It is among the best-known volcanoes in the world, its destructive power has made the volcano famous in the past to the present day. In fact, the eruption of 79 AD it is the most famous of the known eruptions, but it is also the first written evidence of a volcanic eruption in Westen Countries. We could say that volcanology has born at the foot of this mountain. Its last eruption took place in 1944, after the volcano entered its resting phase while remaining still active. Neapolitan people love and fear the Vesuvius; in fact, it is both the symbol of the entire Gulf of Naples, but also the most dangerous threat, because millions of people live at the foot of this mountain. Numerous stories and legends are linked to Vesuvius, among these there is that of Herculaneum, Pompeii and Stabia, but we also find the legend of the patron of Naples, San Gennaro. The legend of San Gennaro says that the saint stopped the lava that was about to hit the city and since then, every year a religious rite is celebrated to prevent the next erupt.
Vesuvius National Park
Established as a national park in 1995, it is a large volcanic complex, also known as Somma-Vesuvius. Monte Somma is the ancient volcanic building of the last 25,000 years, and with Vesuvius, the cone located inside the ancient caldera, they form the national park. During the last 400 years the Great Cone was originated, while some hypothesis traces the origin back to 79 AD. Anyway the apex structure was the “main” source of the volcano’s outlet for the last centuries. Not all, historical evidence affirms differents outlets from the side volcano has exhaled gas, expeled pyroclastic material, magma and ashes.
Vesuvius is a “humpbacked” peak, consisting of a large cone (Gran Cono) partially encircled by the steep rim of a summit caldera caused by the collapse of an earlier (and originally much higher) structure called Mount Somma. The Gran Cono was produced later and for this reason, the volcano is also called Somma-Vesuvius or Somma-Vesuvio.