Accompanied by the figure of the ‘traveller’ the viewer leaves from Vesuvius on a “Journey to Herculaneum.”
Filmed in 4K-UltraHD and assisted by the use of drones, the documentary presents the ancient city of Herculaneum in a new light. The traveller walks down the living streets of Ercolano visiting the new city that rose during the Middle Ages on the ashes of the ancient Herculaneum. Constant reference is made to the relationship between the city’s inhabitants and the volcano – a relationship of fear and superstition, but also of profound devotion. Amid the busts of St. Januarius providing protection from Vesuvius, and the votive shrines disseminated in the streets of Ercolano, the traveller leads the viewer to places of spirituality. In the eighteenth century, the Bourbon King Charles III built the Palace of Portici; this new century, which began with the great discovery of the ancient city, became Ercolano’s golden age. The eighteenth-century noble lords seized by the beauty of these places, commissioned to the leading architects of the time their sumptuous summer residences: this is the Miglio d’Oro, the “Golden Mile” neighbourhood, enlivened by the spectacular Ville Vesuviane – the Vesuvian Villas. The journey continues towards Ancient Herculaneum, buried by the eruption of 79 AD. Overlooking streets paved with volcanic stones are splendidly preserved houses, including the House of Neptune and Amphitrite. Here, excavations continue to bring to light the Villa of the Papyri, but also public places, like the suburban baths, one of the best preserved in the world. The viewer is accompanied to the beach, where the survivors of the eruption tried to escape, without success. We end up to the Vesuvius Observatory, the oldest scientific institution devoted to studying volcanoes, its foundation dating to 1841. Lastly, the eruption of 1944 is recounted, and the viewer is shown the historic mercato di Pugliano, born in the immediate post-War period and now one of the world’s largest and most picturesque vintage markets.
(Quelle: Oberon Media)