The Pompeii Experience
Pompeii archaeology is known the world over and no two visits to this sprawling site are ever the same, thanks to the constant discoveries being made and new houses that are regularly opening to the public. The Pompeii archaeological park is located in the south of Italy, in a region surrounded by sparkling seas and stunning landscapes – the kind that attracts tourists from all over. Italy’s appeal goes back a lot further than the first all-inclusive package holiday. Even in AD 79, the Romans recognised its allure, travelling to their holiday destinations of choice – Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum. Like the modern visitor, the Romans created a resort to satisfy all their holiday pleasures, and Pompeii was no different.
The town set the standard for the modern seaside resort equipped with bars, restaurants, baths and even theatres and brothels to entertain the passing traveller. Today, set against the awe-inspiring silhouette of Vesuvius and the Mediterranean coastline, lays what looks like a 3D blueprint map of modern-day Naples. The haunting remains of an ancient Roman town, preserved right down to the streets, bedrooms and bakers’ ovens, as if the residents have only just left.
So, with this World UNESCO Heritage Site on the bucket list of any intrepid historian or anyone with a thirst for discovery, let Andante Travels’ flagship Pompeii tour treat you to the secrets behind the ruins. We can offer you the complete Pompeii experience – you’ll be looked after during an eight-day tour that includes almost all elements as standard, and which will be led by one of our expert guides, who will be on hand to ensure you get the most from Pompeii and its surrounding areas.
Discover the site of Pompeii
The ruins of Pompeii have been preserved in amazing detail. The tour will take you into residents’ houses, where you can view the vivid frescoes on the dining room walls. But more than this, you’ll discover the hidden secrets from our guides, like how did such a delicate piece of art survive to be revealed today? It was, in fact, the conservators’ unusual use of amoxicillin, a type of penicillin, to preserve the natural pigments in the paintings. As you delve deeper into the life & conservation of Pompeii, look out for the range of painting techniques – from ‘encaustic’ where inhabitants mixed paint with wax, to water-based paints and even the rare ‘Egyptian Blue’, the first synthetic colour.
Astoundingly well-preserved remains
From the exquisite details of the remains, your imagination will all too easily conjure up a bustling town, with the cries of market traders from the forum and cheers echoing from the amphitheatre. The town stands beautifully preserved with fountains in the street, worn where thousands of people have rested their hands to take a drink; the stepping stones and wheel ruts; the graffiti on house walls. While wandering through the town, see if you can pick out the thousands of etched or painted graffiti, not too dissimilar to modern day graffiti, with insults, poetry and political propaganda, such as “Marcellus loves Praestia and is not loved in return,” and “Cornelius: go hang yourself.”
Discover Naples’ archaeological highlights
More poignant than the bare bones of Pompeii itself, we visit the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, packed with the best wall paintings and delicate artefacts from everyday life. The museum has now expanded, recently opening its western wing after a decade long renovation project. Now on show are hundreds of previously stored finds from key sites in Campania including sculptures that decorated the amphitheatre in ancient Capua and frescoes from the basilica of Herculaneum. We also travel to Pompeii’s neighbouring towns, Stabiae and Herculaneum, which were too engulfed in the deadly eruption. Stabiae is home to Villa San Marco, one of the most opulent Villas along this coast. The next town in the line of fire was Herculaneum. Sitting to the west of Vesuvius, this town evaded the first phase of the eruption as the wind carried volcanic ash over Pompeii, trapping inhabitants in its collapsing buildings. The second phase sent pyroclastic surges down the volcano. These reached Herculaneum instantly killing the inhabitants hiding on the beach, while the cloud of hot gas and ash preserved structures, objects and victims in its path.
Hike to the top of Vesuvius and gaze into the void
No trip to Pompeii would be complete without a visit to the monster that created the sprawling and haunting remains – a visit to Vesuvius itself. The breathtaking views from the crater look down on the towns and out across the Bay of Naples leaving you in awe, as you take in the experience and wonder at its beauty and power. If it were not for the eruption of Vesuvius which captured the surrounding towns and their unknowing residents in its final billowing cloud of fatal ash, then we would have never been left with the time capsule of a Roman town virtually brought to life as you wander the streets.
How to visit Pompeii with Andante
If you’re looking for an escorted Pompeii tour, look no further than our award-winning itineraries. In addition to our best-selling Pompeii, Herculaneum & Classical Campania tour, we also have our Highlights of Pompeii tour along with our Romans on the Bay of Naples trip.
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