Mount Vesuvius' iconic double cone (Somma - Vesuviana) dominates the Gulf of Naples. It literally blew it's top in AD 79 and has since erupted many times.

Campi Flegrei consists of 24 craters and volcanic edifices. In 1538 Europe's newest mountain appeared from a crack in the earth to grow 134 meters over 6 days. Between 1968 and 1984 the area rose 3.6 m because of bradyseismic activity, damaging many buildings. 30,000 people left fearing an imminent eruption; most never came back.

Squeezed in between lies the former baroque kingdom of Naples; now a sprawling metropolitan area housing 4 million people.

Today just a few fumaroles ooze from Vesuvius' bland bowl of grey matter. The mountain is sleeping. Scientists monitor for signs heralding the volcano's reawakening, as one day she will. Meanwhile the government works on an emergency evacuation plan, defining and redefining the extent of the area potentially exposed to worst case scenario pyroclastic flows, ash deposits and lapilli fall-out. "La Zona Rossa".


<  >  1 / 27      
Mnt. Vesuvius