Mount Vesuvius is a volcanic mountain (known as a stratovolcano) situated on the Gulf of Naples around six miles east of the city. One of the most interesting facts about Mount Vesuvius is that it is the only volcano on the entirety of the European mainland that has exploded in the course of the past 100 years. Although this formidable stratovolcano has erupted over 50 times over the course of its long history, the explosion for which it is best known happened in 79 AD when it destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Both of the cities were lost to humanity until nearly 1,600 years later when serious excavation began to take place. Today, the volcano is not erupting and you are even able to climb Mount Vesuvius and witness this incredible wonder of nature in all of her glory. The Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio is certainly an attraction near Naples that you should consider putting near the top of your list for places to see. Together with the Roman ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as attractions in the city like the Piazza del Plebiscito and the Castel dell'Ovo, it is a must see.
The explosion of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD completely obliterated the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Centuries later, scientists and archaeologists began to uncover the ruins of these cities, which in many ways were nearly perfectly preserved. The molten ash and mud virtually petrified and preserved everything in its path, including people, animals, house wares, stoneworks, scrolls, mosaics, and much more. Visitors can see the preserved buildings that are so thoroughly undisturbed that it is hard to remember they are almost 2,000 years old.
If you are really interested in exploring Mount Vesuvius, you should definitely consider climbing it, but you should also round out the picture by checking out the ruins at Herculaneum and Pompeii. These places provide evidence of the real toll that the volcano took when it erupted in 79 AD. The facts about Mount Vesuvius tell us that the two settlements were so thoroughly obliterated and covered with stone and ash, that they were mostly forgotten about until someone digging a well on the site of Herculaneum discovered them.
If you wish to climb Mount Vesuvius, there are several things that you should be prepared for. It is only about 4,100 feet tall, so anyone in decent shape should be able to make the trek without too much problem. Wear the right shoes, whether athletic shoes with gripping rubber souls or hiking boots, as the gravel trails are dusty and slick along the fourteen-percent incline. Because the weather conditions at the top of Mount Vesuvius can be unpredictable, it is generally a good idea to bring at least a layer or light jacket along with you. Also, bring your sunscreen with you no matter which season.
You can reach Mount Vesuvius by bus or car. Buses generally depart from the piazza in front of the Herculaneum station (Circumvesuviana line). Buses depart for Mount Vesuvius approximately every hour until 2 p.m. Return buses schedule their departure from approximately 11 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. It is also to drive to the Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio. The facts about Mount Vesuvius never fail to impress. It has been the source of worship, dread, and admiration, depending on the circumstances and era, for centuries on end.