Make your way to the Pompeii excavation on your own (it's an easy trip from Naples or Sorrento on the Circumvesuviana train to the Pompei Scavi station). Meet your guide at the coffee shop in the Hotel Vittoria, not far from the entrance to the Pompeii archaeological site. From there, you'll follow your guide into the ancient city and travel back in time.
Learn about the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD that buried Pompeii and preserved it. Walk on ancient Roman cobblestones, looking out for the ruts left by wagon wheels.
Visit the theater, where once there were lively performances of tragedy and comedy. See Pompeii's thermal bathhouse, where residents would go regularly to bathe, exercise, and gossip. Peek into the remains of local businesses, such as restaurants, bars, and shops selling food and clothing.
Walk through the forum, the heart of any ancient Roman city, to see the ruins of both temples and civic buildings. This is where priests and politicians spent their time, and where government and religion came together. Look at the barracks where Roman gladiators once trained and lived. Don't miss the rebuilt brothel, one of Pompeii's most popular attractions.
Pack a hat for summer sun, and wear comfortable shoes. You will actually walk on lava rock.