In order to add some variety to the usual city-focused trips what you can do is try some hiking. And if you come to Naples, one thing you can try is hiking one of the best know volcanoes — Mount Vesuvius.

Mount Vesuvius is a part of the volcanic complex together with Mount Somma — the remnant of an ancient volcano out of which the peak cone of Mount Vesuvius has grown.

The peaks of these two mountains are visible from almost everywhere around the Bay of Naples and both are located on the territory of a national park. The park has 9 hiking trails that offer a variety of vistas and panoramic views. In particular two of them, each leading to one of the peaks, are absolutely worth trying.

While hiking to the top of Mount Somma you will go through a pine forest; encounter Aleppo pines, Neapolitan alders and hop hornbeams; cross the Mediterranean scrubland with brooms. Once on the peak, you will get a 360 degree panorama overlooking the cone of Vesuvius and the solidified flow of lava from the last eruption in 1944.

After descending into the ‘valley of hell’ in between the two mountains, we will head towards the crater. Along the trail spectacular views of the Bay of Naples will open up. Then, on the very top, you will have views into the crater, which has no lava but a little steam.

On our way back, we will see the most beautiful formation of the Vesuvius lava that resembles the rope and also a peculiar crack in the ground that is at least several dozen meters deep.

The entire hiking trip is 10+ kilometers long and takes a full day. If such a long hike is not an option for you, you may instead choose to visit only the Mount Vesuvius by doing a short hike to its crater. Thus it would be a half-day trip that you can enrich by adding other destinations such as Herculaneum or Pompeii and perhaps also a delicious Italian lunch.