Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hiking Italy's stunning volcanoes

If you’re seeking a memorable walking experience in Italy, climbing a volcano may not be the first thing you think of. And yet a hiking tour of four volcanoes in southern Italy — Mount Vesuvius, Stromboli, Vulcano and Mount Etna — is an experience that will remain vivid long after the smell of sulfur has faded. Since Vesuvius is the least demanding for hikers, and Etna the most, your best bet is to arrange your hikes from north to south: first Vesuvius (near Naples) followed by Stromboli and Vulcano (each on its own eponymous island off the northeast coast of Sicily) and Etna (near Catania in eastern Sicily).

Vesuvius, about six miles east of Naples, is famous for having wiped out Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 A.D. A trip to the ruins of one of the two towns is an excellent way to witness the power of this slumbering 4,200-foot volcano, which last erupted in 1944. You can hike Vesuvius on a trip to Italy/Greece with Discovery Student Adventures. To learn more about hiking Italy's volcanoes, check out this travel article from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/travel/hiking-italy-volcano-to-volcano.html?pagewanted=all

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