We were offered the chance to visit Pompeii or Herculaneum when we docked at Sorrento. People rave about Pompeii because it's absolutely huge and gives you a great sense of just how sophisticated Roman civilisation was. Herculaneum, by contrast, was a Roman seaside town, a sort of holiday resort, and doesn't offer the same kind of scale.
Still. I remembered my Latin lessons, and how we'd learned that while Pompeii's buildings were smashed and burned by the falling volcanic ash, Herculaneum was actually preserved in the thick mud that engulfed it. And it's true: wandering around the archaeological remains of the town, you feel like you're in a place that's only recently been abandoned. The wine shop (above) still has its amphorae stacked to the side, the houses have beautifully preserved frescoes and mosaics. What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in detail.