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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!
Terrific Trastevere Food Tour with Luca! Luca took my wife and myself on a wonderful food tour through Trastevere. The things we saw and ate and learned were excellent. The best part was Luca's friendly nature.... read moreLuca took my wife and myself on a wonderful food tour through Trastevere. The things we saw and ate and learned were excellent. The best part was Luca's friendly nature. By the end of the evening we felt that we had spent a nice time with a new friend. read less - 10/03/2022
- Darren R
A must do experience This cooking class was a highlight of our trip. We got to meet a young chef, Sara. She had us decide what to cook. Then we walked through... read moreThis cooking class was a highlight of our trip. We got to meet a young chef, Sara. She had us decide what to cook. Then we walked through the market to pick out some of the ingredients, the meats and such. Then we went back to their excellent small group kitchen. We had a wonderful time learning from Sara. She taught us to make ravioli and saltimbocca and tiramisu. It was fun and relaxed and extremely delicious. We thought the whole experience was splendid. 10 out of 10. read less - 9/26/2022
Best Food Tour We Took! My fiance and I capped off our first full day in Rome with this lovely food tour. Luca was friendly, excited, and knowledgeable. We got to try a ton of... read moreMy fiance and I capped off our first full day in Rome with this lovely food tour. Luca was friendly, excited, and knowledgeable. We got to try a ton of different food and even returned to one of the restaurants later in the week. The tour groups are kept small, so our group easily got to know each other throughout the tour. We were especially pleased with how accommodating it was: My fiance is a vegetarian and can be a bit of a picky eater, so he had low expectations going in and this ended up being his favorite activity all week! We actually had a couple of vegetarians in our group and there was always an equally hearty substitute whenever necessary. Super pleased with this experience and with Luca! Best part of our week! read less - 9/21/2022
- Emily W
Worth every penny. What an evening! This was without a doubt the highlight of my trip. A great evening with plenty of incredible local food and drink and a really good way to meet and... read moreThis was without a doubt the highlight of my trip. A great evening with plenty of incredible local food and drink and a really good way to meet and get to know other travellers. The small group size made it much more personal and conversation flowed all evening! Sara (our guide) was absolutely amazing - so friendly and chatty, and so full of knowledge about the local food and Rome/Trastevere's history. She could not have been better.
I'll be coming back to Rome and will definitely be booking this again. Thank you so much, Sara, for making my first trip to Rome that much better! read less - 9/21/2022
Delicious food from fabulous foody Luca Boccia was PHENOMENAL!
His knowledge of Italian cuisine was exceptional, especially welcomed because it included more than just the well known dishes. He was funny and friendly, making our... read moreLuca Boccia was PHENOMENAL!
His knowledge of Italian cuisine was exceptional, especially welcomed because it included more than just the well known dishes. He was funny and friendly, making our time together unforgettable.
Most appreciated was his offer to remain a resource for the duration of our visit with DELICIOUS recommendations off the tourist path.
Well done Luca!!! read less - 9/11/2022
A Must Do Tour of Sistine Chapel Amazing! This was my third time to the Vatican but this time I took my adult/teen children and wife and we used a tour guide. It was a... read moreAmazing! This was my third time to the Vatican but this time I took my adult/teen children and wife and we used a tour guide. It was a small group of 9. Just 2 families. She was great. She does this 4 days a week and all the guards knew her by name. If you want to see the Sistine Chapel, then you have to go early. We were one of the first to enter and with her connections basically did not wait on anything. We also entered a section in the Vatican Museums usually off limits to the public, a section with many animal statues and other mosaics. She gave us so much history and culture. My children said it was AP World History made real. You could tell she truly loved what she did. read less - 8/29/2022
Best tour ever. Martha was our guide. She is the best. They way she explained all , answered our questions give us all the information in every place all was wonderful. It was... read moreMartha was our guide. She is the best. They way she explained all , answered our questions give us all the information in every place all was wonderful. It was a very hot summer day and she always looks for ways to give us the information under the shade before we went into the sun. I highly recommend this company and Martha as well. It was very easy to make the reservation and pay. We took the private tour and was perfect. 3 hours that feel like Half hour . We didn’t do any limes to get into the places. Know that if you go by yourself or in other yours you could be up to 2 hours under the sun to get into the coliseum or forum. I highly recommend the private tour. read less - 8/05/2022
Great Food Stroll with Luca We did the Trastevere Food Stroll with Luca B and he was great! Brought us to great authentic locations and provided his expert advice! We would highly recommend this tour... read moreWe did the Trastevere Food Stroll with Luca B and he was great! Brought us to great authentic locations and provided his expert advice! We would highly recommend this tour and Luca!! read less - 7/30/2022