Italy Car Hire – Naples to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii

Timothy

For a fantastic car hire holiday in Italy, fly to Naples and rent a car so that you can visit Mount Vesuvius and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pompeii.

If you’re staying in Naples, it’s easy to get to Mount Vesuvius in your hire car, and it will only take you about 45 minutes to drive there. Take the A3 motorway towards Salerno and follow it until you have passed through the toll station at Torre del Greco. Leave the motorway at this exit and turn left to drive under the motorway bridge. Drive along the Via Boscocatene and the Via B. Cozzolino, and then follow the signs for Vesuvio. This will take you to Mount Vesuvius. You can park your rental car in the car park.

Mount Vesuvius is the largest active volcano in Europe and was responsible for destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum when it erupted in 79AD. It’s actually two volcanoes in one, with the active Gran Como crater sitting within the now inactive Mount Somma crater.

Once you’ve parked your hire car, you can walk to the summit to see the smouldering volcano, about 20 minutes’ walk from the car park. The crater also has cameras on it and you can see the footage from them at the nearby Vesuvius Observatory.

The Vesuvius Observatory also features exhibits relating the scientific study of volcanoes as well as to the history of Mount Vesuvius and the famous 79AD eruption.

You can also take a break from your hire car to explore the Mount Vesuvius National Park. There are nine nature trails that you can follow there and they differ in length and difficulty, so you should be able to find one to suit you.

Italy Car Hire – Naples to Pompeii

Once you have explored the Vesuvius National Park, you can return to your hire car and drive to Pompeii.

To fully appreciate this UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s worth spending at least a day there, so you can break up your Naples holiday by staying in one of the local hotels or guest houses. Pompeii is an extremely large site and there is a lot to see, so it’s important not to rush it.

Pompeii was destroyed during the 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius, but the city was preserved beneath the ash, and the air pockets that formed between the bodies of the citizens who died during the disaster and the volcanic debris around them meant that archaeologists could later construct plaster mummies. These mummies can be seen around the site and many people find seeing them extremely moving.

Once you have parked your hire car, you can take a guided tour of the site, or explore it using a guidebook or audio-guide. Highlights include the amphitheatre, the barber’s shop, the public baths, temples and gardens.

Italy Car Hire – Herculaneum

If you have time, you might also want to explore the Scavi di Ercolano (Herculaneum ruins), which lie between Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii. This Roman town was also destroyed during the 79AD Mount Vesuvius eruption, and many believe that the ruins make for a better day out than the larger and more commercial Pompeii.

Italy Car Hire – Renting a Car

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