Visitors to Rome and southern Italy flock to Pompeii, the Roman town buried under ash when Vesuvius erupted back in the year 79. What most visitors don't know is that there is another buried Roman town nearby that is better preserved and less touristy. It's called Herculaneum.

Herculaneum was never covered with ash, like Pompeii. It was buried in mud, which did a much better job of preservation. After almost 2,000 years, eggs were found on a dining room table and a bakery with 81 carbonized loaves. A man with teeth marks in his flesh was found beside his dog. The Roman sentry at the gate was found trying to cover his dog with his cloak.

If you can, visit both Herculaneum and Pompeii. I also recommend a climb up Vesuvius. It's a steep, relentless hike through a Stygian landscape of pulverized ash and black twisted lava--definitely not for everyone, but an unforgettable experience, even when the summit is lost in mist.