In a dilapidated area close to the ruins of Herculaneum, the nobility built 122 villas during the 1700’s. They wanted to keep up not with the Jones’, but with the king himself, Ferdinand IV who built one of his palaces here. After the villas cropped up, the area became known as the Miglio d’Oro or the Golden Mile.

The centerpiece here is the Reggia di Portici, currently a university.  The Reggia is currently only visitable by booking, the same as the Herculanense Museum, which houses reproductions of items found in Herculaneum.  Both these sites, and the Botanical Garden are visitable at a cost of €60 per site (Herculanense Museum and Botanical Gardens), or €100 for both.  The price does not change from 1 to 15 people, so if you are a single visitor it’ll cost you €60 or €100, or if you are a group of 15 the total price will still be €60 or €100, but always by booking first (calling +39 081 2532016).  The sites are open Monday to Friday 9:00-18:00 and Saturday 9:00-13:00.

A fifteen minute walk away from the Reggia, the lavish Villa Campolieto welcomes tourists during the weekdays as well – from Tuesday to Sunday 10:00-13:00.  Tickets cost €3.

Sir William Hamilton owned a villa here and the famous architects Sanfelice and Vanvitelli designed some of the splendors.

Getting There: The Reggia di Portici is at Via Universita 100, Portici. Villa Campolieto is at Corso Resina 283, Ercolano.

For more information about the Reggia, Herculanense Museum and Botanical Gardens, click here.

For more information about the Villa Campolieto, click here.