Telling someone you’ve climbed a volcano is a surefire way to impress them. Following up by saying you’ve done it 3 times is pretty badass!
Yes, this would be my third time climbing Mt. Vesuvius, the volcano famous for destroying the city of Pompeii in 79 AD. I wish I could tell you it gets easier each time. But, it doesn’t.
There used to be a funicular that you could ride up to the volcano. You were even able to walk down into the crater. Unfortunately (?) due to the volcanic eruptions in 1906 and 1944, the funicular was destroyed and not rebuilt. I can’t imagine it was that safe anyway! And you are no longer able to walk down into the crater, which also was probably not the safest idea, as there are holes all over releasing volcanic smoke and fumes. Yea…pretty cool stuff!
You will see a wealth of interesting people when you arrive at the base of the mountain. My favorite are the girls in high heels. Do you know you’re here to climb a volcano? Good luck. There are some clothing and food vendors, as well as places to sit if you are not climbing.
Then begins your trek. It is extremely sandy, which makes it hard for your feet to grasp much of anything. There are railings in some parts, which I used often to pause and catch my breath. But basically you climb upwards in one direction, then there will be a brief landing, and you continue your climb in the other direction. A zigzag pattern of sorts.
You’ll see pretty amazing views of Naples on your way up.
When you reach the top, there are numerous views inside the crater.
As I mentioned earlier, you can see the smoke rising in parts, as Mt. Vesuvius is still an active volcano.
It’s quite chilly at the top, as you are literally in the clouds!
Check out this picture from my grandmother’s balcony looking out at the top of Mt. Vesuvius – as I said…literally in the clouds!
It’s freaken hard, but totally worth it. You’ll have some serious bragging rights and probably not meet many other people in the world who can say they’ve climbed a volcano! And remember, wear sneakers for the journey.