Welcome to Roman Homes' Rome car service

Daily excursions:
Rome, Amalfi, Sorrento, Tuscany, Assisi

Tour of Rome | Two days tour of Tuscany and Umbria: Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, Assisi | Amalfi and Sorrento |  Assisi
Roman Castles: tour A, B, C, D and Grand Tour

The daily excursions are prepared only for the clients of Roman Homes, renting fine vacation rentals. Please do not inquire if your are not a Roman Homes client.


Pompeii, Herculanum: presentation.
Daily excursion, prices.

Pompeii was a resort town inhabited by wealthy Romans who were known for lavish spending on their homes. The fertile, volcanic slopes of Vesuvius provided an ideal climate for grapes and olive groves. Since the mountain had last erupted long before anyone alive at the time had been born, people thought that living near the most recognizable landmark looming over the bay of Naples was completely safe. The town had imposing temples, a beautiful forum, perfectly built theater and stadium.
It was lunch time in August 79 AD when Vesuvius began 19 hours of spectacular eruptions.

All the people in the 700 year-old town of 20,000 could have escaped. There was time to flee. But no one recognized the inherent danger of the mountain’s warnings. By the time Vesuvius stopped belching poisonous gas, the bustling city of Pompeii was silent, completely buried by volcanic ash and debris. It remained silent for 1700 years. Herculaneum underwent the same destiny. The eruption was the first ever to be described in detail.

From 30 km (18 miles) west of the volcano, Pliny the Younger, witnessed the eruption and later recorded his observations in two letters.  Volcanologists now use the term "Plinian" for the first stage of devastating volcanic eruptions, in which dust, ashes, cinders, and rocks erupt high into the air, and in time settle back to Earth. This stage may last for hours or even days. No lava flows occur during the plinian stage. In areas near the eruption, the amount of these materials can be enormous. During the first eight hours of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD they fell on Pompeii to depths of 2 to 4 meters (8-10 ft.).
The heaps of small rocks that landed on the houses caused many roofs to collapse.
In the next stage of the eruption, a superhot cloud of steam and mud (called "pyroclastic") flowed down the side of Vesuvius and covered the towns. At the speed of 30 mt. per second, it took less than four minutes for the boiling mud to flow from Vesuvius to Herculaneum, a distance of about 7 kilometers (4 miles).
About 3 meters (10 ft.) of ash and rocks fell on Pompeii, burying everything except the roofs of some buildings. The city was abandoned and its location forgotten. In 1595, excavations discovered artifacts at Pompeii and centuries of pillaging followed. Archeological excavations began in the mid-nineteenth century. Now, much of Pompeii has been excavated and it has revealed much about how people lived during that time (and died during the eruption). 

Herculaneum was buried under 23 Mt. (75 ft.) of ash. Once a seaside resort with 5,000 inhabitants, the former town became inland, and is now surrounded by the modern city of Ercolano.

Silent for thousands of years, Pompeii and Herculaneum are now living museums of life in the Roman Empire during the first century of the Common Era. The sacrifice and horrendous sufferings of its inhabitants resulted in a generous gesture, as they donated us the means to understand their architecture and their culture, thus having an insight of the ancient world otherwise impossible. Thanks to the sacrifice of the inhabitants, we know their habits, their customs, even their political graffiti, or their love messages.

Surprisingly sophisticated, Pompeii had a grid lay-out (right photo). It had a three-stream running water system. One stream went to public fountains, another to public baths, and a third traveled to homes of wealthy residents. People in Pompeii even had a version of indoor plumbing, but they did not have a good sewer system.

Flowing through lead pipes from a central water tower (called the Castellum Aquae), the water delivery system was ingenious for its day. When water supplies were low, the town stopped the flow of water streams in order of priority. First the wealthy homes were without water, then the public baths. Public fountains were shut down last.

People in ancient times used mill wheels to grind flour, and they stored food in large terra-cotta jars. To maintain the food at constant temperatures, all but the top of a jar was buried in the ground.

Pompeii: mills and baker's oven

Pompeii had outdoor food bars where its citizens could enjoy a snack and a cool drink. Shops were clearly marked with carved signs: a goat for the dairy, grapes for the winery, bread for the bakery. In the baker’s house one could find a fresco of a man selling bread.


Pompeii: a tavern

Pompeii: mills and baker's oven

Pompeii: a tavern

Pompeii Venus painting in a villa

Herculanum: mosaic in villa

Pompeii: Villa of Venus: painting of Venus

Herculanum: mosaic in villa

A typical upper class residence usually included fresco wall murals, a fountain, private bath, mosaic floors, an atrium and inner garden (called a peristyle) and a shrine.

Pompeii: the victim casts

Dog cast

In the 1860s, Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli discovered that mounds of ash often contained the moulds of those who perished in the catastrophe. This method of retrieving the shapes of Vesuvius' victims, now known as the "Fiorelli Method", has even been extended to recreating the forms of furniture, doors and shutters on Pompeiian buildings. The casts show the shapes of the victims in their final moments, trying to filter the noxious fumes of the eruption, and to breathe, as the terror-filled faces reveal. The mold of a dog is shown in the right. The poor animal was chained to a post and struggled for hours before finally succumbing to the ash.

Daily excursions, prices

INDIVIDUAL TRANSPORT TO POMPEII, You will be picked up and brought back to the apartment, and the excursion (including the transport) will last 8 hours.
- for groups up to 3 persons, with a Deluxe Mercedes sedan the price is 550 Euro (app. 740 US$). 
- for groups up to 5 persons, with a small van, it will cost you 580 Euro (app. 783 US$), and the car will be a Mercedes or Chrysler Van.
- for groups up to 7 persons, with a large van, it will cost you 720 Euro (app. 970 US$).

The excursions lasts 8 hours, of which four and a half are for transport (two hours and fifteen minutes each way), and three and a half for the visit itself. If you want the excursion to last more, it will cost you 40 Euros for every additional hour which you will require (for the regular sedan, 48 Euro for the small van, and 55 for the large van). The same applies if you want to visit Herculaneum (Ercolano). If you want to visit *both* towns, as it requires 2-3 additional hours to the Pompeii trip, which are billed accordingly.

The excursion includes the transport only, it does not include the entrance tickets (6 Euros or app. 8 US$ per person), or the meals along the way. If you require a professional tourist guide, you will find them at the excavations, and their cost is not included.  We recommend that you just buy a good guide book (including a map) at the entrance of the excavations, and follow its suggestions. In fact, the tourist guides do not have a transparent price policy.

TO BOOK or to enquire: Please use our booking form. We will reply to you swiftly. Upon request we can organize your transport to any other location or destination.

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