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Rigor of climbing Mt Vesuvius

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Bethesda, Maryland...
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Rigor of climbing Mt Vesuvius

I am taking Tours of Pompeii trip to Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius and was wondering how vigorous a walk it is to the top--- My husband d hurt his knee this week -- if we don't walk it to the top, is it still worth going to see???

thanks

Elysa S.

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1. Re: Rigor of climbing Mt Vesuvius

I can only speak for my self, something I did many years ago, even so it was very hard work, was it worth it, , I suppose so just to say we had done it, but the day we went (in May) there was a heat haze so no views except to look at the crater, would say fine if you are fit, but otherwise would think twice,

Norwich, United...
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2. Re: Rigor of climbing Mt Vesuvius

Elysa, perhaps try having a look on YouTube - they've lots of video clips showing the walk!

Have to say though, in a decade here and during vacations before that, we've not bothered.

If you wanted a somewhat similar but less energetic alternative, there's a cable car at Castellamare di Stabia...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqeyI5daejE

Way too scary for me, but you could perhaps jump ship after seeing Pompei and go there by yourselves - to borrow from one of Sophie's previous posts...

"Something different you do not hear much of is the cable car up Monte Faito, the views are spectacular, of the Sorrentine Peninsula and Naples, easily done, by taking the Circumvesuviana Train to Castellammare di Stabia, the Cable Car Station is by the Train Station, certainly no guide needed"

Peter

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3. Re: Rigor of climbing Mt Vesuvius

The view from the top can be great, but more often the heat haze obscures everything, It can also be very dusty and like climbing through a bag of flour. Would I do it again ? NO. Now Mount Etna is totally different and well worth the climb

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4. Re: Rigor of climbing Mt Vesuvius

Hi Elysa: For me, the attraction of Mt. Vesuvius is not the quality of the hiking, but getting an up-close-and-personal view of this geologic landmark that (literally) looms so large over the history of the region. From that perspective, in my opinion, it is indeed still worth going even if you can't climb to the top. The bus will take you most of the way up the volcano, and from where it stops you start to get a pretty good impression of the landscape.

And it is possible, depending on how your husband is feeling, you might want to try at least a small part of the walk. It is a wide gravel path, so the footing is pretty good (though I saw a couple of people slip on the gravel when moving quickly, so it is worth going slowly). The difficult part is that it is a continuous incline up to the top -- no real flat stretches to speak of. And unfortunately, as I recall the steepest incline is at the very beginning. There a few benches where one can rest along the way. If you do try a bit of this, bear in mind that downhill is actually much harder on the knees than uphill, so factor that in when deciding when to turn around.

Before making a final decision, I'd suggest finding out from the tour company how long of a stop they will be making there. The parking lot is dotted with souvenir stands and a couple of places to get a snack, but these are all rather shack-like, and not particularly picturesque -- an hour is probably the absolute max I'd want to spend hanging out in that area (30 - 45 minutes would be better).

One final thought: there was a car going up the path when we were there that seemed to belong to some of the scientific researchers who work near the crater. If your husband really wants to see it, I wonder if it might be possible to make a special arrangement to be driven? I don't know how you'd go about this, and handicapped access and assistance is generally not as available as it is the in U.S., so I'm sure it would be a challenge to figure out. But it might be worth investigating. Good luck!

Edited: 24 September 2012, 01:32
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5. Re: Rigor of climbing Mt Vesuvius

Nobody can predict how your husbands knee will perform. But I saw many elderly folks doing the walk which for me is neither steep nor long. It was worth it for me because as a kid I saw movies about the eruption. So it was a must do. The view was hazy and the crater had a few wisps of sulphur. It was not at all like the flowing lava on the Big Island. Would I do it again? Yup. But that is me. The hike is all over YouTube. Here is a random one, not mine. IMHO unless you "simply must do" this (I am one of those) the best view of the volcano is from Naples or Sorrento or Pompeii where you can see it looming over the population.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aILJCxnGLKo

Norwich, United...
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6. Re: Rigor of climbing Mt Vesuvius

My apologies - but, having dragging it past you, I now have to sweep it away again, as the Monte Faito cable car is out of action, from Sept 10th ... with no restart date on offer:

"SI INFORMA LA SPETTABILE CLIENTELA CHE, A CAUSA DI IMPROROGABILI LAVORI DI AMMODERNAMENTO ALL’IMPIANTO, LA FUNIVIA DEL FAITO SARÀ CHIUSA A PARTIRE DAL GIORNO 10 SETTEMBRE P.V.

NAPOLI, 4 SETTEMBRE 2012"

http://www.vesuviana.it/web/it/node/646

.............................

If the tour group are returning to Pompei, the two of you might instead visit the Villa dei Misteri - a separate part of the site, and perhaps not on the main agenda, whilst waiting?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_of_the_Mysteries

Might even be others who'd join you / him!

But after the above, it seems way safer that you look for opening times, days etc yourself?

Peter

7. Re: Rigor of climbing Mt Vesuvius

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