Travelers to Italy’s west coast can see Mount Vesuvius tower over the city of Naples. Vesuvius is located in the same volcanic zone as Mount Etna. (Near Taormina, Sicily) History mavens will recall Vesuvius’ devastating eruption in 79 CE. It destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
While most historically orientated tourists will flock to these archeological sites, others will find time to hike up Mount Vesuvius at Vesuvius National Park. A trek up to the crater’s rim will put the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum into historical and geographical perspective.
Be aware that Vesuvius is a volcano that should be taken seriously. It has been the location of some of Europe’s most notable volcanic eruptions. It is currently the only active volcano in that region. The last eruption occurred during World War II.
Due to the possibility of a life-threatening event, the Italian government monitors the situation and has designed an evacuation plan. Some consider Vesuvius to be Europe’s time bomb while millions of people happily live in the Naples’ metro area without any fears.
Tourists can find numerous ways to reach the entrance to the Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio (Vesuvius National Park). Check the park website for current entrance fees. From the drop off point, it is an uphill hike to the summit. Some may find the initial section to be steep.
On the way to the crater’s rim, there are a couple of small stores that sell refreshments and souvenirs.
On a clear day, one can look into the crater and also enjoy views of Naples, the Bay of Naples, and Pompeii. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, enjoy the adventure and work around the less than optimal photos. The low-lying clouds and mist will add character to your pictures.
Sometimes the cloud cover will totally obstruct the view. Weather patterns can move quickly. Don’t fret. It’s possible to capture a glimpse of the crater. Mother Nature needs to cooperate and you might need to be patient.
If Time Allows
Go to Pompeii, Herculaneum, or both. These UNESCO archeological sites provide an understanding of Roman culture and history. Visitors with less time should consider Herculaneum.
Before You Go
Be aware that mountain terrains oftentimes have unpredictable weather patterns. It can snow and sleet in the fall and spring. Be prepared for changing conditions as well a steep terrain that may become slippery with precipitation.
Remember to bring a lined water repellant jacket, a hat for sunny and rainy days, sturdy shoes for the steep terrain, sunglasses, and ample water. Some may also want to bring binoculars to get a better view of the surrounding area. A camera is essential.
THE ABOVE ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MARCH 6, 2016. IT IS BEING REPOSTED ON THIS SITE BECAUSE THE EXAMINER SITE SHUT DOWN IN JULY, 2016. SOME PARTS OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HAVE BEEN UPDATED AND THE ORIGINAL SLIDE SHOW HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
Sandra Bornstein is a freelance travel writer. She shares her travel experiences and recommendations on this blog and on other websites—One Travel: Going Places, Cheapoair.com Miles Away Travel Blog, We Said Go Travel, Mom It Forward, Boulder Jewish News, and Family Circle.
Sandra is the author of MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. This memoir highlights Sandra’s living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandra is married and has four adult sons.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and a Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.