle Calabrie in Resina was straightened and widened throughout the town centre.

19th to 20th centuries[edit]

The northern entrance to the Archeological Site of Herculaneum from town centre

Together with the construction of the first Italian railway in 1839, some industrial facilities were established along the coast (glassworks, tanneries, train wagons, etc.) that altered the previous landscape. Nevertheless, Resina remained an agricultural town, celebrated for its fruit and healthy air and was the well-known destination for the visits to the underground Theatre of Herculaneum and the ascension to the crater of Mt. Vesuvius.

In 1845 was inaugurated the Real Osservatorio Vesuviano (Royal Vesuvius Observatory) the first in the world.

In 1863 the local artist Marco De Gregorio founded the School of Resina an art movement that broke up with the academic painting tradition.

In 1865 the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II inaugurated the open air excavations of Herculaneum.

In 1880 the Funicular of Mt.Vesuvius was inaugurated and the event inspired the world famous Neapolitan song Funiculì Funiculà.

Since 1904 the Circumvesuviana railway operated from Naples to Castellammare di Stabia with a station in Resina-Pugliano, close to the Basilica of Santa Maria a Pugliano and the funicular to Mt. Vesuvius. On 1927 King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy inaugurated the new entrance of the archaeological site of Herculaneum on the Miglio d’Oro and a new street was opened some years later to join the archaeological site to the Circumvesuviana railway and funicular stations.

In 1930 was opened the second oldest Italian motorway from Naples to Pompeii with an exit in Resina.

From the second half of the 19th century to modern times Resina has been a residential and holiday place for both aristocracy and Neapolitan middle class who lived in the celebrated villas of the Miglio d’Oro or modern ones such as Villa Battista, an elegant art nuveau building. Among the famous people who lived or used to frequent the town have to be mentioned: the poet and writer Gabriele D’Annunzio, the scientist Arnaldo Cantani, the former Khedive of Egypt Isma’il Pasha who opened the Suez Canal and lived six years (1879-1885) during his exile in Villa Favorita, the Italian Prime Minister Antonio Salandra, the Minister for Foreign Affairs,Carlo Sforza, King Gustav VI of Sweden, amateur archaeologist. To these ones hundreds of artists, scholars, historians, scientists, kings, Roman Popes, Presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors, politicians, and other celebrities came to Resina to visit the underground Theatre and the archaeological site of Herculaneum and Mt. Vesuvius.

Famous citizens of Resina were: Benedetto Cozzolino, who founded in 1788 a school for the deaf and dumb, the first in the Kingdom of Naples and the second in Italy after the one in Rome; Amadeo Bordiga, founder with Antonio Gramsci of the Partito Comunista d’Italia, the Communist Party of Italy; the philosopher Adriano Tilgher; the painter Alfonso Marquez as well as the already mentioned Marco De Gregorio.

The MAV, The Virtual Archeological Museum

In the years after WWII in via Pugliano flourished the street market of Pugliano (or Resina) that quickly became nationwide famous for the selling of used clothes (“pezze”) and a mecca for seekers of vintage clothes and bargains.

On 12 February 1969, following a formal request of the Town Council, the President of Italian Republic decreed the change of the name of the town from Resina to Ercolano that is the Italian version of ancient Herculaneum.

In 1971 the Ente per le Ville Vesuviane was instituted and it is now a foundation, with the objective of restoring and preserving the main 18th-century villas. The villas that were first restored were Villa Campolieto, Villa Ruggiero and the seaside park of Villa Favorita and its facilities that all now host cultural events and the headquarters of cultural institutions and postgraduate School.

In the 1880s and 1890s the town was hit by the industrial crisis with a dramatic growth of unemployment and crime. Since last years of the centuries started a renewed commitment for a U-turn of policy and strategies to boost social and economic growth oriented to a touristic and cultural exploitation.

In 1995 the Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio (Mt.Vesuvius National Park) was created and all the area of Ercolano north of motorway is included in the Park; in 1997 the Archaeological site of Herculaneum was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage together with Pompeii and Oplonti; in 2005 the MAV (Virtual Archeologic Museum) was opened and the open-air permanent exhibition Creator Vesevo was inaugurated with 10 stone sculptures of contemporary famous international artists lined up along the street heading to Mt. Vesuvius crater.

Main landmarks[edit]

Archeological Site of Herculaneum[edit]

A view of Herculaneum

The Archeological site of Herculaneum (in Italian: Scavi di Ercolano) is the area south of the town centre of modern Ercolano opened on the roman town of Herculaneum that was destroyed and buried by lava and mud during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD together with Pompeii, Stabiae and Oplontis. In 1997 was listed in the World Heritage Site of UNESCO. Although Herculaneum was discovered before Pompeii, the excavation was very hard so that was repeatedly interrupted in favour to the easier excavation of Pompeii. They are smaller and less famous than Pompeii, but better preserved due to the different materials that covered the town: in fact, in Herculaneum there are many wooden remains (doors, furniture, beams) and organic goods (fruit, bread, seeds, cordage) that in Pompeii were burnt and many buildings still keep the upper floor entirely or partially. The area unveils only one quarter of the entire ancient town because the other parts still lay down beneath the modern Ercolano.

A new access was recently opened on the eastern side of the archaeological area with a large parking area for cars and buses, souvenir stands, and public gardens. In Corso Resina n. 123 there is the old access to the underground Theatre of Herculaneum the first monument of the ancient town to be discovered and known around the world. The access has to be agreed with the office of Scavi di Ercolano and according to the underground condition.

Today the archaeological site is visited by some 300.000 tourists every year: in 2012, it recorded 288.536 visitors and was the 16th more visited monument in Italy.[4]

Basilica of Santa Maria a Pugliano[edit]

Basilica of Santa Maria a Pugliano: the high altar with the wooden statue of Madonna di Pugliano of the 14th century

The Basilica Pontificia of Santa Maria a Pugliano, in Piazza Pugliano, is the main church of Ercolano and the oldest in town and the area all around Mt. Vesuvius. In 1076 a Neapolitan lady included the church of Santa Maria at Pugnanum in her will among the Neapolitan churches and monasteries to which she left her legacy. It is the oldest document that confirms the existence and the high reputation of the church in the 11th century. During the following centuries the popularity of the temple increased more and more and pilgrims flooded here from everywhere. In the early years after the Council of Trent the church obtained formal acknowledgement of its eminence: in 1574 was first mentioned as “basilica”; two years later became the parish church of Resina and Portici and by papal bull on 13 June 1579 Pope Gregory XIII confirmed the plenary indulgences of his predecessors to the pilgrims visiting the temple on the first Friday of March, Easter Day and 15th August, Assumption day. In that century main works were made to enlarge and embellish the temple. During the eruption of 1631 the temple was miraculously spared by the lava. Some years later a new street (via Pugliano) was built on the solidified lava to easily reach the temple from the town centre. On 18 October 1849 Pope Pius IX, hosted in the royal palace of Portici by the king of Naples during his exile from Rome, visited the basilica.

The temple is worth a visit for its remarkable history and art treasures: the massive 36-meter high belfry from the end of the 16th century is one of the oldest of the area. Inside the church, there are sarcophagi from the 2nd and 4th centuries AD, that prove the existence of inhabitants in the area of Herculaneum in the aftermath of the eruption in 79 AD; the exquisite wooden statues of Madonna di Pugliano and Black Crucifix, both of the 14th century; the font of 1425, one of the oldest outside the cathedral of Naples; the high altar, of the 16th century; the wooden bust of St. Januarius of the 17th century, the magnificent wooden pulpit of 1685, coeval to the wooden choir and behind the altar. Most of the paintings were made by local artists in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Madonna di Pugliano is worshipped since ever, but before the statue of the 14th century the painted Byzantine-like Madonna di Ampellone was venerated. The main patronal festival is on 15 August, Assumption Day. A special worship is dedicated to St. Januarius, that is co-patron of Ercolano; the statue of the saint has always been carried in procession during the eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius toward the lava front. A bust of St. Januarius facing Mt. Vesuvius was frequently erected in villas and buildings to protect them by the fury of Mt. Vesuvius.

Il Miglio d’Oro (The Golden Mile)[edit]

A view of the Golden Mile from Villa Ruggiero: Villa Battista on the foreground and Villa Favorita with its wood on the back. In the background the Bay of Naples with the Isle of Capri

The Miglio d’Oro is the leg of Corso Resina ( the old Strada Regia per le Calabrie) in Ercolano from the Archeological Site of Herculaneum leading to Torre del Greco where are lined the largest, the finest and the most sumptuous villas designed by the best architects of that time and built in the 18th century by the noble families of the Kingdom of Naples around the Royal Palace of Portici. The most famous are Villa Campolieto, Villa Favorita and Villa Aprile. All the villas had backside gardens and woods, some of them rivaling with the ones of the Royal Palace.

Villa Campolieto was built in 1755 and designed by Luigi Vanvitelli the architect of the Royal Palace of Caserta who enriched the original project of Mario Gioffredo. Despite its austere and simple façade on the street, the internal side facing the sea opens on a magnificent elliptic exedra with a continuous arcade that also functions as belvedere towards the bay of Naples. The staircase leading to the upper floor is one of the most monumental in private buildings: it is surrounded by large windows and evokes the one of the Royal Palace of Caserta. The rooms of the main floor (piano nobile) preserve the original paintings and decoration of Jacopo Cestaro, Fedele Fischetti and Gaetano Magri.

Villa Campolieto hosts the executive office of Fondazione Ente Ville Vesuviane and The School Management Stoà. Also opens for exhibitions, conferences, fairs and festivals. Among the most remarkable events have to be mentioned: the Terrae Motus art exhibition after the earthquake of 1980 and the summer Festival delle Ville Vesuviane.

Villa Favorita, also known as Real Villa della Favorita, was designed by architect Ferdinando Fuga in 1762 for the Principe di Jaci e di Campofiorito who bought and restored a pre-existent smaller building. In 1768 the prince gave a sumptuous party in honour of the King Ferdinando of Bourbon and his wife Maria Carolina of Augsburg just arrived from Vienna. The Queen liked the villa that reminded her of Vienna’s Schönbrunn palace and since then was called “Favorita” (favoured). In 1792 the villa joined the Crown property and the King bought a close area by the sea so that created a great park from the main building on the street to the sea and a pier for the access by boat. It was frequently used by the royal couple and their children. The second son of the King, Leopoldo of Bourbon, while living there enlarged the palace and built some pavillons for entertainment and recreation such as the Casino of mosaics (so called after its interior decoration with a coloured patchwork of mother-of-pearl and porcelain scraps), the Montagne Russe (wooden switchback), two twin cafehaus on the pier as well as balancoirs and bandstands. He used to open the park to his subjects during public holiday. From 1879 and 1885 Villa Favorita hosted Isma'il Pasha, former Khedive of Egypt who was worldwide famous after the inauguration of Suez Canal. He decorated the interiors of his apartments with a Moorish style and built some Moorish gazebo in the park.

In the 20th century the park was split in two: the palace with the upper park was used as military facility and the park on the sea (Parco sul Mare della Villa Favorita) was used as firmland and after the earthquake of 1980 was requisitioned by the Town Council for temporary housing the evacuated families. In the nineties the Fondazione Ente per le Ville Vesuviane acquired and restored the wood, with the pavillons and the pier and now uses it for exhibitions, concerts and other events.

The main building alongside Corso Resina is remarkable for its double court and the magnificent semicircular staircase on the backside that connects the main hall of first floor to the park and its visible from Villa Campolieto. The façade was recently restored. The wood needs a major restoration.

Villa Aprile also known as Villa Riario Sforza after the first owner who built it in the second half of the 18th century. It is among the largest villas of Miglio d’Oro and keeps one of the most elegant parks still intact nowadays. The author Carlo Celano [5] described the villa as “la regina delle ville” (the queen of the villas). Between 1818 and following years the new owner, the niece of the Duke Riario Sforza, transformed the building by elevating the second floor and the woods giving the ultimate shape: the splendid fountain of Prometheus, little temples, statues, fake ruins and roman columns, an alpine chalet with a water-lily pond, grotto and spring. From 1879 the villa belonged to the Aprile family until recent years and became a well patronized cultural and fashionable salon and also a comfortable hotel. After decades of neglect, the villa and its park were bought and destined into luxury hotel.

Other interesting and nice villas of the 18th century are: Villa Ruggiero, owned by Fondazione Ente per le Ville Vesuviane, Villa Durante, Villa Granito di Belmonte, Villa Signorini and the Town Hall although the last three are not lined on the Miglio d’Oro.

The street market of Pugliano[edit]

The street market of Pugliano(or Resina) with the Basilica of Santa Maria a Pugliano background

The Mercato di Pugliano, also known as mercato di Resina, or simply Resina, is a street market on via Pugliano where second hand and vintage clothes (called “pezze” or “stracci”) are sold generally at a very low price.

It was born after the end of WWII in sothern Italy (1943) to sell cheap clothes and accessories to the pauperized people after the economic collapse of the war but quickly became a famous mecca for the seeker of original, bizarre and old fashioned clothes.

It started at the end of 1943 when Anglo-American troops used some villas and buildings on the Miglio d’Oro as barracks and storage. The lorries transporting these materials towards the motorway north of Pugliano area had to drive along via Pugliano and stop at the Circumvesuviana railway crossing. Here, some brave inhabitants of the area silently stole, or in some cases bargained, the old parachutes and uniforms to produce bras, corsets and dresses to be sold on the street.

In the years the selling became permanent and some deals were made to import used clothes from USA, Germany and other countries. The clothes arrived in the market in bales that were opened on the street to the selection of the people. Whatever was unsold or too spoiled to be sold was recycled into new clothes or materials in Ercolano or sent to specialized factories in Prato, near Florence. Together with the old clothes they also sell leather and fur coats and jackets, some of them of good craftsmanship.

The market flourished in the sixties and Seventies of past century but went to decline in the last decades of it; in recent years is having a slow revival.

The MAV[edit]

The Museo Archeologico Virtuale (Virtual Archeologic Museum) opened in 2005 to give a multimedial approach to the history, lifestyle and habits of ancient Herculaneum, and the tragic events of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.

It is an ideal destination for families and students and is centrally located in Via IV Novembre on the way from the Circumvesuviana train station to the northern entrance of the Archeological site from town centre.

The building was erected in the late 1920s as a covered food market. Some years later was converted into school and so was operated until 1980 when suffered major damage by the earthquake and abandoned. After years of complete neglect, at the beginning of the new century the Town Council totally restored it and converted into multi-purpose cultural centre, including the museum, a bookshop and a 300-seat theatre.

Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio[edit]

The crater of Mt.Vesuvius

The National Park of Mt. Vesuvius was created in 1995 by the Italian Government by establishing the Ente Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio, the body in charge of it. It includes Mt. Vesuvius and surrounding Monte Somma, that is what remains of the original larger volcano after the eruption that buried Herculaneum, Pompeii, Stabiae and Oplontis in 79 AD. It is the smallest National Park in Italy and one of the smallest in the world but it is very important due to the presence of the most famous volcano in the world.

Ecolano is one of the 13 towns that have their territory (or part of it) included in the area of the Park. From Ercolano starts the main street heading to the Gran Cono (12 km from town centre) where visitors can ascend on foot along a panoramic path up to the edge of the huge crater where some fumarole can be seen.

Alongside the first leg of Via Osservatorio are displayed ten stone statues of the permanent exhibition Creator Vesevo that where made in 2005 by as many different international artists.

According to the organization of Ente Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio, some paths in the woods around the Gran Cono are accessible.

From via Osservatorio it’s possible to reach the historic Osservatorio Vesuviano, that was founded in 1845 by the King Ferdinando II of Bourbon and was the first centre for volcanic studies and monitoring in the world. The visits have to be agreed with the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica of Naples.[6]

Culture[edit]

Since Roman Herculaneum the area attracted famous artists, poets, writers and philosophers: the Villa dei Pisoni, for istance, was an international centre of Epicurean philosophy. In the middle of the 15th century, Antonio Beccadelli, known as Il Panormita, built a villa on the seafront of Resina that named Plinianum where the fellows of the Porticus Antonianum (also called Accademia Pontaniana after Antonio Pontano) used to gather.

Following the discovery of the buried town of Herculaneum and the start of the excavations, artists, scholars and authors from all around Europe begun to converge to Resina and the ruins of Herculaneum were one of main destinations of the Grand Tour.

Some of the most famous architects, painters, and sculptors of that time worked in the town to design and build the villas of the Miglio d’Oro (The Golden Mile) and many villas became important literary salons.

In 1863 the local painter Marco De Gregorio started the Scuola di Resina (School of Resina), an art movement that broke up with the academic tradition in favour of a more realistic and intimate vision of the world around; it had some connection with the Macchiaioli movement. It had as main interpreters, together with De Gregorio: Adriano Cecioni, Giuseppe De Nittis, Federico Rossano, Eduardo Dalbono, Nicola Palizzi and Antonino Leto.

Between 1892 and 1893 Gabriele D’Annunzio was guest in Villa D’Amelio in Resina were he found inspiration for his works of those years.

After the establishment of the Ente per le Ville Vesuviane and the restoration of Villa Campolieto, the town of Ercolano hosted international events such as the international exhibition of contemporary art Terrae Motus, conceived by Lucio Amelio after the earthquake of 1980. Villa Campolieto is the place of the Festival delle Ville Vesuviane and hosts the School of Management Stoà.

The town also hosts the MAV, Virtual Archeological Museum, that gives a multimedial and original approach to the history of Herculaneum and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, and the Creator Vesevo, alongside the street leading to Mt.Vesuvius, an open air permanent exhibition of stone sculptures created by famous international artists in 2005.

Transportation[edit]

Connection to Naples, Pompei and Sorrento[edit]

Ercolano is about 12 km from Naples city centre, 15 km from Pompei and 40 km from Sorrento. It is reachble in many ways:

  • Airport Aereo

The nearest airports is: Napoli-Capodichino (NAP) 15 km; travelling times: 15min via autostrada and Tangenziale di Napoli

  • Motorway: A3 Napoli-Salerno-Reggio Calabria; Exits of Ercolano-Portici e Ercolano (Miglio d’Oro); travelling times from Napoli/Barra toll-gate: 5min; from Pompei: 15min; from Castellammare di Stabia (Sorrento): 20min (to/from Sorrento it takes extra 20min on the SS145 and Costiera Sorrentina drive)
  • SS18: Corso Resina (30min to Naples depending on traffic; continuing into Via Università and Corso Garibaldi in Portici and Corso San Giovanni a Teduccio in the Naples suburb of San Giovanni a Teduccio)
  • Circumvesuviana railways: Lines Napoli–Sorrento and Napoli–Poggiomarino (via Scafati); stations of Ercolano Scavi (town centre, Herculaneum and Mt. Vesuvius) and Ercolano Miglio d’Oro; travelling times: 15min from Napoli – 10min by direttissimo-DD train (only call at Ercolano Scavi) -, 20min from Pompei, 50min from Sorrento; average frequency: any 20min
  • Ferrovie dello Stato (national railways): Lines Napoli–Castellammare di Stabia and Napoli–Salerno–Reggio Calabria; stop in Portici-Ercolano station (Piazza San Pasquale, Portici); travelling times: 15min from Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano; average frequency: any 30min
  • ANM Buses: Line 157: Napoli (Via Brin) – Ercolano (Via Panoramica, Via IV Novembre, Corso Italia, Corso Resina); travelling times: 40min; average frequency: any 40min
  • Connections by sea: Metrò del Mare (operating in summer only – visit: www.metròdelmare.it –); Line 1 Napoli – Sorrento; Favorita pier; travelling times: 35min from Napoli molo Beverello

Local transportation[edit]

  • ANM Buses:

Line 3: Portici – Ercolano ; average frequency: any 74min

Line 5: Portici (train station) – Ercolano – Torre del Greco; average frequency: any 77min

Line 176: Portici (train station) – Ercolano; average frequency: any 37 minuti

Line 177: Portici (train station) – Ercolano – San Sebastiano al Vesuvio; average frequency: any 43min

Line 655: Portici (train station) – Ercolano (Corso Resina) – Torre del Greco; average frequency: any 25min

  • Taxi collettivi – van taxi (from Circumvesuviana station of Ercolano Scavi): connection to Mt.Vesuvius

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bartolomeo Capasso, Monumenta ad Neapolitani Ducatus Historiam pertinentia, Napoli 1885
  2. ^ Antonio Formicola, Il porto borbonico del Granatello, Napoli, 1984, pagg. 19-20
  3. ^ The Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California, is a punctual replica of the map of Villa dei Papiri drawn in 1751 by Karl Weber
  4. ^ Minbac, Ufficio Statistica, Anno 2012
  5. ^ Carlo Celano: Notizie del bello e del Curioso che contengono le reali Ville di Portici, Resina, lo scavamento pompeiano, Capodimonte, Cartito, Caserta e San Leucio, 1792, Napoli p. 64
  6. ^ http://www.ingv.it/ov/it/museo.html

Bibliography[edit]

  • D'Angelo Giovanni, "Resina da castellania a baronia", Libreria S. Ciro 1999
  • Mario Carotenuto, "Ercolano attraverso i secoli", Napoli 1980
  • Mario Carotenuto, "Da Resina ad Ercolano", Napoli 1983
  • Mario Carotenuto, "Ercolano e la sua storia", Napoli 1984
  • Salvatore Di Giacomo, "Nuova guida di Napoli, Pompei, Ercolano, Stabia, Campi Flegrei, Caserta etc.", Napoli 1923
  • CNR, Bologna, 2000
  • Antonio Irlanda, "Noi, oratoriani di Resina", Ercolano 2002

Related Links[edit]

External links[edit]