Begin your private tour with pickup at your Sorrento hotel. Meet your driver and hop inside your private, air-conditioned car or minivan, depending on the numbers in your group.
Then, catch glimpses of Mt. Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples as you travel northward toward Pompeii and Herculaneum, both destroyed by the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.
On arrival at Herculaneum, leave your driver and head inside (own expense) the excavated site to explore independently. While Pompeii was buried in hot ash, this ancient port was submerged in mud loosened by Vesuvius’ eruption.
The mud served to ‘fossilize’ many building timbers and domestic items, leaving some incredibly well-preserved remnants, including furniture and clay utensils. Tragically, Herculaneum’s 4,000 inhabitants didn’t fare so well: while many managed to flee, others were suffocated by Vesuvius’ poisonous gases.
Inspect the remnants of this once-bustling town, seeing highlights like the House of Argos, complete with its still-standing columns, garden area, and courtyard.
Admire the frescoes and mosaics at the baths complex, and explore the House of Carbonized Furniture, dotted with the remains of furniture including a marital bed. Other must-sees include shops, a gymnasium, and the House of Neptune, still bearing mosaics and paintings depicting hunting scenes, fountains, and plants.
From here, continue to Pompeii and enter the archaeological park (own expense) to stroll around on your own. Walk along stone-paved streets, view the casts of the victims’ bodies, and delve into grand houses, shops, temples, and more. Take in the Theater area (Teatro Grande) and the Lupanare, the 2-story house that was once Pompeii’s brothel, still adorned with erotic frescoes.
After exploring the UNESCO-listed site, reconvene with your driver and ride back to Sorrento, where your tour ends with a hotel drop-off.