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The Vesuvius is an extremely fascinating natural phenomenon. With Etna, it is the only active volcano in Europe, surrounded by extremely fertile land that has luxuriant vegetation.
Vesuvius is remembered above all because it is an active volcano, that is not in constant eruption. One of the most famous eruptions was in 79 A.D. The eruptive column was of around 30 km in height and was comprised of: toxic gas, pumice and ash. This gas, because of the wind, first struck Pompeii and then Herculaneum.
Plinio il Giovane, that was in Miseno with the Roman naval fleet, described the intense smoke of the eruption as an enormous pine tree with a massive trunk that widened as it progressed upward into what seemed like big branches.
The rains that were consequently created caused a mudslide that covered both Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Many inhabitants were caught by surprise in their sleep and they surely died because of the toxic gases, then they were covered with mud and it is for this reason that excavations have found human beings and animals in the original position they were in when they died.
The last eruption was that of 1944, that procured notable damages.
Currently Vesuvius is observed with computer analysis continually. It is presently in a phase of calm and it could remain so for hundreds of years.
Before 1880 Vesuvius was visited by foot or on the backs of mules. Later, a funicular was built and it was the first one to climb on an active volcano. Unfortunetaly, it was destroyed in the eruption of the 1944.
Tourist now climb Vesuvius with a modern chair lift.
The construction of the funicular was welcomed by the Neapolitans with great enthusiasm, the journalist Giuseppe Turco wrote the lyrics to the famous song "Funiculì funiculà" and the music was written by Luigi Denza for the inaugural opening of the funicular.
If you brave the ascent to Mount Vesuvius, you will find an extraordinary landscape of orange orchards, oak and chestnut trees. Vesuvius is 22 km southeast of Sorrento and is a favorite destination for travellers from all over the world.