Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano the last eruption occurred in 1944, than in 1995 was established a national park for the great interest in geology, biology and history that its territory is. Compared to its size has an exceptional presence of vegetation, with about 612 species and about 227 species of animals.
Its height is 1,281 m (4202, 76 ft), is situated within a caldera 4 km in diameter. What is remained of the ancient volcano is Mount Somma after the great eruption of 79 AD which led to the collapse of the south-eastern side, where is subsequently formed the present crater. In fact in ancient times the Vesuvius was not considered a volcano, but a mountain with a single peak as seen in several frescoes preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Naples where Mount Vesuvius is represented.
It is overgrown with vines and the top looks like a flat space sufficient for an army camp so that in 73 BC during the Third Servile War, Spartacus and his followers took refuge on Mount Vesuvius with the armed rebels who were attacked by the army of Roma. It was doubtless an ancient crater, but no one in those days knew something of its history. That’s why the slopes of Vesuvius occurred settlements of Oscan and Samnite, Stabiae, Pompeii and Herculaneum, because they had never suspected to the potential risk of the area but they considered only the fertility of the soil and position strategy because near the coast…
It is currently the only active volcano in all of continental Europe, it is also one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world studied, this is because on its slopes live approx 700,000 people and the consequences of the eruption would be a great tragedy.
The volcano Vesuvius was the first in the world studied regularly thanks to the Royal House of Bourbon. In fact in 1841 King Ferdinand II ordered the construction of the Vesuvius Observatory which is still functioning.
We can say that the Volcanology intended as a scientific discipline was born here. The high regard in the world of the knowledge of Neapolitan structure is demonstrated by the fact that when Americans in the early decades of the twentieth century decided to establish an observatory in Hawaii, they took as example the institute of Vesuvius. The fate of many important cities of Roman Empire in this area like Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum has been linked to its evolution. Its grandeur is a sight of rare beauty that has made him famous in the world thanks to a photo taken from the hill of Posillipo, ” ‘a cartullin e Napule”, where you can admire the splendid Gulf of Naples with Vesuvius that it is there as if to protect its cities.