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Der Vesuv, 12km vor Neapel und 10km von Pompeji entfernt, Reiseführer für Neapel und Pompej
Costiera Amalfitana - the land where the lemons grow

Excursion - Mt Vesuvius Volcano Tour

Vesuvius - Travelling to the top of the only active volcano in Europe

The Vesuvius is located less than12km from Naples and 10km from Pompeii. The mighty volcano is about 1277m high. A road goes about 1000m up the still-active volcano (buses make the trip several times a day), but there's a steep 20-minute hike from the end of the road to the rim itself. It is also possible to hike up to the rim of Mt.Somma, which is extinct.

Due to the volcanic ash the soil around the volcano is extremely fertile. That makes it possible to have 3 harvests a year. Giant vineyards cover the mountainsides of both volcanoes.
The most powerful eruption of this volcano was in 79 A.D., when the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae were covered with tufa stone and volcanic mud.

The Vesuvius

An eyewitness, the historian Plinius, writes that on August 24th 79 A.D. a great earthquake shook the ground, this was followed by a tremendous bang caused by the explosion of the peak of Mt. Vesuvius. Out of the crater poured thick black smoke that covered the city and caused ash and red-hot chunks of lava to pour down like rain.

The liquid lava gushed out over the city of Herculaneum, which lies directly at the base of the mountain, and completely destroyed it in hours.

Some of the people of Pompeii tried to escape having the same fate, yet it was almost impossible to flee, mostly because the ships were being thrown back by the flood waves. Therefore many people died in Pompeii, most of them were poisoned by the phosphorus gases from the volcanic eruption. Within two days the whole city was entirely destroyed and covered in a 9m deep layer of ash.

Since 1995 the area around the Vesuvius has been made into a National Park, with hiking paths to lead the visitors up to the rim of the volcano as safely as possible and yet preserve this phenomenon. An exhibition describes the eruption in more detail and tells about the lives of the people affected.

Even today the Vesuvius is still active and is said to be dangerous. It is carefully watched around the clock by experts so that they can predict eruptions in time to take the appropriate safety measures. The powerful earthquakes in southern Italy and the eruption of Mount Etna in Sicily show just how powerful the activities subsurface can be and that they shouldn't be underestimated.