Hiking Mount Vesuvius

I’m home and I have so much to tell you! I’m still sorting through hundreds of video clips and 400+ photos but I wanted to kick things off today with a bang.

The most exciting day of the entire trip was when Adam and I hiked Mount Vesuvius and then visited Pompeii, the ancient Roman city completely destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

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Here’s the little video I put together of our morning hike to the top of the active volcano known to the locals as Vusuvio:

If you like oceans or mountains or volcanos or hiking or anything outdoors-y I think you’ll like the video!

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The hike was strenuous and steep, but Adam and I were in total awe of the views from the top.

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You can see the Amalfi Coastline, the island of Capri and the other surrounding volcanos that make up the Campanian volcanic arc.

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Vesuvius is an active volcano so if you look at the left side of the video at 1:15 you’ll see a little bit of smoke coming out of the side of the crater.

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Today about 3 million people live near Vesuvius despite the dangers it presents because the area is so fertile and good for agriculture.

Scientists believe they will be able to predict the next eruption of Vesuvius about 3 weeks in advance giving the surrounding towns time to evacuate for their personal safety. Of course what will happen to their homes, farms and so on is unknown.

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The volcano hasn’t erupted since March 18, 1944 during which it totally destroyed the villages of San Sabastiano, Massa di Somma, Ottaviano and part of San Giorgio a Cremano.

Of course Vesuvius is most famous for its total destruction of the Roman town of Pompeii, which we visited immediately after exiting the volcano.

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Here I was standing on a road in Pompeii looking up at Vesuvius looming in the distance:

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Walking through Pompeii felt so unreal. Here was a fully formed Roman city with enough remnants for us to see homes, bakeries, storefronts, forums and even a brothel, complete with a picture menu of sexual positions that its patrons could choose from.

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Here’s a bakery complete with a stone-fire oven:

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The outdoor area where Roman gladiators would live and train:

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A heated pool inside the bathhouse:

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The forum where they would put on concerts and plays:

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Startling to see were several citizens, including a child, captured in a cast of ash and dust in their final positions during the eruption of Vesuvius. Of course inside the casts only bones remain.

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It was striking to see a man hunched over trying to protect his mouth and nose from the poisonous gasses floating off the volcano.

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I took so many photos throughout the day it was hard to pick and choose a few for this blog post. I hope I’ve done Vesuvius and the town of Pompeii justice and you felt like you were there too!

Favorite place you’ve visited in recent years?
Do you like active vacations or do you prefer to lay around and relax? (I like both! haha)



  1. May 9, 2016 / 5:12 am

    Welcome back! Looks like an amazing trip. I can’t believe so many people live near that active volcano! Thanks for sharing all these great photos! I usually prefer to lay around and relax on vacation, but there are some places that you just need to explore while you are there!

    • Kristina
      May 9, 2016 / 1:41 pm

      I know, living so close to the volcano would be such a gamble, but agriculture is so important to the country and the land near the volcano is so fertile that people take the risk! At least a close eye is kept on volcanic activity and the people will have enough time to evacuate before the next eruption!

  2. May 9, 2016 / 8:50 am

    WOW. Just wow. The people people in the cast of ash… so sad.

    Walking through the town of Pompeii looks awesome! What sort of positions were there to choose from? Did they have names or just pictures?

    How long did it take you to hike to the top of the volcano? You know somehow we got started talking about volcanoes in music one day and the students asked me why anyone would live near an active volcano. I said, I have NO CLUE!!!

    • Kristina
      May 9, 2016 / 1:47 pm

      There was also a cast of a dog, but I thought it was too sad to post because he’s in the “playing dead” position. It brought a tear to my eye when I first saw it.

      I will post pics tomorrow from the brothel lol. Basically, every position possible was available! All of the individual rooms within the brothel were still intact and you can even see the stone beds upon which a mattress and pillows would have been placed (presumably).

      We took a bus the majority of the way up the volcano and then hiked the last bit to the crater. Our guide said we should plan to hike for about 25 minutes to reach the top, but Adam is a speedy man and I think we made it up in about 12 minutes, long before the rest of our group. I was completely out of breathe and my heart was pumping so fast! The incline was incredibly steep (or at least it was for this Floridian)! I read somewhere that the average grade is 8.2% but that the top has a 12.5% grade!

      • May 9, 2016 / 8:08 pm

        Aw that is really sad I wish you hadn’t told me about the dog. 🙁

        I can’t wait to see all the positions!! Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, right!?

  3. May 9, 2016 / 9:59 am

    Welcome home!

    My undergraduate degree is in History of Art with a focus on Classical Greek architecture and sculpture, so a trip to Pompeii would be a bit of a dream vacation since Greek and Roman art share many similarities. I want to geek out about how cool the site is but the harsh reality is that if it wasn’t for the eruption, Pompeii would not have been this well preserved. The casts of the people who were killed in Pompeii really hit you with just how devastating that eruption was.

    • Kristina
      May 9, 2016 / 1:49 pm

      Absolutely, the casts of the people were so striking. Our guide said the a lot of the citizens died from having their brains explode out of their heads from the toxic gases. I can’t imagine how painful a death that must have been.

      I think a mediterranean cruise should be on your bucket list! A lot of them go to Rome and Greece in the same trip. Ours went to Cannes instead of Greece, but I’d love to see Greece someday!

      • May 10, 2016 / 8:17 am

        I’ve been to Greece, but pretty much ALL of Italy is on my travel bucket list. and I definitely would not say no to a second trip to Greece.

  4. May 9, 2016 / 10:24 am

    This is amazing! Your trip sounds like it was fabulous. I’ve always wanted to see Pompeii and hopefully I’ll make it there soon! I’m glad you had such a great trip. Get some rest! I can’t wait to hear more!

    • Kristina
      May 9, 2016 / 1:50 pm

      I hope you are able to make it! I thought of you several times in Pompeii because a woman in our group looked so much like you. I really wanted to talk to her but I didn’t want to be weird haha.

      Don’t you have your own amazing trip with your mom coming up soon???

  5. May 9, 2016 / 10:40 am

    Along with Meg’s question – we must see a picture of the “menu” choices! That is really quite interesting that they had that!!
    Thanks so much for the town pictures. I really want to go there now. Such interesting history, and it looks so beautiful there!
    I also enjoy a mix of active and relaxing vacations. A good portion of both!

    • Kristina
      May 9, 2016 / 1:51 pm

      I will post a couple of pictures from inside the brothel tomorrow! They are quite good and still fairly graphic despite years of erosion! 🙂

  6. May 9, 2016 / 11:26 am

    Stunning! It is so beautiful and it is scary to think about how powerful the blast was so so far away from the mountain. A co worker visited there and I have seen her pics as well, I was awed by how small the streets were.
    I would love that hike! The views are amazing. You had a beautiful day:)

    • Kristina
      May 9, 2016 / 1:52 pm

      Oh boy, the streets! It was actually really interesting to learn that the streets were built with stepping stones across them at intervals because the toilet waste would pour into the streets and people would use the stones to cross without having to soil their shoes/feet. Imagine if you were drunk, stumbled and fell onto the street? Eeek!

  7. Susan
    May 9, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    Looks fabulous! What a trip of a lifetime. So happy for you and now I want to go!

    • Kristina
      May 9, 2016 / 5:02 pm

      It really was so amazing! I would highly recommend adding it to your list!

      Because I have only ever cruised the Caribbean which doesn’t offer a ton of variety when it comes to excursions, I was sort of down about cruising. I viewed it as a way to kick back, relax and have a sort of boring vacation. Now I see how wrong that is! Every day on the mediterranean cruise we had a completely different, educational, active and fun experience! I loved learning the history of each city and what makes it unique. I couldn’t recommend this cruise more!

      • Susan
        May 11, 2016 / 10:15 am

        That is good to know. Rick and I cruised Alaska and we didn’t love cruising–too much time on the boat and not enough time for excursions. It was a great way to see the fjords, though. I don’t know that we will cruise again. I think I would rather pick a country (say like Greece! LOL…I really, really want to visit there) and spent all that time in the one area. Now all I have to do is figure out how we can have unlimited funds and time to travel like we want! Yeah, right…..

        • Kristina
          May 11, 2016 / 3:06 pm

          Well, if you do happen to figure out how to obtain unlimited funds and time PLEASE LET ME KNOW! 😀

          • Susan
            May 11, 2016 / 6:41 pm

            Yes, not only will I let you know, I will grab you and bring you along!!

  8. May 9, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    What a cool experience! It’s so crazy to me that so much remains of Pompeii given how destructive volcano eruptions are. Thank you for sharing!!

    Also, the music you picked for your video reminded me of Frasier!

    • Kristina
      May 10, 2016 / 7:57 am

      Hahaha I’m currently only using the free music options provided with iMovie so I’m limited! Maybe I should expand my horizons to the free music library YouTube offers!