Amalfi Coast and Pompeii

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Highlights

Leisure Italy top tour would be the best choice if you are a first time traveller in the area. The breath-taking Amalfi Coast featuring its charming Mediterranean  Villages – such as Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, Sorrento and the incredible Excavations of the Ancient Pompeii, preserved intact under 20 feet of ashes by Mount Vesuvius. History, Art, Archaeology, Landscape and – why not – some Time at Leisure, everything in one unforgettable experience!

Included

Mercedes private vehicle with a professional driver, all taxes, fuel, parking fees and pay tolls.

Extra

Lunch, entrance fees to Pompeii.

Optional

Private tour guide in Pompeii or for the entire day, Skip the line tickets (if any guide option selected), Pompeii 4kids option.

Meeting place

Where requested in Naples, Sorrento or Salerno.

Wheelchair friendly

Please ask us about the Accessible Pompeii Tour.

Dress code

Casual with comfortable shoes.

Additional info

Pompeii site is extended  on a surface of approximately 160 acres. To make the best of your time in Pompeii Leisure Italy strongly recommends a private guided service.

This will also allow you to skip the tickets line. Our guided walking tour focuses on the Highlights of Pompeii and it can be adapted on the interests and walking attitude of the participants. Be aware there is some walking uphill and some steps. For those not willing to take the entire walk there are some cafés and gift shops right outside the entrance.

Road book

Practical Info

The Tour Itinerary is flexible, you can decide to visit Pompeii first, or start with the costal drive.

Leisure Italy recommends to visit the coast first during the week-ends in order to avoid traffic. Be aware also that visiting Pompeii is more pleasant during the afternoon due to less visitors.

The following is just an example:

The Site of Ancient Pompeii is located on the Bay of Naples in between Naples, Salerno and Sorrento. Along the road you can see and feel the towering presence of Mt Vesuvius.  On the other side you will instead enjoy nice views of the Bay of Naples and its islands. In a distance across the Bay stands Cape Misenum, where the Roman Military Navy was based and from where Pliny the Elder started his description of the eruption on 79 AD that buried Pompeii and the surrounding towns.

Please be aware Pompeii site is extended  on a surface of approximately 160 acres. To make the best of your time Leisure Italy strongly recommends its optional guided services. This will also allow you to skip the line. Our guided walking tour will be adapted on the interests and walking attitude of the participants.

Here a suggested itinerary for our optional private guided walking tour of Pompeii in case you choose to explore the archaeological site together with a professional guide.

In  Pompeii you will first admire the city walls, dating back to the pre-roman Pompeii (4 centuries BC). One of the best preserved ancient gates is called Porta Marina, it connected Pompeii with its port, with one path for charts and another for people.

Right before this gate there is a not-to-be-missed building, the Suburban Bath House, recently excavated and therefore very well preserved.

Once in town you will be walking on the original road made by basalt stone (volcanic rock), and you will notice on the ground hundreds of little white spots made of travertine which were used to reflect torch light (this is what nowadays people call “cat’s eye”).

Your attention will be caught by big blocks of basalt emerging from the road: they were stepping stones used by pedestrians to avoid getting wet when it rained; in fact, differently from other roman towns, Pompeii didn’t have a complete sewer system because the city was build on top of a lava platform too hard to be worked.

The city centre was called the Forum, it hosts all the buildings with a public function: Religion (the Temple of Apollo, the Capitolium and the Temple of the Emperor), Trade (the meat and fish market called Macellum, the textiles market headed by a priestess called Eumachia), Administration (the Basilica) and Politics (Comitii). Other facilities in the Forum where exchange offices, public restrooms and a public scale (tabula mensurae) where to compare and weigh farmer’s products. In the Forum you will also see a display of the famous human casts.

Close to the Forum there were public thermal baths where both men and women (in different sections), poor and wealthy, free and slaves could access daily hygiene. Pompeii had 3 of such complexes in town plus 2 right outside the town, and they all had the following facilities: a changing room (apoditerium), a tepid room (tepidarium), a hot room (calidarium) and a Gym (Palestra).

You will notice several places fronting the road with large vases built in a masonry counter: this is what the Romans called popinae, today’s taverns! In fact those earthenware jars where filled up with food and beverages, and very many ancient Pompeians would stop in such places for lunch.

You will certainly recognise some of the bakeries of Pompeii, with their ovens and their grinding machines: incredible but true some round carbonized loafs of bread where found during the excavations. This is nowadays  on exhibit at the Archaeological Museum of Naples together with more carbonized organics such as almonds, pine cones, figs, dates etc…

Your visit would be incomplete without the red light district: the brothel  (Lupanare) shows us today an interesting display of roman frescoes featuring several erotic images!

Do not miss the chance to discover Pompeii places for public performances: an outdoor theatre (for comedy and tragedy), an indoor theatre (Odeion, for mimes and declamation of poetry) and a big amphitheatre (for games like gladiators or beast fights). You shall visit at least one of those places.

After the tour at Pompeii  you can stop for a few minutes if you wish, to get a fresh-squeezed orange juice or to browse the souvenir shops.

 

During your  Private Tour of the Amalfi Coast you will cross several charming villages: Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello etc… The time you can stop in each of them will depend on your choice and of course on your ship last boarding time. On this tour Leisure Italy recommends to choose 2 towns, in order to have some time at leisure to enjoy instead of being rushed all day. Please consider that the diving time from the Amalfi coast back to Naples can take nearly 2 hours.

After your exploration of the archaeological site, your Private Tour of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast will take you to the Sorrento Peninsula, with some beautiful landscape on your right hand side. Along the way your private driver will give you the chance to stop to take stunning panorama photos .

Once on the Amalfi Drive you are going to experience the pure Mediterranean beauty: steep cliffs, blue sea, some luxurious villas perched like eagles’ nests atop the surrounding mountains and the incredible narrow winding road stretching along the coast. You will be definitely surrounded by a breath-taking scenery.

Sorrento is our choice for shopping and lunch opportunities. It is famous for its “limoncello” production – an alcoholic lemon liquor which you can taste mostly anywhere in town. Not to miss the overview to the Bay of Naples from the Garden of St-Francis.

Positano is the first village you will cross along the Amalfi Coast. Its white washed houses and its fancy art and ceramic galleries has attracted thousands of people from all over the world, turning it in a very touristy destination. If you like you can leave the vehicle and discover  the village which is mostly a pedestrian area leading down to the beach. On the upper part of Positano there are some friendly taverns, please do not hesitate to ask your driver!

Amalfi is the most interesting place on the Amalfi coast for its glorious historical past.

You can visit the Cathedral – burial place of St. Andrew – or you can try to get away from the crowds exploring the maze of little white painted alleys and travel through time back to the Middle-Ages!

Finally you can visit Ravello (350 metres on the sea level), certainly the most elegant and scenic village on the coast. In Ravello you can visit either Villa Cimbrone or Villa Rufolo with their astonishing views or simply enjoy some free time.

Lunch will depend on your desire: there will be different options, from a snack up to nice sea-food meal in one of the many excellent restaurants with sea view along the itinerary.

Tour tags

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 18 reviews
28th May 2018

Giuseppe picked us up at 8am right outside the cruise ship terminal in Naples. First, during our drive through Naples he told us about Naples and its buildings, history, culture, religion and special celebrations. We planned our day together, eliminating Positano and Sorrento, focusing instead on taking time to enjoy the drive through the Milky Mtns, stopping for photos at Agerola, high above the Amalfi coast, spending time exploring Amalfi, wandering through Ravello, and lunching in Pontare (at a table overlooking Dragon Valley and the coast) before returning to Naples via a different route and having just enough time to visit Pompeii. With Giuseppe guiding us through Pompeii, we made the most of the time we had. This was the first Sunday of the month, so Pompeii was free admission but very crowded. However, our visit in late afternoon avoided the worst of the crowds. Back to the cruise ship at 5pm, exhausted and happy. What a wonderful day and grateful to Giuseppe for making it so satisfying for us! (Four travellers-Mom and adult children.)

7th May 2018

We had an amazing time with Fabrizio and booking with Leisure Italy was a painless process. As I was looking on their site, I received a message from one of their staff helping and guiding me in the process. Believe me, I did a thorough research on which tours to book before I went ahead and decided on Leisure Italy and requested Fabrizio as our tour guide. I am writing this review as a thank you for our wonderful experience and to help others who depend on reviews to make their decisions like I do. We were picked up at our meeting point in a meticulous and comfortable Mercedes van. Our group consisted of 2 elderly (one with mobility problem), 3 children (10, 12 and 14 years old) and 2 in our 30s. Fabrizio accommodated and entertained all of us. The kids learned alot and were entertained in the process at Pompeii with activities and games about the history of Pompeii. He accommodated my dad by taking us on the route that made it easier for him and his walker. Fabrizio followed our pace and what we wanted to see and do, fully customizing the tour to our interests. He took us through the scenic routes and allowed us to stop along the way for pictures if we wanted. He is very knowledgeable about Pompeii and all the sights and history of Naples, but most of all his enthusiasm kept us interested. He took us to a restaurant near Pompeii that was delicious. Overall, it was the best tour of all the tours we took while in Italy and money well spent. We would absolutely use Fabrizio and Leisure Italy again. So if you are still thinking about it and think that it is too expensive… Just go for it. The experience and warm welcome to Italy will be all worth it.

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Vincenzo Coppola

e-mail: vincenzo@leisure-italy.com

phone: +39 334 8161158