When in Naples and Pompeii you will be able to watch the Vesuvius (unfortunately only from apart).
Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, about 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is one of several volcanoes which form the Campanian volcanic arc. Vesuvius consists of a large cone partially encircled by the steep rim of a summit caldera caused by the collapse of an earlier and originally much higher structure.
Mount Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. That eruption spawned a deadly cloud of stones, ash and fumes to a height of 20.5 miles, spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second.
You can watch my 41 sec Video Vesuvius out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
I confess I was praying for the Vesuvius not to erupt while I was in there. :) Yes I know it may be a silly thought but it is really near from Pompeii that makes you think in all the horror Pompeians lived; remember it has erupted many times since and is today regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world so that makes me think what would happen if it erupts again... I find volcanos interesting but I don't like them and I find scary to live near one, but happens that I live near one in Mexico called Popocatepetl and unfortunately it is an active volcano :( :(
Before you start to explore the ruins here, pause for a while to remember what was once here and how it was destroyed. This was once a large and wealthy city, with a population of around 20,000, and all the necessities of Roman life – temples, markets, theatres, shops, public baths, taverns and of course numerous houses. Despite the earlier warning of an earthquake in 62 AD, its people must have gone about their lives blissfully unaware of the threat that loomed over them. When Vesuvius erupted on the morning of August 24th 79 AD, a great noise was heard, and a mushroom-shaped cloud of gas and volcanic rock rose high in the air, darkening the sky. A shower of burning cinders and rock fragments covered the city. It lasted until the next day, caving in roofs and claiming its first victims. The people tried to take shelter in the houses or hoped to escape by walking on top of the layers of pumice stones constantly being formed, which by this point were more than 2 meters deep. But at dawn on August 25, a violent explosion of toxic gases and burning cinders devastated the city. It infiltrated everything, taking those who were trying to flee by surprise and making every form of defence vain. A shower of very fine ash was deposited everywhere to a depth of more than six meters, enveloping everything and adhering to the forms of the bodies and even the folds of their clothes.
When, two days later, the eruption finally ceased, the entire area had changed, with a blanket of white ash covering everything. The eruption had changed the course of the Sarno River and raised the sea beach, so that Pompeii was now neither on the river nor adjacent to the coast. The whole city was declared off limits, to protect the property of the survivors, and was never rebuilt. In fact the city was largely forgotten until its re-discovery in 1748.
Fondest memory: The Roman author, Pliny the Younger, witnessed the eruption and wrote a description of it which I found on a website and included on my Herculaneum page. It is largely thanks to him that today we know so much about what happened.
On your way to Pompeï, it is strictly to be recommended to visit the Vesuvio volcano first. At this way you can get a picture of the effect AND the cause of the drama that took place so many years ago. For about € 5,- you can get a guided visit to the top.
On the top you can look into the crater and you can see the damp coming out of the sides of it. It´s fascinating to see the Vesuvio being the only mountain in all the region being totally dry.
The Forum with Mt Vesuvias in the background...what a view!!!!
I really enjoyed walking around the forum area...maybe it is because we could see the volcano which destroyed Pompei from there!?
I love this photo, it's one of my favourites from our trip to Europe!
Favorite thing: Mt. Vesuvio, seen in the background, is responsible for the destruction of Pompei in 79 a.d., and still stands silent today. It was at one time much larger, but is still an active volcano, and may erupt again one day. This picture was taken from within Pompei.
Favorite thing: No, I didn't hike to Vesuvius, I borrowed this photo. I don't know if that is a cloud hanging over this sleeping giant or if it's just letting off steam!