Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pompeii, Herculaneum & Classical Campania (8 Days)

NOWHERE IN THE WORLD COULD GIVE A DEEPER INSIGHT INTO ROMAN LIFE THAN THE DRAMATIC SEASIDE TOWNS OF POMPEII AND HERCULANEUM WHERE LIFE CAME TO AN ABRUPT HALT WITDay by Day ItineraryDay 1 Naples Arrive Naples and drive to Cava dei Tirreni. Day 2 Naples Drive south to explore the temples, site and museum at Paestum. This was the Greek colony of Poseidonia and its monuments include three of the best-preserved Doric temples anywhere in the Mediterranean and the unique painted "Tomb of the Diver". A brief stop at the site of the Heraion, provides a context for the 6th century BC metopes displayed in the museum. Day 3 Naples The whole day is spent exploring as much as possible of Pompeii, two thirds of which has been excavated over more than 250 years. No other site can compare in revealing the scale and proportions of a Roman town Day 4 Naples Visit the exceptional collections and artefacts at the National Archaeological Museum at Naples. The displays are always changing here, and there is never access to everything, but still there will be more than enough to satisfy and amaze. Continue to Pozzuoli to see one of the largest amphitheatres in the world. Day 5 Naples A visit to Herculaneum perfectly compliments a visit to Pompeii. Much less of the town has been excavated, but what you see is better preserved, to a much greater depth. Wood and other organic remains were carbonised but still survive, as do upper storeys. A modest farm-house has been discovered at Boscoreale, named the Villa Regina, and a fine antiquarium has been opened beside this, displaying environmental evidence from sites destroyed in AD79. Day 6 Naples Explore the region of the Phlegraean Fields, in the north of the Bay of Naples: Baia boasts a remarkable bathing complex, and has an excellent new museum in an Aragonese Castle;Cumae was an important Greek colony, home of the prophetic sibyll. Day 7 Naples The villa at Oplontis is one of many destroyed by the eruption, but is exceptional for the quality and preservation of its wall-paintings. Afternoon ascent of Vesuvius Day 8 Naples Return flight from Naples. H THE ERUPTION OF VESUVIUS IN AD79.


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