31 01 2012

Vesuvius looms over the scene of its destruction - the town square at Pompeii

No visit to Pompeii would be complete without visiting the origin of the destruction – the volcano, Mount Vesuvius.

Vesuvius is located approximately 11km from Pompeii and is clearly visible looming over the town from the market square. It is considered to be an active volcano, well over-due another eruption, but currently lies dormant. And lucky too – the very populous city of Naples is also on the slopes and adjacent to Vesuvius.

Pictures of Vesuvius found in the ruins of Pompeii show it to be a pointed mountain with heavy forests all over it. This is taken to indicate that it had probably been dormant for some time prior to its famous 79AD eruption which blew the top off the mountain, gassed and then buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Vesuvius is a volcano inside a volcano. Standing at the top adjacent to the crater, a much larger crater is visible around the edges. Many lava flows from previous centuries are also visible on the slopes as unvegetated areas.

The climb to the top is very steep on soft gravel pathways – not recommended for those with cardio, pulmonary or mobility issues. When we reached the top it started raining – sweet relief for those of us who are extremely unfit (me). The crater itself is cordoned off and is extremely steep, dropping a couple of hundred metres. A small wisp of smoke was rising from one side of the crater, near the top.

one of the plaster replicas at Pompeii. They were gassed, then their bodies encased in ash. When the ashes were dug out about 200 years ago, plaster was poured into the cavities in the ash and replicas of the bodies of humans and animals - and whole families - were found.

view of the City of Naples from the top of Vesuvius. Hope they have an evacuation plan and plenty of warning! The brown area without foliage in the middle of the photo is previous lava flows

detail of the rock inside the crater

vertical crater wall

view of the upper section of the path that winds around Vesuvius - it's steeper than it looks

a wisp of smoke rising from the crater wall

the rim of the outer crater that Vesuvius sits within

this section of the outer crater is known as The Man - because it looks like a face in profile

If you liked this post, you might also like:
A childhood dream (Pompeii)
Sorrento – an after-thought




8 responses

31 01 2012
Vesuvius | Five-star backpacker |

[…] background-position: 50% 0px; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } – Today, 1:13 […]

31 01 2012
Andrew Petcher

Great picturtes that reminded me of my climb to the top of the crater in 1976 – thanks for the memory nudge!

31 01 2012

Thanks – I don’t suppose it has changed too much since 1976 – we were told that a few decades earlier there was a chairlift that took people up the mountain….I think it was discontinued for safety reasons. The view across Naples and the Bay is quite spectacular (but I wouldn’t want to live that close to an active volcano).

4 02 2012


4 02 2012
Janet Devlin

as opposed to my last response to your travel post (Galleries Lafeyette) I have fond memories of climbing Vesuvius and going to Pompeii

4 02 2012

It is a pretty amazing place. Next time I go, I want to see Herculaneum as well. And brave Naples to see the artifacts in the museum.

5 02 2012
More Pompeii photos « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] If you liked this post, you might also like: A childhood dream (Pompeii) Sorrento – an after-thought Vesuvius […]

5 02 2012
The Amalfi Coast « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] Pompeii ph… on More Pompeii photosMore Pompeii photos … on Vesuvius Copyright Reserved Copyright is reserved on all posts and content on this blog, unless specifically […]

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