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A private tour to discover the culture and daily life of Pompeii
It’s late morning on August 24th in the year 79 AD. A dense black cloud rises from Mount Vesuvius, taking the form of an enormous pine tree. It grows larger by the minute and within a few hours it completely covers the sky. Burning rocks rain down on Pompeii. The earth trembles and night falls on Pompeii and its surroundings. The most disastrous phase of the eruption will occur a short time later, at sunrise on August 25th; the personal guide of your Pompeii private tour will vividly describe these dramatic events. The sea withdraws and explosions of molten ash and steam burst from the mountain, advancing at hurricane speed, burying trees, people, and everything in its path. The people of Pompeii try to flee the city, protecting themselves from the falling rocks with pillows and blankets.
Pompeii is buried in an instant, stopping time and freezing the lives of ancient Pompeii forever. On your walking tour of Pompeii you will discover hundreds of statues of gods, oil lamps, necklaces, gladiator helmets, aqueduct and drainage pipes, beds and even engravings over the door of the grocers’ shops petrified forever. Most moving of all is the lovers’ last kiss, destined to last forever.
We have first-hand accounts of the events from two extraordinary and touching letters by Pliny the Younger, which were found not far from Pompeii. These letters will be discussed by your personal guide during your Pompeii tour. Pliny was a historian of the time and found himself in the region in the days of the volcanic eruption. His letters narrate what he saw and heard from the few survivors who fled Pompeii.
On your private tour of Pompeii we will try to bring the city back to life for you
Your personal guide will describe the culture of the time, as well as the habits of the family, marriage, the role of slaves, the government of the city and the economy, exploring the places used by Pompeians in their daily lives. You will visit the incredible Villa of the Mysteries with its strange Dionysian rituals depicted on the walls, which have captured the imaginations of visitors for centuries. Your personal guide will discuss the different interpretations of these fascinating frescoes, giving you a deeper understanding of rituals in Ancient Pompeii.
As you explore the Temple of Isis and other famous temples, the secrets of Roman religion will be revealed. In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of the Roman gods and the role they played in the daily lives of the Ancient Romans, you’ll also learn about cults, superstitions and funerary rites. The ruins of the temples are impressive in themselves, but the explanations of your personal guide will enrich the experience. Other aspects of daily life in Pompeii will be explored on your private tour, as you visit the bars, brothels and bathhouses of the city.
When you explore some of the most opulent private residences in Pompeii, you’ll discover that many of the city’s wealthiest inhabitants were art-lovers. One of the most luxurious villas was the House of the Vettii, a richly decorated villa owned by two freedmen; the wall frescoes are some of the most impressive in Pompeii, and will be explained at length by our private guide. You’ll also discover the elegant House of the Faun, which has an expansive garden and courtyard, and the mysterious House of the Tragic Poet. The private tour of Pompeii of these evocative ruins will offer you a fascinating glimpse of the lives and artistic tastes of their owners.
Your walking tour will then continue at the large, well-preserved amphitheatre of Pompeii, which is the oldest surviving Roman amphitheatre. With your private guide you will learn about public entertainment in Roman times, including drama and gladiatorial combats.
We will also see the Forum and Basilica of Pompeii, as well as learning how the lighting systems and the latrines functioned in both public and private spaces, during an in-depth exploration of all the sites of the vast excavations of Pompeii. Your Pompeii private tour is specially designed to make sense of the main aspects of the daily life of Ancient Pompeii, such as the famous garum sauce, life in the thermal baths, the taverns and the gambling, and the brothels where both male and female prostitutes worked. Your guide will also tell you about the dramatic events that took place in the city, such as the fights that broke out between rival groups of fans of opposing gladiator teams.
Join us on a fantastic journey in Ancient Pompeii to discover how the city worked and how our ancestors lived.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel, if located in Pompeii
This is a walking tour through a large archeological site with uneven surfaces. We recommend comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water
Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for Rome's inspiring cultural heritage. 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!