Mount Vesuvius as seen from the ruins of Pompeii, which was destroyed in the eruption of AD 79.
Vesuvius is a distinctive "humpbacked" mountain, 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 Monte Somma. The Gran Cono was produced during the eruption of AD 79. For this reason, the volcano is also called Somma-Vesuvius or Somma-Vesuvio.
The height of the main cone has been constantly changed by eruptions but is 1,281 m (4,203 ft) at present. Monte Somma is 1,149 m (3,770 ft) high, separated from the main cone by the valley of Atrio di Cavallo, which is some 5 km (3.1 mi) long. The slopes of the mountain are scarred by lava flows but are heavily vegetated, with scrub and forest at higher altitudes and vineyards lower down. Vesuvius is still regarded as an active volcano, although its current activity produces little more than steam from vents at the bottom of the crater. The last major eruption was in 1944.
Thanks for all the C&Cs on my last upload from Monte Cassino Abbey.
Landscape and travel