To climb to the summit of Vesuvius via Ercolano, allow around three hours. The atmosphere at the top is one of unusual beauty, with dark slopes almost devoid of vegetation beneath the cone of the only active volcano in Europe, and a stunning view that stretches from the Sorrento Peninsula to Cape Posillipo. Go there at dawn or dusk and your tiring efforts will be rewarded by the stirring sights that unfold below you. The area around the volcano, which also encompasses the archaeological sites of Pompeii, Ercolano, Oplontis, and Miglio d'Oro, is part of the Vesuvius National Park, which was created in 1991 and is registered as part of Unesco's 'Global Network of Biosphere Reserves'.
Mount Vesuvius is located in a nature park, still active, its last eruption was in 1944.© Tatiana Belova / 123RF
Located in the inner part of the Gulf of Naples, Vesuvius is about ten kilometers from the city.© Lachris77 / 123RF
At an altitude of 1,287 metres, the top of Vesuvius is often covered with snow in winter.© GRAPHICOBSESSION
It is possible to hike up to the crater to enjoy a beautiful view of the bay of Naples.© Miroslav Pinkava / 123RF
Vesuvius and its eruptions are immortalized in many paintings from the seventeenth century.© Turismo Campania