Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii: A Trip Back in Time

Mt. Vesuvius is best known for the horrific eruption in 79 AD that destroyed Pompeii. Today, it draws visitors from around the world. People that want to climb to the top of the volcano to see the massive crater for themselves and then stroll through the ruins of Pompeii, a once bustling Roman city. Visitors that want the full experience should plan to spend at least one entire day — half at Mt. Vesuvius and half at Pompeii. Don’t miss your chance to see one of the top tourist attractions in all of Italy!

Why go to Mt. Vesuvius?

  • Getting there is easy from Naples. Visitors can take a bus, up the winding countryside, to within 200 meters of the top of the mountain. The bus trip will take approximately 35 minutes. Also, many European cruise ships stop in Naples and offer Mt. Vesuvius as an excursion option.
  • The entrance fee is nominal. Currently, it costs 6.50 euros to climb the mountain.
  • It’s great exercise. Yes, the bus gets you close but the path to the top is long and winding. Wear sensible walking shoes and “rent” a walking stick from the vendors at the base of the path. The walk to the top will take the average person 20-30 minutes to complete.
  • The views are outstanding. The path may be long but every turn exposes another awe-inspiring sight. Visitors can see Pompeii and Naples from above and bask in the beauty of the Bay of Naples.
  • There is a sense of danger. While it has not erupted since 1944, Mt. Vesuvius is still an active volcano. But don’t worry, volcanologists are always studying this volcano so it is perfectly safe for visitors.
  • Witness the beast that caused the destruction. See fumes rising from the crater and a landscape scarred by volcanic ash and lava.
  • Escape the summer heat. The air at the top of the mountain is noticeably cooler than the base of the mountain, as in 20-30 degrees cooler. Wear long pants and carry a sweatshirt, or purchase one from the vendors at the base or at the top.

Why go to Pompeii?

  • Experience history. This city was remarkably preserved under the layers of ash. Visitors can truly see how people lived 2000 years ago.
  • It is a relatively cheap attraction. Visitors can enter Pompeii for 11 euros.
  • Tour guides are available. Many companies offer guided tours of the city. The guide can tell stories and share facts about different parts of the city. Some guides can be hired on the spot for approximately 100 euros. Visitors may want to pair up with other groups to cut costs.
  • Visitors can tour on their own. Maps and brochures are available for people who want to wander the streets at their own pace. Pompeii was a truly cosmopolitan city for its time. Special landmarks and interesting views are easy to find.
  • Pompeii has a naughty side. Brothels were an important part of this ancient culture and the evidence is still there for those who want to look.
  • There are souvenirs galore. Just outside the gates of Pompeii are shops full of t-shirts and trinkets to remember your trip.
  • The city of Pompei (yes, only one “i”) is close by. Visitors that wish to stay closer to the action can get a room in a hotel in this nearby city.

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