How to visit Mount Vesuvius independently

Vesuvius, together with Etna and Stromboli, is one of the three active volcanoes in Italy.

It is considered one of the symbols of the city of Naples, although in reality it is a real scarecrow for those who live in its immediate vicinity: its presumed first eruption, which occurred in the very distant 79 d. C., destroyed Pompeii, Herculaneum and the ancient cities of Stabiae and Oplontis. Today, it is still considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Europe due to its explosive eruptions.

Nevertheless, it is the favorite destination of many visitors from all over the world. Let's see then, through the steps of the following guide, how and why to visit Vesuvius
Mt Vesuvius


Monte Somma

The crater of Vesuvius today has a diameter that measures about 700 meters, a circumference of about 12 kilometers and a depth of 200 meters. In reality, it is a formation that includes two volcanoes: the Monte Somma (dormant) and the Vesuvius (Gran Cono). Since 1995, Vesuvius is a national park and you can walk up to its summit.
The best known and tourist route to follow on Mount Vesuvius is that of the Gran Cono, which leads through a steep path to the mouth of the crater. The asphalted road leads to about 200 meters from the top; from that point on, going along a spiral walkway around the mountain you can reach the crater.

 

Touristic guides

You can find volcanological guides, recognizable thanks to the gray / yellow suits, giving technical information and historical explanations, answering all questions and curiosities.
The explanation of the guides lasts about fifteen minutes, so after that you have plenty of time to enjoy the view of Naples and its surroundings, take pictures and buy lava stone souvenirs in the small shops present. You can then continue with the walk around the other half of the ring that surrounds the mouth of the crater.

Crater of Mt Vesuvius

 

The Path

The path can be a little steep, but there is a handrail and sticks can be purchased. Closed slip-resistant shoes are recommended because the path can be full of stones. It is a good idea to equip yourself with a windbreaker, hat and sun glasses and water bottle. Once at the top you can have a snack in the rest area with wooden benches.
The climb to the top costs about 10 euro. It is advisable to visit Vesuvius on working days, because on the weekends it is possible to find many organized groups and this can lead to traffic jams.

How to get to Vesuvius?

Here are the timetables of the EAV bus (the public transport line) that connects the Archeological site of Pompei with the summit of Vesuvius.
The journey takes about 50 minutes and the ticket costs € 2.70.
                            
Piazza Anfiteatro  8.00 8.50 9.40 10.30 11.20 12.10 13.00 13.50 14.40 15.30
Villa dei Misteri     8.05 8.55  9.45 10.35 11.25 12.15 13.05 13.55 14.45 15.35
Porta Marina        8.08 8.58  9.48 10.38 11.28 12.18 13.08 13.58 14.48 15.38
Vesuvio                8.55 9.45 10.35 11.25 12.15 13.05 13.55 14.45 15.35 16.25


Mt Vesuvius seen from Naples