No trip to southern Italy is complete without a visit to the historic Roman ruins of Pompeii. Once home to 3k residents who enjoyed the pleasures of life, Pompeii was buried in meters of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79AD. During its peak, the city was flourishing with 400 shops, 35 bakeries and 24 brothels. It was also well planned with sloping streets that allowed drainage, public bath houses and Roman theaters for the performing arts. Many of the paintings on the walls of wealthy homes are still intact, as are the remnants of the original structures.
I discovered all this during my Pompeii Small Group Walking Tour with LivItaly Tours. There were only 3 people in my tour which allowed for an intimate experience, where I was able to ask a lot of questions. My local Italian guide, Maria-Chiara, was informative and friendly. The tour was organized in the afternoon, which is a much better time to visit Pompeii after the bus loads of tourists have cleared out.
Sure, there are many companies offering tours to Pompeii. In fact, as soon as you get off the train station, there are dozens of people selling group tours. They generally charge 12 Euros + the entrance fee 13 Euros. You will need to wait till a group of 10 people is formed, before the guide starts the tour. With LivItaly Tours, there was no waiting in line. I booked the tour online in advance and met the guide at the entrance. We started right away and completed the visit in 2 hours, strolling at our own pace.
The best part about touring with Liv Italy is that you are not only having a richer experience, but also helping sustain the sight you visit. This summer, LivItaly Tours is donating 5% of each tour booked to support a crowdfunding project to restore a famous ancient home in Pompeii. Watch the video about how this works…
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Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to 70+ countries across 6 continents. She is also the founder and editor of ‘Go Eat Give’ and author of ‘Beato Goes To’ series of children’s books on travel.