Above: The stone-paved streets of Herculaneum.

On the same day Pete and I visited Villa Oplontis, we saw Herculaneum, another ancient seaside Roman town destroyed by the 79 A.D. eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

Again, we walked down from present-day street level into the excavated area to explore with our guide Aldo, who explained what we were seeing.

Ancient stone-paved streets, shops, baths, gardens, sewer system, houses, and the art of a leisure community.

In the photo below, the yellow house is at present-day street level. For perspective, note the people in the foreground on a roof. The archways at the bottom are boathouses where human skeletons of people trying to escape were found. In 79 A.D., Herculaneum was by the sea.

My photo of the ancient Roman mosaic of Neptune and Amphitrite, on display in House #22. The tiles are very tiny.

With just a few clues from the original art pieces, conservationists are able to figure out the rest of the image. The original artists were masters of perspective and adhered to a definite style (there were four styles).

Here’s a pretty garden of roses and a type of apple grown for its high pectin content.

Me and Pete, in front of Herculaneum, in front of the current town, in front of Vesuvius.