We left Vico Equense for Rome, but we hoped to accomplish one more thing on the way. Mt. Vesuvius, a dominant feature near us for several days as we swam and as we toured Pompeii- we wanted to climb it. This may not be as adventurous as it sounds, since hundreds do it every day and there is an entrance fee and souvenir kiosks at the top, but we were excited. And the destroyer of Pompeii did not disappoint.
Here are some logistics for independent travelers. We drove and parked where directed. It costs 5€ and it’s a 20-minute walk to the park entrance. You can opt to take a van (2€ r/t) to avoid this walk. We opted to walk (road and view of other hills above). These vans and also tour buses are permitted to get closer to the entrance, and they pass you as you walk up the road to the entrance, but you are in good company as many people choose to walk. The views are nice, and many wildflower were blooming. When we reached the ticket booth, we were dismayed that there was a steep 10€ entrance fee for everyone over 120 cm. so we had to pay full price for the kids. Also, there were no free drinking water or bathrooms. We still would have gone knowing these things, but we would have brought more water (I hate buying bottled water! I would gladly pay to fill our bottles but we weren’t given the choice.) and we wouldn’t have that unwelcome surprise at the fees.
It is absolutely magnificent up there. The walk took maybe 40 minutes with pauses to rest and admire the views. Small children and elders were part of the crowd; it is uphill but not a difficult hike. Once at the top, one can walk maybe less than halfway around the crater on the path. There are different things to see as you follow the path. Steam was coming from rocks in one small area. Monitoring devices are also apparent, lest you forget that this is the volcano that ended thousands of lives and created the Pompeii ruins. Apparently it has erupted 30 times since 79 AD, most recently in 1944. Some say it is due for another eruption.
Shrine and steaming rocks below:
Walking around and looking down at the crater is mesmerizing. There is gravel and some trees growing at bottom of crater. The rock face of the crater wall changes in the changing light. The light changes constantly, or it did the day we were there due to clouds moving swiftly above and through us as we looked at the magnificent crater and views of the coastline. We walked back down after a time (below) and got back into the car for the drive to Rome.
I think it was under three hours. Coming from the Amalfi coast and heading for Rome, it is not out of the way to go to Mt. Vesuvius. We spent 3-4 hours at the mountain which was plenty of time. Reaching Rome, we found our rental apartment (above, our nicest yet! 3 bathrooms gorgeous kitchen and deck, thanks for finding it AR!) and had a little tour by car before we had to return it. We saw the Colosseum, Trajan’s column, Circus Maximus, and a few other things visible from the car. We would walk around plenty the next couple of days!