Italy’s Mount Vesuvius as Never Seen Before

Astronaut Jack Fischer Tweeted this Photo of the wildfires around Mt. Vesuvius taken from the International Space Station – Credit: NASA/Jack Fischer

When you think about visiting Italy you probably see yourself following in the footsteps of da Vinci and Michelangelo as you walk through the Vatican Museums or explore the Colosseum in the Eternal City of Rome.

Your vision may even include indulging in the breathtaking vistas of the Amalfi Coast or whisking yourself away on a romantic Italian honeymoon. The decision really comes down to whether you’re in search of tranquility or adventure. If you do happen to be a thrill-seeker, Italy may have just what you’re looking for.

Overshadowing the Bay of Naples in Campania is the undeniably beautiful and frightening Mount Vesuvius. For the first time, nearly 2,000 years after wiping out Pompeii, an image of this extraordinary natural wonder was captured by the International Space Station. The image left people wondering why the area around the world’s most dangerous active volcano is so densely populated.

Mount Vesuvius
Photo: Anton Shkaplerov, Twitter, August 13, 2018
Photo: Russian Cosmonaut, Anton Shkaplerov, Twitter, August 13, 2018

Recently, there have been some attempts to try and relocate residents from the slopes to lessen the risk of the next eruption but they don’t seem to want to budge.

They must be out-of-their-minds!

If there ever were to be another eruption like the one in 79 AD, evacuation would be nearly impossible even with a week’s warning. There are about 600,000 people living within the ‘red zone’ and Francesco Russo, head of a Naples-area geologists association, said, “We’re not sure we would be able to evacuate them.”

Many other geologists have also warned travelers visiting Naples that even though Vesuvius is under close surveillance, the risk of a volcanic eruption should not be underestimated.

One look at this volcano inspires visions of the eruptions that led to the obliteration of Pompeii. If the idea of a potential eruption – which would include incredible columns of smoke, ash, lava and falling debris – does not stop you from taking the opportunity to visit, then you’re in luck.

The view into the crater and of the surrounding countryside is incredible!

Mount Vesuvius
Photo: Chris Hadfield, Twitter, January 1, 2013
Photo: Canadian Astronaut, Chris Hadfield, Twitter, January 1, 2013
Mount Vesuvius
Photo: YouTube, Stanford, February 26, 2019
Photo: YouTube, Stanford, February 26, 2019

If you’ve ever done any hiking at all, you shouldn’t have any problems with the moderate incline. Be sure to go up on a clear day so that you can take advantage of the amazing views.