This tour includes an English-speaking archaeological guide at your disposal for 3 hours
THE ENTRANCE FEES OF POMPEII ARE NOT INCLUDED
Pompeii offers the terrible and wonderful sight of life stopped in one moment, as if it could be taken up again at another moment, without the lifelessness that is the feature of archaeological ruins. The oil presses almost in motion, the shops with their scorched bread, the pitchers full of grain, the dining room (triclinia) prepared for supper.
This private three-hour tour includes the visit with an English-speaking guide of the town with the Villa of the Mysteries and the walk on the top of a part of the city walls for admiring the view of the town from a higher place. The walls of Pompeii represent one of the major example of fortification systems of the pre-Roman Italic cities that have come to us.
The city of Pompeii was built on a rocky and lava base whose walls formed a natural defense in its western and southwestern portions, but it was also equipped with town-walls with a length of about 3200 meters. Thanks to recent research it was possible to recognize along the walls various building phases ranging from the VI century BC to the I century BC. The first phase saw the use of blocks of Vesuvian lava (VI century BC). The last phase of the fortifications dates back to the early I century BC. The blocks used in this phase for the new city walls were of limestone arriving from Sarno and they were arranged alternately by head and by cutting, a technique that gave the wall a better grip with the other parallel row.
Along the walls there were the seven gates of the city: the Herculaneum Gate to the northwest side, with a structure with three arches; the Vesuvius Gate to the north side, collapsed during the earthquake in 62 AD; the Nola Gate to the East preceded by two bastions and decorated with a head of Minerva on the arch; the Sarno Gate to the East too, almost completely destroyed (just a small part of the outer side of this wall is still visible today); Porta Nocera gate placed in the Southeast, very well preserved; Porta di Stabia gate in South West, maybe the oldest of Pompeii; Porta Marina to the west, leading to the port, consisting of a massive gallery with two archways, one for pedestrians and one for animals. And finally the eighth wall that is only hypothesized considering a symmetrical distance between other gates, called Porta di Capua that was probably located in the North-East. Just outside the walls (pomerium) were large areas mainly used as cemeteries, since the burials and cremations were forbidden within the city. The relationship between the living and the dead were very intimate, some of the larger tombs were equipped with dining rooms and even a kitchen for annual banquets as for the will of those who were buried.
For defense purpose were present in Pompeii also the Towers. In fact the walls were reinforced with sturdy watchtowers at regular intervals, in anticipation of the war against Silla. The square-haped towers had two floors, plus the ground floor, reached by flights of stairs running along the inside walls. At the height of each floor there were embrasures that allowed the launch of arrows. The last floor had instead larger openings to allow better viewing angle. Well preserved today is the so-called Tower of Mercury, located between Herculaneum Gate and the Vesuvius Gate.
Of the twelve towers built in Pompeii, the greater number was placed on the northern side of the walls, which was certainly the weak point of the entire defensive system. Not by chance, in fact, the decisive attack of Silla was launched precisely on that side. Still one can see, on the external side of the walls, the deep holes caused by stone projectiles launched by the Roman catapults, during the siege.
THIS THREE-HOUR TOUR IN POMPEII RUINS COSTS EUROS 200. THE ENTRANCE FEE IS NOT INCLUDED.
THIS TOUR WILL OPERATE RAIN OR SHINE, SO BE PREPARED FOR ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS.