Hannah Drake

Mount Vesuvius

TravelHannah DrakeComment

We decided to drive back to Pompeii one day to visit Mount Vesuvius since we didn’t really have any other concrete plans for our time on the coast and it wasn’t too far of a drive. We quickly figured out that we should have put a little more planning into it. We had a late start to the day, so we decided to get lunch before heading up the volcano. We went back to the same place we ate after Pompeii, Le Delizie, because that €5 deal for a pizza and a Coke was too good to pass up! While Luke was waiting for the food to come, I decided to head down the road to the tour place to get our tickets, only to discover the final bus of the day left in something like 10 minutes because there was a special event up there that evening, I think. I got the tickets for the bus and ran back down the street to tell Luke. The restaurant was great and put our pizzas in boxes so we could eat them on the bus.

Unfortunately I can’t remember who we booked the bus with. It was a tourism store right across from one of the entrances to Pompeii, but it seemed like there were a lot of different options. They drove us up the mountain to the start of the trail, where we had to hike the rest.

It was probably about a mile hike up to the opening of the volcano and I personally was not prepared for it. At least I was wearing sneakers, but I wasn’t mentally prepared and don’t usually hike in a collared shirt! Luke was patient with me being a bit of weenie about the hike.

But when we got to the top, it was worth it! It was a bit of a hazy day, but you could still see the Bay of Naples and the surrounding cities. We tried to spot the ruins of Pompeii, but we never got any confirmation that our guess was right.

It was absolutely mind boggling staring into the crater left behind from the eruption nearly two thousand years ago! There was some growth in and around the gaping hole in the earth, but it was also literally still steaming. It was just incredible.

Mount Vesuvius remains one of the deadliest active volcanoes in the world due to the number of people (600,000) who live in its red zone. The Italian government has evacuation plans in case of another eruption and anticipates about two weeks notice to evacuate the area. Efforts have been made to reduce the number of people who live in the area, including demolishing illegally built buildings and declaring a national park around the base of the volcano. The last eruption was in 1944, but the last evacuation was in 1984 when an eruption never occurred. Scientist don’t anticipate there will be an eruption as wide-reaching or as dangerous as the eruption that buried Pompeii.

We couldn’t spend a ton of time at the top because it closed early that day, but we tried to let it all soak in. We got dropped off at the other entrance of Pompeii, so we got to walk through the town a bit on the way back to the car. Of course we had to stop for gelato at Pasticceria De Vivo, which was far and away the best gelato we had in all of Italy. (Sure, maybe that was because we were hot and tired, but damn it was good.)

WHAT TO WEAR AT MOUNT VESUVIUS

I decided to include this section for any ladies planning a trip to Italy in the late summer or early autumn. Mount Vesuvius is going to be an active day. You’re going to sweat and you’re probably going to get dirty climbing a volcano. (Even though the hike it’s too strenuous.) Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes and shoes.

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