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Exploring the Vesuvius, volcano of Naples: what you need to know

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Even if the whole Neapolitan area is volcanic, the volcano of Naples it the Vesuvius, a volcano that has inspired many artists such as Andy Warhol, who has proposed a colourful series dedicated to it and named Vesuvius.

The volcano of Naples is easily reachable with buses, by joining tours or by renting a car. Once you get there, you can choose between a variety of excursions that we can summarize in two kinds of experience.

The visit to the Vesuvius crater is recommended for families with children older than 8 years. In this case, it is possible to reach the altitude of 1000 m by public transport and then go on foot up to 1200 m. From that height, you can see the Somma crater, the neoformation of Colle Umberto and the city of Naples. With the supervision of vulcanological guides, you can also visit part of the inside of the crater. The crater of the Naples volcano has a diameter of 700 m with a circumference of 12 km. The volcano area comprehends two volcanoes: Monte Somma and Vesuvius (Gran Cono).

Visiting the volcano of Naples, you can stare at interesting phenomena such as ionization of gases and the observation of fumaroles. This kind of trip generally lasts around 90 minutes. If you are not used to this kind of excursions, it is highly recommended to buy sticks to help yourself in walking on the steep surface of the volcano. Also, it is recommended closed and non-slip shoes. Windbreaker and sunglasses are necessary too.     

The experience of the Vesuvius National Park is very different and much more suitable for all the family. In that area you can observe the fauna that include Domestic Pine, Leccio, Robinia, Chestnut, Birch, Neapolitan Alder, Roverella, Maple, White Hornbeam, Hazelnut, Hawthorn, Lentisk, Myrtle, Orchid, Broom, Valerian, Helichrysum, Pteris vittata and Stereocaulon vesuvianum.

Plus, if you are very lucky, you can see rare species of animals such as woodcocks, goldfinches, ravens, woodpeckers, hoopoes, woodpigeons, buzzards, kestrels, barns owls, deer, rat snakes, rabbits, dormice and foxes.

Usually, a trip to the volcano of Naples lasts 5 or 6 hours. Organized tours include transportation and assistance but not lunch, drinks or admission tickets to excursions on the crater or in the national park.

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