Pompeii & Herculaneum Archaeological Tour - The Falco Tour with Lindsey Davis
Travel back to Roman times with bestselling historical novelist Lindsey Davis. Lindsey joins our tour as a Guest Lecturer, alongside other noted experts who will provide you with incredible insight to Roman Italy’s past. The tour also features exclusive special access to closed galleries at Naples Museum and the Roman town of Herculaneum.
We are offering Telegraph readers the opportunity to glimpse the long vanished world of Roman Italy. During our unique five day tour, we discover buried cities and palatial villas that lie on the shores of Southern Italy. Viewing these perfectly preserved Roman towns in all their vivid, haunting detail, offers the unique opportunity to understand how people lived 2000 years ago. Lose yourself in the past, and meet the Romans as you walk these ancient streets discovering the lives of gladiators, slaves, citizens and senators.
- Discover Pompeii and Herculaneum
Nowhere in the world could give a deeper insight into Roman life than the dramatic seaside towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Before the eruption of Vesuvius these were thriving, lively seaside towns… but all this came to an abrupt halt one August day in AD 79. Vesuvius, previously thought to be extinct, erupted with a cataclysmic force – forever preserving a vivid, haunting picture of the ancient Roman world. In some cases we even know the names, professions and personal histories of the people who owned the villas and shops we visit.
- Explore the Villa at Oplontis
The vast villa complex at Oplontis was first discovered in the 18th century, and is believed to have belonged to Poppaea Sabina, the wife of the Emperor Nero. The villa was originally constructed around the middle of the first century B.C, but was extended during the reign of Nero to incorporate a large outdoor swimming pool. The site was undergoing restoration work when it was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. More than more than 100 rooms have been excavated so far, many featuring gorgeous frescoes. The momentous space also features outdoor garden areas, pergolas and porticos.
- Travel with best-selling author Lindsey Davis
Lindsey Davis is perfectly placed to accompany you on tour, and is sure to offer you a unique perspective into the lives of the Romans. In 2010 the city of Rome gave her the Premio Colosseo, awarded 'for enhancing the image of Rome' Many of Lindsey’s books have been serialised on BBC Radio 4. She was a previous Chair of the Crimewriters' Association and The Society of Authors, and Vice President of the Classical Association.
- Excellent company and great hotels
We spend 4 nights in a grand 4* converted and fully renovated Palazzo in the historic centre of Naples, ideally located for the tour. Our group will be small, as small numbers give our tours a convivial and personal feel. You will be accompanied by a professional tour manager, in addition to our expert wine & food guide – who offers her own eye-opening expertise and enthusiasm.
- Special Access
We arrive in Naples and transfer to our hotel
We devote a whole day to Pompeii. No other site can compare in revealing the scale and proportions of a Roman town. We visit some of the best-preserved buildings, as well as an amphitheatre, theatre, forum, bathhouses, bars and brothels. The fountains in the street, worn where thousands of people have rested their hands to take a drink; the stepping stones, wheel ruts; the graffiti on house walls. Travelling by the best routes to avoid the crowd we visit several villas which have only recently re-opened to the public. We enjoy dinner at a local restaurant tonight.
Lindsey Davis joins us this morning as we explore the remarkable villa at Oplontis; buried and preserved, by the eruption of Vesuvius. The villa is thought to have been the home of Poppea, wife of Nero. We walk through the grand rooms, chambers and gardens in splendid isolation.This afternoon, we go off the beaten track to the villas of Stabiae, an exclusive Roman resort for the very wealthy. The vast Villa San Marco is one of the most opulent along this coast - and remains very impressive in its scale. The Villa Ariadne gives wonderful views over the Bay of Naples and is remarkably little visited.
We marvel at the exceptional collections of artefacts at the National Archaeological Museum at Naples. Many of the best wall-paintings and statues were brought here in the early years of the excavations. More poignant, perhaps, are the tableware, glass beads, dice and other incidental objects of everyday life. We continue to Pozzuoli to see one of the best-preserved amphitheatres in the world. We explore the passage-ways where gladiators would once have awaited their fate... We are joined by Lindsey Davis this evening for dinner and a lecture. We enjoy a final dinner together at a delightful pizzeria in Naples this evening.
Enjoy special access to Herculaneum this morning, which perfectly complements a visit to Pompeii. The town was buried to a much greater depth than Pompeii. Here, you wander streets with almost complete Roman houses rising on either side, preserved up to their rooftops in some cases! Until relatively recently it was thought that most of the population of Herculaneum escaped the eruption. However, excavations have now uncovered over 300 skeletons of townsfolk who had taken refuge in boat chambers along the shore. We enjoy a relaxed walk through historic Naples, including its underground, before our afternoon flights home to the UK.
Please note: all sites described in the itinerary will be visited, but the order may of visits differ from that shown.
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Tour Manager - Dedicated tour manager, ensuring the tour runs smoothly
- Meals - Meals are included with wine where stated in the itinerary, as are all tastings, included excursions and tips
- Flights - Scheduled return flights from London to Naples
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
Spend 4 nights in a characterful 4* hotel in Naples, originally a converted Palazzo, and former residence of a noble Italian family. Located in the 13th-century historic district at the heart of Naples, this stunning hotel has created the perfect blend of historic detail and modern comfort.
Andante Travels is one of the UK’s leading providers of cultural and archaeological tours. Specialising in expert-led, small group travel, Andante has introduced tens of thousands of travellers to the wonders of the ancient world.
Prices are per person based on shared occupancy of a twin room; there is a supplement stated on each tour page for single occupancy; travel insurance is not included.
These tours are operated by, and your resulting contract will be with, Andante Travels Ltd, Registered Office: Unit 4, Oakridge Office Park, Southampton Road, Salisbury, SP5 3HT. ATOL 3552, Members of AITO and ABTOT (registered in England No.GB1969761), a company wholly independent of Telegraph Media Group Limited.