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Embark on a unique journey through the immortal ruins of two of the ancient world’s best-preserved settlements. Starting from your hotel and driving along the Sorrento coastline, you’ll arrive at Pompeii where you’ll be met by your private guide. This fully functioning Roman city was drained of life when Vesuvius erupted in the October of 79 AD. Gorgeously painted villas and fascinating remnants of life appear at every twist and turn. Explore Pompeii’s stunning mosaicked villas; visit its seedy Lupanar (brothel); even discover the first ever “beware of the dog” sign at the House of the Tragic Poet.
We’ll then visit the less famous site of Herculaneum: an ancient port town consumed by the same eruption. Meet Herculaneum’s grisly skeletons, which greet you from within the boathouse as you first enter the site. Wander the town’s ancient cobbled streets, lined with multi-storeyed buildings found all over ancient Italy. Enter the College of the Augustales where priestesses performed sacrifices in honour of the emperor and worshipped him as a god. Your day finishes at an authentic winery situated on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius where you can indulge in some of southern Italy’s rich, earthy and world-renowned flavours.
Travel back in time 2,000 years to Pompeii
People think of Pompeii as a city frozen in time. They see it as offering an invaluable snapshot of a cataclysmic moment; the freeze frame of a day in which—for reasons utterly inexplicable to the ancients—their world turned to fire and ash, and a blanket of darkness came down bringing the routines of their daily lives to a violent, unexpected end.
Echoes of this event still reverberate within the walls of Pompeii’s near-perfectly preserved buildings: its houses, brothels, amphitheatres and temples. What’s more,we believe we can still hear these echoes from the city’s silent witnesses – its world-famous plaster cast bodies, whose eternal death throes give us our most direct and personal conduit to the past.
In Pompeii, it pays to have a guide who can bring the city to life, which is why we’ll be providing our trusted expert guide for the duration of your visits (4 hours). This isn’t just because they can contextualise its architectural relics: the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Jupiter, the House of the Faun and the Gladiator Barracks, to name a few. They can also bring to life the stories of those who lived, toiled, and died there; stories channeled through the Pompeii Bodies that have been (and continue to be) discovered there.
Situated 10 miles north of Pompeii, Herculaneum was also completely buried by Vesuvius’s eruption. But rather than covered by four meters of ash like Pompeii, Herculaneum long lay under 20 meters of ash, mud, and other pyroclastic matter. This has resulted in a remarkably well-preserved site which offers arguably the world’s best window into the ancient past.
Visit the often overlooked town of Herculaneum
At less than a third of Pompeii’s size Herculaneum is a lot smaller than its illustrious counterpart. This is partly down to the town’s function; a chic, sleepy seaside community (perhaps a little like Sorrento) in the shadow of Pompeii’s bustling metropolis (a little more like the historical centre of Naples). It’s also small, not least because a staggering 75 percent of the site is buried and is likely to remain so while the modern town of Ercolano still sits on top.
Where Herculaneum immediately differs from Pompeii is in its topography. Rather than seamlessly merging with today’s world, Herculaneum forcefully transports you back two thousand years by making you descend to the ancient level. The tunnel at the site’s modern entrance brings you right down to the ancient beachfront where you’re met with a particularly macabre sight. For sheltering in perpetuity within the vaults of the ancient boathouses are the skeletal remains of several dozen ancient inhabitants, grisly reminders of the desperation that gripped the town in its final hours.
One of Herculaneum’s most striking features is its resplendency of colour. Its frescoes, mosaics, columns and walls remind us that antiquity wasn’t black and white but was flushed with (often overly-garish) colour. Standing alone in an ancient painted room is indescribably transportive. And owing to the fact that fewer people know about Herculaneum, you’re much more likely to find this experience here than at its monolithic counterpart, Pompeii.
Wind down at a winery on the slopes of Vesuvius
Following your adventure through Pompeii and Herculaneum, we will drive to the base of the volcano where we will visit a great family winery for a light lunch, wine tasting and vinyards tour. Please note, you can easily choose to visit the winery before climbing Mt. Vesuvius if you prefer. After this wonderful day we’ll drive back to your accommodation in Sorrento, about 1 hour away.
- Itinerary:Drive around the Sorrento areaPompeiiHerculaneumWinery Visit
- Wheelchair accessible:Yes. (Itinerary may slightly differ).
- Meeting Point:Hotel lobby.
Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for the inspiring cultural heritage of our Italian cities. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!
Wonderful Wine Tour My husband and I did the secret wine bar tour with Sara. She was an absolute delight—so easy to talk to, and very knowledgeable. She took us places we would... read moreMy husband and I did the secret wine bar tour with Sara. She was an absolute delight—so easy to talk to, and very knowledgeable. She took us places we would have never chosen on our own and they were all amazing!
My only warning is that you will be full by the end of this tour—which is a great thing! We weren’t sure how much food would be provided, so we made late dinner reservations that we ended up canceling because we had plenty to eat on the tour!!
I highly recommend this experience, and highly recommend requesting Sara as your guide! read less - 4/01/2022
A great evening with Marcos. I always wanted to know how to make the perfect pizza and gelato. Here, Marco the expert will show you how. It was a great participation event with lots... read moreI always wanted to know how to make the perfect pizza and gelato. Here, Marco the expert will show you how. It was a great participation event with lots of laughs, and we all got to sit down together afterwards to eat our creations. This is a great event for adults and children alike. Narco and his team are a credit to the company. read less - 12/05/2021
Exceeding Expectations in Unexpected Location This is an essential tour. After many trips to Rome this is an excursion we were excited to take. Our expectations were exceeded. Sara was great and made the tour... read moreThis is an essential tour. After many trips to Rome this is an excursion we were excited to take. Our expectations were exceeded. Sara was great and made the tour special. She has a great personality and is engaging. The chef, assistant, and team at Castel Gandolfo were all terrific to work with.
If there is one thing to do when visiting Rome after the major sites and time around the city, take this trip. read less - 12/03/2021
Geeking out at The Vatican Rosi was our guide for the experience and she was A+. Not just knowledgeable but also passionate and a great story teller. She was patient w questions and made the... read moreRosi was our guide for the experience and she was A+. Not just knowledgeable but also passionate and a great story teller. She was patient w questions and made the overall experience incredibly fun. read less - 11/30/2021
The 2 villas of Tivoli We did the Private tour of Villa D'Este and Villa Adriana in Tivoli. The driver picked us up from the hotel in Rome and drove to the Villa Adriana, where... read moreWe did the Private tour of Villa D'Este and Villa Adriana in Tivoli. The driver picked us up from the hotel in Rome and drove to the Villa Adriana, where our guide, Barbara, met us. Thoroughly versed in ancient history and art history, she was a lively and fascinating guide. Never exhausting or boring, always good company, Barbara clearly loves what she does, sharing her knowledge of Rome and environs and deepening the appreciation of discerning travelers who want to learn about what they see. She was a good sport, because it was a windy rainy day, not ideal for a long day outdoors! I would definitely hire her again. read less - 11/04/2021
Gracious, Knowledgeable, Experienced Walk Inside Rome has the best, most informed guides and they never disappoint!
From the first inquiry through the tour they are also the most gracious and accommodating. Our most... read moreWalk Inside Rome has the best, most informed guides and they never disappoint!
From the first inquiry through the tour they are also the most gracious and accommodating. Our most recent guide at the Vatican was TEO, knowledgeable, friendly, and someone who clearly loves the city of Rome. The owner of WIR, Marilena is hands on, and considers you a friend after the first tour! read less - 11/02/2021
Great Guide and Tour Very impressed and happy - From booking to the tour, everything was very smooth. I had some questions about the tour before booking - sent an email with responses prompt... read moreVery impressed and happy - From booking to the tour, everything was very smooth. I had some questions about the tour before booking - sent an email with responses prompt and the relevant information. We did the early morning Vatican Tour with Walks Inside Rome with our guide Barbara, who was amazing. Spending the extra money was worth the experience of WIR, in depth knowledge of the guide, early access to the Vatican and the path/route to see the highlights and relevant areas of the Vatican. Would highly recommend for anyone to book this tour, and would consider them for other tours next time in Rome! Thanks to the team at WIR and special shout out to Barbara who was so very considerate (my Mom was 89 years old and visiting the Vatican for the first time, making sure my Mom was at the front and able to see everything even though she was a tiny bit slower than everyone else! Grazie Mille! read less - 10/12/2021
Making Pizza & Gelato in Roma This was a fun, educational experience. I enjoy cooking, baking, etc so learning to make authentic Roman style pizza and a simple recipe for gelato is a skill I... read moreThis was a fun, educational experience. I enjoy cooking, baking, etc so learning to make authentic Roman style pizza and a simple recipe for gelato is a skill I can take home! Our chef/instructor, Marco, was enthusiastic and his experience shown through as he explained what and why following the recipes was important. The kitchen space was well equipped and the dining space magical. Next time we’re in Rome (yes we tossed coins in the Trevi Fountain) we will take another course from his organization. read less - 9/27/2021