Vesuvius - Il Vesuvio, Naples
We drove and parked near the top of Mount Vesuvius and took a shuttle bus to the path to the top. The path winds back on itself a couple of times and then there is a straight ascent to the crater viewing point (takes about 20 mins to half an hour to get there, but you need to be reasonably fit. Great views of Naples. The volcano crater is massive, filled with erosion from the sides and a few misguided shrubs. You can walk further around for a different view. My daughter was expecting smoke, lava and maybe Gollum grasping for the one true ring, hence was somewhat disappointed, however I was glad it was reassuringly lacking in this respect. Watch out for the souvenir stalls near the entrance. Don't be tempted to buy any trilobite 'fossils' - they're all fake, made from resin.
Dominating Naples and its large bay, Monte Vesuvio (Mount Vesuvius) is a paradox. For a city built in its shadows, the humpbacked volcano is part of its culture and a source of fascination, no less than the Pyramids are to Cairo and the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. A testament to its importance in the psyche of Neapolitans are the countless shops and restaurants around the world named Vesuvio by Neapolitan immigrants. Yet with its history of frequent eruptions and notoriety for destroying Pompeii in 79 AD, Vesuvio remains a constant threat. It is hard to forget that as the only volcano in mainland Europe to have erupted in the past century, Vesuvio could suddenly cause headlines. In Naples, the volcano can be admired from Vomero and along the seashore.
Everywhere you go in Naples and Sorrento Vesuvius just sits there a brooding presence, dominating the entire area. It may look benign now but that is only temporary, one day it will erupt again and we all know the consequences of such an event.
So there it sits we might as well go to the top and check out the sleeping giant.
A good half day trip with Herculaneum for the rest of the day. They are both served by the same station.
We took a trip from the tourist office in the square in front of the station but I believe buses are also possible. As ever I caution against taxis.
The walk to the top is fairly steep, and not for the infirm, but anyone in reasonable health should cope. It took around 2 hours from where you are dropped.
We were blessed with low cloud so views were restricted but nevertheless enjoyed the trip.
It's an interesting "hike". You take a bus from either Herculaneum or Pompei and it takes you almost to the top (with a stop at a tourist shop). Then you hike for about 30 minutes to the rim. It's fun to say you have been on top of Vesuvius. But the trail itself is a little sad. There are tourist stands along the trail and garbage litter the road and trail.
Getting there: The buses from Pompei were apparently more frequent but more crowded. The Herculaneum is not as frequent but less crowded. We took the bus from Herculaneum (which was later than scheduled) and there was one other couple on the bus. The couple tried to go 2 days earlier but the bus never showed up. They were guessing the weather on top wasn't good so the buses decided not to do the route. Also, you don't have to return to Herculaneum. You can take the bus that goes back to Pompeii but it will be crowded.
Vesuvius ...... I think almost everyone recognizes the name even if they don't know where it actually is or the history behind it. It's the epitome of "the big one" - the volcanoe that blew it's top and snuffed out the lives of scores and scores of people. Time has passed, but the memories of the tragic event which destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum (along with many others) have lasted over the eons.
Of course the volcanoe is still standing there and the people who live in it's shadow have to be mindful of the fact that one day it may decide to make a big bang once again.
Until then, intrepid travelers such as myself can't help but to make a trek up to the top of the cone and have a look down into the mouth of the beast. For now, it's pretty calm. Only a few wisps of smoke steaming out of a little crack from the side of the crater. Looking around, you can enjoy a great view of the Amalfi Coast and some of the beautiful islands out in the sea.
Hiking up to the top of the crater from the Vesuvius parking lot is liitle more than a brisk, 20 minute stroll (for people in good physical condition), so don't come expecting to need trekking poles or anything, though you might need a jacket when you get up to the top.
If you're on a daily UNICO ticket in Naples (unlimited transport rides), take the funicular up the hill in Naples to catch some overview of the entire city. If you're in the area of Galleria Umberto, the funicular station Augusteo in the vicinity, along the shopping street there. I went up to Petraio to see some views, even though they may not be fantastic as the views from Castel Sant'Elmo. There's no direct transport to this castle from most places in the city, so getting to Petraio is kind of a quicker option. However when you are on that street out from the train station, i should tell you there is nothing much to venture out. It's just residential street that goes uphill and long and windey.... So going onward in your journey is back into the same station. Once again i'd only recommend this if you're on a daily UNICO transport ticket because of the unlimited rides!
Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio, has been established with the purpose to safeguard the values of the territory. The Park was also born from the need to defend the most famous volcano in the world: Vesuvius, a typical example of fence volcano consisting of an external truncated cone, the extinct Mt. Somma, with a crateric perimeter which has been mainly destroyed and in which there is a smaller cone represented by Vesuvius, which is still active, and divided from the former by a depression called Valle del Gigante, a part of the ancient caldera where subsequently, probably during the 79 AD eruption, the Gran Cono or Vesuvius arose. From the naturalistic point of view, the park is particolarly rich and interesting; besides under the mineralogical profile, it is famous to be one of the richest territories of mineral of the planet.
They are known well 906 vegetable kinds for the complex volcanic Sum-Vesuvius, among these they show up the Birch tree, the Neapolitan Ontano, the Elicriso litoreo, the red Valerian, over twenty kind of orchids, a lot of plants of the Mediterranean stain. Also the fauna is particularly rich. The Park occupies a surface of 8.482 hectares and it interests the territory of 13 Communes: Ercolano, Torre del Greco, Trecase, Boscoreale, Boscotrecase, Terzigno, San Giuseppe Vesuviano, Sant'Anastasia, Ottaviano, Somma Vesuviana, Pollena Trocchia, Massa di Somma, San Sebastiano al Vesuvio.
The national Park of the Vesuvius is endowed with a net of 15 paths, of which nine already envoys in safety and prepared;
every path is individualized by a color that recalls a characteristic specification of the layout.
The logic that is followed has been that to differentiate on the base of the landscape and natural values the typologies of paths.
Events: "Spring in the Park" each year offer a rich calendar of interesting appointments to discover traditions, culture, and local typical aspects. For further information:
Tel. 081/7710939 - Fax 081/7718215.
[Egicom05 - Naples Eyes]
The Vesuvius rank among the most explored and well known volcanoes on earth. On clear days one can see the silhouette of the gigantic mountains of the volcano from the whole Bay of Naples.
The original volcano was probably destroyed by its eruption 79 A.D. when the streams of lava buried Pompeji and Herculanum.
The last eruption took place in March 1944 where a number of villages were destroyed. Since then, the volcano has no longer erupted, although frequent seismic phenomena demonstrate that it is a dormant volcano. In the past, the volcano has been object of careful studies dealing with the eruption forecasting, studies which are still carried out today and which do not foresee any sudden awakening. The Volcanological Observatory belongs not only the history of the volcano, but also to the world volcanology; it is situated in the observatory zone in the high part of the Town of Ercolano, within the Park's territory. It is easy to reach it by following the provincial road climbing to the crater and turning right at the Hotel Eremo.
The incredible crater (Gran Cono) of the Vesuvius of nowadays has a diameter of 700m, a circumference of 12km and is 200m deep. In reality the volcano system, in general called the Vesuvius, comprises two volcanoes: The Monte Somma (dormant) and the Vesuvius (Gran Cono).
Nowadays the Vesuvius is a very popular tourist attraction, even though know one knows when it will again awake from its sleep. New volcano erruptions can be predicted by volcanologists two weeks in advance.
The ascent to the edge of the crater costs ca. 6 Euro. It closes between 15 and 18 hours depending on the season. It is recommendable to visit the Vesuvius on working days, as locals like to visit it on weekends and this can lead to traffic jams.
There is also the Osservatorio Vulcanologico Vesuviano. Via dell'Osservatorio - Ercolano (visits to the Museum on appointment) Tel. 081/5832111
[Egicom05 - Sun City]
Vesuvius is the only active volcano in continental Europe. From the top you have a amazing view of hole Naples. If you are plannig to climb on this volcano I must to disappointed you because it not possible to climb afoot, only by buses or jeeps. The last 200 meteres you will able to climb right on the top.
It have shape like bowl with big and deep hole in the middle. The volcano looks like volcanos in some movie. On some parts of the whelps you can see smoke.
In the it’s far history this volcano had abolished towns such as Pompei and Herculaneum.
After the last eruption in 1944, a vast crater was formed at the peak, covered with ash, and the plume of smoke which had become part of the classic imagery of Vesuvius disappeared.
If you are in Naples dont miss to visit Vesuvius.
This was the only times I've been speechless when I visited Pompeii and walked up the Volcano Vesuvius. If you are in the vacinity of Napoli you must visit. At Vesuvius its the sheer danger of the live volcano but its so amazing, the smell, the beauty. I felt so at ease up there, so calm. And Pompeii well its just like being in a history story... you will laugh at me unless you have been there. I will go back there as soon as I can because there is so much I still haven't seen.
If you stand on the Riviera di Chiaia, the dusty palm-fringed bayfront promenade, your eyes will inevitably be drawn to Vesuvius, looming across the bay. It does not have the majesty of Mount Fuji or the ominous menace of Mount Etna but stands, half guard, half guardian, watching over the city. Vesuvius is not extinct. Like a surly guest at a wedding feast, it sometimes rumbles a warning. The last time was in 1944.
Steep hike. Not long. Can get up and down in less than an hour. We were there in October, it was very cold on the mountain. Its an active volcano. You can see steam coming out of spots.
The climb up the vulcano is certainly worthwhile. Just make sure you do it on a clear day.
As for the photo, you need to use your imagination...the crater is to your right...
I didn't get to do this, but I imagine it would be pretty cool to climb Vesuvius. You can take a tour. But be careful!
Climb the Vesuvius. the views you get over the bay are marvellous. And on the top you are rewarded by a look into the crater...