The drive to Pompeii takes about 30 minutes. Our pleasant, informative driver will provide you with an overview of the history of the ancient city, and how the tragic eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried the city.
Of course, Pompeii is too big to visit If you have chosen to have a licensed guide, we can assure you’ll get the most from your tour of Pompeii. Our professional guide has a degree in art history, and has passed a very specific test to obtain a guide’s license, and is authorized to accompany you into museums, churches, and other sites, and to escort you on a walking tour of the city. Your guide can answer all the questions you may have about Pompeii’s artistic and architectural past. Your guide is sure to make Roman history come alive!
In Pompeii, first, you’ll see the city’s ancient walls, which date back to the 4th century, B.C. The gates are called Porta Marina, and one of the paths in the city is solely for people. Before entering, we’ll explore the Suburban Bath House, an ancient site that was just recently excavated and is therefore very well-preserved.
When we arrive in town, you’ll walk on basalt stone, made of volcanic rock that left imprints of tiny, white flecks. This material was used because it shone in the darkness, back when torches were used and were the only guiding light in the evening. Today, we call this substance “cat’s eye.”
Pompeii didn’t have a sewer system because it was built on top of very hard, settled lava. You’ll marvel at the large stones in the paths, put there so people had somewhere elevated to step when it rained.
The city center is called the Forum because it has several buildings used for different purposes. The religion building houses the Temple of Apollo, the Capitolium, and the Temple of the Emperor. There was also a textile market; a fish and meat market; a currency exchange, public scales for weighing large items like the goods farmers brought, and much, much more. It is in the Forum that you will see the famous display of human casts.
Nearby are the Public Bathhouses, where anyone could stop in to have a daily wash. Men and women were in separate quarters, but all were allowed in – rich and poor; free and enslaved. Pompeii had three complexes like these, and they all included a changing room (Apoditerium,) a tepid room (Tepidarium), a hot room, and a gym. Several buildings have massive vases built into them at the front in a masonry counter – these are what we call taverns, or pubs, today! These enormous jugs were teeming with food and drink, and many Romans would stop in around mid-day for lunch and something to drink.