Volcanoes in southern Italy

Italy remains exciting. Sometimes Mount Etna spits high fire fountains into the air in Sicily. Sometimes Mount Vesuvius at Naples makes a name for itself, because the pressure is growing under the volcano. In Italy, there are several active volcanic zones, the cause of which is the continental plates of Africa and Europe to be glided on each other. Mount Vesuvius, probably the most dangerous and unpredictable volcano, is located in the immediate vicinity of the densely populated province of Naples. The biggest activities take place among the phlegrean fields (Campi Flegrei), which range from Pozzuoli under the sea to the island of Ischia.

Experience volcanoes up close

The dangerous Vesuvius is less than 12 km from Naples. It is just under 1300 m high. Up to 1000 m you can drive up a serpentine road. The last piece up to the crater rim you have to walk. Once at the top, the view opens into the crater slush.

Another ticking time bomb is in the Gulf of Naples among the towns of Pozzuoli and Bacoli. There is a huge magma chamber under an area of about 160 km², which stretches under the seabed up to the islands of Procida and Ischia. This is a new super volcano.

Mount Etna in Sicily is also known as the good-natured mountain. It is the highest active volcano in Europe. It is quite active, so it happens that Catania Airport has to be closed because of ash clouds. Mount Etna is one of the more recent volcanoes, from which the extremely dangerous pyroclastic gas explosions can hardly be predicted.

The Stromboli is Europe’s most active volcano. Rarely that he does not emit fire fountains. Almost hourly it growls and there is an eruption, which can be observed impressively, especially during a night walk or from the sea.

The small island of Vulcano in the Liparian Islands north of Sicily is determined by the 400 m high volcano Gran Cratere. Constantly, sulfur fumaroles rise around the crater, turning the surrounding lava rock yellow. There is a sulfurous warm mud bath designed to help with skin and women’s problems.

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Our Volcano Guide

Mount Vesuvius is reached from Naples on the suburban Circumvesuviana train. From Pompeii station, buses run hourly to the Vesuvius car park.

A regional train also runs to the Phlegraean fields. Stop Pozzuoli Solfatara.

Mount Etna is located near Catania. The best way to arrive by car is to go directly to the car park at Rifugio Sapienza. This is where the tours start with cable cars and jeep. It is even more convenient to join a guided excursion from Catania or Taormina and get picked up at the hotel.

The island of Vulcano can be reached by speedboat from Milazzo (about 1 hour) or from Messina through the Strait of Sicily.

The Stromboli on the island of the same name is the northernmost of the Lipari Islands (or Eoli Islands). Ships depart from Naples, Tropea and Lipari. The small island is particularly exposed to the wind and in heavy seas it is not possible to land. So you should check beforehand if you can get off on Stromboli as well.

Again and again you can see tourists with flip flops on the volcanoes, which can sometimes lead to burned feet. In general, sturdy shoes are required and for volcanic hikes we recommend hiking boots with tulips, so that no volcanic ash gets into the shoes from above. And some fitness is not a disadvantage either. One should also note the height of the volcano, because with high volcanoes the temperatures on the crater rim are correspondingly lower than at sea level, one calculates about 1 C per 100 m heights difference.

Even if you have booked a visit to the volcano, short-term cancellations may occur due to unexpected events.


Vesuvius and Phlegrean Fields

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