Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano in continental Europe. It’s infamous for destroying the Roman city of Pompeii. Find out more with Venice Events!
About Mount Vesuvius
Located by the Bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano in continental Europe. It’s infamous for destroying the Roman city of Pompeii, and to this day, it’s a popular tourist destination. The view from its peak is spectacular indeed, and you can see out over Naples, and parts of the Apennine mountains too.
For visitors on an Italy trip to the area, here’s the Venice Events guide to Mount Vesuvius. This dormant giant slumbers, but its story is certainly an active one…
Mount Vesuvius overlooks the Bay of Naples
The Story of Pompeii
After centuries of sitting dormant, Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. The volcano destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in a catastrophic eruption that lasted 24 hours and killed around 16,000 people.
Now, you can visit the ruin of Pompeii. The city is in effect frozen in time due to the ash and pumice from the explosion. In the 1700s, when explorers examined the remains of Pompeii, they found that much of the city had been preserved including the skeletons of many of the citizens. This has provided visitors and historians alike with a glimpse of what it was like to live during Roman times.
Mount Vesuvius seen in the background from the ruins of Pompeii, the City Vesuvius destroyed in 79AD
Hiking Mount Vesuvius
Perhaps the best way to learn about Mount Vesuvius is by hiking to its summit. This unique experience lets you see the scale of this sublime Italian icon. Although the climb is hard going at times, the view is worth the effort. The hike takes about 30 minutes, and it’s quite steep to begin with, but levels out as you near the top.
You’ll be able to see into the volcanoes’ crater and if you look carefully you’ll likely see some steam. Don’t expect bubbling lava lakes. Instead you’ll find a moon like landscape, pockmarked with craters. This lunar landscape is notably different to the type of countryside you’ll be used to seeing in Italy.
On a clear day, looking out from Mount Vesuvius, you’ll see the city of Naples, the Bay of Naples, parts of the Apennine Mountains, and you can see Pompeii beneath you, too. From this perspective, with Italy spread out below you like a carpet, with its cities, towns, and beautiful coastline, you can see why Mount Vesuvius is so venerated. Marvel at the view from the top of Mount Vesuvius, it’s truly breath-taking.
Mount Vesuvius National Park
In 1995 the volcano and the surrounding area was designated as a national park. This has led to the creation of plenty of nature trails, and there’s a focus on preserving local culture and indigenous plant life.There are now nine separate hiking trails to pick from, each one circling the volcano. Take a day out and explore this wonderful part of Italy; full of history, beautiful verdant countryside, and stark, rocky, lunar-like landscapes.
You can explore the National Parks surrounding Vesuvius (Image Source: Wikipedia)
So, turn your next Italian vacation into an adventure you’ll remember. Hike to the top of Europe’s only active volcano, experience the sheer scale of this towering Italian landmark, and drink in this unique view of Italy. Find out more with Venice Events.