The only active volcano on the European mainland it last erupted in 1944. The volcano is a typical double conical volcano with two concentric cones of different sizes and ages but with a common base. The interior cone formed more recently was given the name Vesuvius and the name Monte Somma was used to indicated the other crater and probably comes from the nearby town of the same name. It is undoubtedly the most famous, most observed, most dangerous, volcano in the world and the first to be scientifically studied. In 1841 the Observatory Vesuviano was inaugurated on its slopes, the first volcanological observatory in the world. The most used road to the crater, is the one that start near Torre del Greco, exit on the highway Napoli-Salerno. The road is 13 km. long and ends at an altitude of 1071 m., from there the crater can be reached on foot using a path that is 1200 m. long that takes you to the summit of the volcano.
The volcano is 1281 m. high and its characteristic profile is one with the gulf and the city of Naples.