If you’re living it up on the Amalfi coast, take a day off to see the fiery Mount Vesuvius. Catch the Circumvesuviana train from Naples or Sorrento and pack in the 30,000-year-old volcano and the ruined cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Visitors can ride up most of the way, but to catch a glimpse of the lunar like crater and surrounding countryside, requires a good 30 minutes on foot. You can still see steaming vents and occasional rock tumbles; and it takes very little to imagine the infamous eruption! (Vesuvius last erupted in 1944 and is monitored very closely.)
Pompeii ironically preserved by the volcano’s eruption is the history cum geology lesson of a lifetime. The town’s roads, houses and baths have been preserved as are the plaster casts of Pompeii’s citizens who perished on the fatal day.
A short drive away, rests Herculaneum, also affected by the ash. Better preserved than Pompeii, you can enjoy its frescos, mosaics, fountains and cobbled streets.
Being in the Naples area, don’t forget to treat yourself to pizza, from pizzerias dating to the 1800s. And being Italy, there’s always some time off for vino & siesta!