Mount Vesuvius

It’s 11:00 AM and I am waiting at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, shivering from the cold and checking my phone every few minutes. My company consists of a shabby souvenir shop and a few black vendors selling everything from clothing to statues made of black lava stone. Around me, about fifty other tourists are milling about, many of them, like me, impatiently checking their phones.

We are waiting for tickets to the park, which are sold exclusively online. The park’s website shows them sold out a week in advance. But the tour company Tramvia, with which I booked the trip, promised to secure the tickets and send them via email during the bus ride up. However, they seem to be having some issues—some people received their tickets, while others are still waiting.

After two hours of waiting, visiting an extremely dirty bathroom, taking about 50 photos of a group of trees on the horizon, and arguing with a Tramvia employee via WhatsApp, I finally received mine. Some others were not so lucky and at 1:30 PM boarded the bus back down to Naples. I wave my phone with the QR ticket, pass through the turnstile, and start climbing up…

Photographed in April 2024.

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Date

May 24, 2024

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