Un cane grandissimo!
Area orientation is now complete! We are transitioning into a more normal schedule this next week with Tim starting work, which will be nice. House hunting is moving along quite well...updates to come as soon as we know more. I am so impressed with all the beautiful and unique homes we have been shown. It is such a hard decision!
Since our minds worked so hard this week, we decided to do something fun this weekend-climb Mount Vesuvius! In case you need a refresher, this is the volcano you learned about in school that violently erupted over Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. It is currently the only active volcano in mainland Europe. Experts say it is not a matter of "if" it will erupt again, but "when". I'd be lying if I said it wasn't intimidating to make the climb and voluntarily peek inside it's steaming crater.
We drove to the parking lot near the top of the mountain and paid the 10 Euro each for an entry ticket. The drive up was full of hairpin turns and steep inclines. Add to that the Napoli way of driving, and it looks like a scene from Fast and the Furious. We weren't totally sure if they were going to allow dogs inside the park (I could not find anything online!), but they welcomed us in with no questions asked. The hike was steep and challenging with volcanic rock slipping from beneath our feet, but it was far worth it. The views were incredible and we were able to see all of Naples, out to Bacoli, the shimmering sea, and down to Sorrento. It was humbling to think about the quietly raging power beneath our feet. The total hike was about 3 mikes round trip from the ticketing center. We took our time and stopped for photos and it took us less than 2 hours.
Diesel, our sausage dog, did so well! He never stopped pulling us up higher and higher and was so interested in the sulphuric smells and new sights. He was the only dog in the park so he got all the attention from passing hikers with many exclaiming "He is stronger than me!", "cosí piccolo!" (So small!), "bellisimo!" (Beautiful) and "Un cane grandissimo!" (A great dog!). Italians really do love their sausage dogs.
We are really looking forward to learning even more about this historic area as we explore the sites of Pompeii and Ercolano (Herculaneum) in the near future.
-There were little souvenir shops with some snacks at the top, but honestly they did not have much, except postcards, drinks, and a bag of chips.
-There were no restrooms at the very top, so if you plan on doing this hike, stop before you arrive.
-Eat before you go and bring a light water bottle. Then stop at one of the many restaurants on your way down (free restrooms!). We stopped at Kona and had a phenomenal pizza for 8 Euro which was plenty to split between two people. They had no problem with Diesel joining us and spoke some English.
-We were told to dress warm, but with the sun beaming down and physical exertion, we wished we hadn't brought our jackets in addition to our sweatshirts.
-Park as close to the ticketing center as possible. There is a dirt lot further up, but then you will have to walk down and buy your tickets and return to where you started. There is parallel parking on the left side of the road near the ticketing center.
I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Let me know if you have any questions about our experiences.
Ciao Bella xoxo,