The Vesuvio, a 1281 meters giants dominating Naples and its province; it is sleeping since 1944 but sooner or later it will wake up.
The scientist say that the longer it sleeps the worst will be its awake, but besides being one of the most dangerous volcanos in the world, it is maybe the best monitored, thanks to an important observatory.
The area of Vesuvio is an ever since high seismic activity place (400.000 years) but the most famous and destructive eruption was in 79 a.c., it modified the volcano’s and the surrounding places’ morphology, provoking the destruction of Ercolano, Pompei, Oplontis and Stabia, whose ruins, buried under pumice’s layers, have been brought to light again starting from the XVIII century under the dynasty of Borbone during the Reign of Naples.
Others famous eruptions were in 1632 and 1944, the latter has been supported by many images, thanks to Istituto Luce.
Up to 79 a.c. the Vesuvio was part of a unique volcanic building together with Mount Somma; after the eruption of 79a.c., this division happened; the area separating the Mount Somma from Vesuvio is called Valle del Gigante ( divided in Atrio del Cavallo on south and Valle dell’Inferno on north).
In 1995 the Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio authority was born to defend and enhance it; well made and full of information.
It takes an hour from Naples, exit Portici-Ercolano, several entrances, the best one is that leaving from Gran Cono square (1000 meters high) in half an hour you reach the top where you can admire one of the best view in the world, on the left there is the Sorrento Cost with Capri and Mount Faito and in front the Gulf of Naples with Ischia and Procida islands, and in case of a bright day you can see also Procida and Ventotene.
To climb the Vesuvio it is necessary to wear comfortable and warm clothing (there is mud and stones and is easy to slip, so the shoes are very important) on the top it is very cold. Not to forget that, especially when the weather is bad, the Vesuvio can also be a dangerous mountain; several dramatic episodes happened there, so it takes attention.
For thiose who want to sleep or eat there:
Restaurant in Ercolano: Viva lo Re (very good kitchen and nice place)
Pub in Portici: The Black Hole (very good sandwiches and amazing offering of beers ; the terrace is beautiful also to drink an aperitif)
Restaurant in Torre del Greco: Taverna ‘e Mare (very fresh fish and beautiful terrace)
Ice creams in Portici: Mennella (natural flavors)
B & B in Ercolano: Herculaneum (on the road to Vesuvio and in fact you can enjoy a memorable view)
B & B in Ercolano: Golden Mile (brand new, very neat, well managed, only 3 minutes walking from the excavation’s entrance.