Pompeii and Herculaneum Tour from Naples

The Ruins of Pompeii
Skip the lines and explore the fascinating ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum with an archaeologist. Your first stop is in Pompeii, one of the last cities to offer visitors a true image of ancient Roman settlements.

Pompeii sits within the scenic National Park of Mount Vesuvius, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Walking through the settlement is an experience unlike any other, as it still feels as lively as ever. Your guide will share the town's history, explain how the Romans lived, and lead you to the most important public buildings and private houses.

Following the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE, Pompeii lay buried under layers of ash and lapilli, forgotten for hundreds of years. The area had a complex water system, theater, gymnasium, baths, and a substantial population, which grew prosperous from the region's renowned agricultural fertility. The flood of lava petrified the city and preserved its frescoes, Roman art, and buildings originating in 80 BCE. During your visit, you’ll get a glimpse of typical life in Ancient Rome and visit highlights like the marina gate, basilica, Forum, baths, Lupanar (brothel), and more. 

After lunch, you’ll continue to Herculaneum, a much smaller but better-preserved settlement. While about 15 feet of ash (4-5 m) covered Pompeii, Herculaneum sat under an avalanche of mud 65 feet (20 m) thick. You can view almost complete buildings with second floors, plus carbonized wooden objects, intact paintings, and mosaics. Much of the town still sits under mud, and archeologists have yet to discover many treasures. You’ll visit the marina gate, terrace of Marcus Nonius Balbus, Samnite house, thermal baths, Forum, House of Neptune and Amphitrite, gymnasium, and more.

Your guide and an archeological expert will help you compare building techniques between the two sites. Pompeii made its riches from trade, whereas Herculaneum was a fishing community. By the first century, however, it was a fashionable holiday resort. Experts discovered and excavated both towns in the mid-18th century.

Read more about interesting activities in Naples, fun things to do in Sorrento, and unique historical experiences in Italy.