MOUNT VESUVIUS TOURS
Excursion to Vesuvius, the symbol of Naples, known all over the world as one of the largest active volcanoes. It is possible to reach the mountain by bus and car, as well as the top and the edges of the crater through an easy trekking path. The scenery is amazing!
Vesuvius is one of the most famous and dangerous volcanoes in the world located on the Gulf of Naples in Campania , about 9 km east of Naples . Mount Vesuvius, on the west coast of Italy, is the only active volcano on mainland Europe. It is best known because of the eruption in A.D. 79 that destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae, as well as several other settlements but Vesuvius has erupted more than 50 times.
There have been no eruptions since 1944, and none of the eruptions after AD 79 were as large or destructive as the Pompeian one. After each eruption, the size of the cone of the volcano changes, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The volcano also has a semicircular ridge called Mount Somma that rises to 1,132 m. The valley between the cone and Mount Somma is called Giant's Valley.
Mount Vesuvius is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of its proximity to the city of Naples and the surrounding towns on the nearby slopes. The volcano is classed as a complex stratovolcano because its eruptions typically involve explosive eruptions as well as pyroclastic flows - a high-density mix of hot lava blocks, pumice, ash and volcanic gas.
Mount Vesuvius destroyed the city of Pompeii, a city south of Rome, in A.D. 79 in about 25 hours. Because the city was buried so quickly by volcanic ash, the site is a well-preserved snapshot of life in a Roman city.The seismic activity was so common in the area so citizens paid little attention in early August of 79 when several quakes shook the earth beneath Herculaneum and Pompeii. People were unprepared for the explosion that took place shortly after noon on the 24th of August.
Pliny the Young, a Roman author, described the massive debris cloud. "It resembled a pine more than any other tree. Like a very high tree the cloud went high and expanded in different branches... sometimes white, sometimes dark and stained by the sustained sand and ashes."
In Pompeii, ash blocked the sun by 1 p.m. and the people tried to clear heavy ash from rooftops as it fell at a rate of about 15 centimeters an hour.
Shortly after midnight, a wall of volcanic mud engulfed the town of Herculaneum, obliterating the town as its citizens fled toward Pompeii. About 6:30 a.m. on the following morning, a glowing cloud of volcanic gases and debris rolled down Vesuvius' slopes and enveloped the city of Pompeii. Most victims died instantly as the superheated air burned their lungs and contracted their muscles, leaving the bodies in a semi-curled position to be quickly buried in ash and thus preserved in detail for hundreds of years. It is believed that around 30,000 people died from the eruption of Vesuvius in 79.
In 1880 the first funicular cable car on Mount Vesuvius opened. It was later destroyed by the March 1944 eruption. Now you can climb the mountain on foot and see its crater and the incredibly gorgeous and panoramic view of Naples and the Bay of Naples from a bird's-eye view.