Mount Vesuvius is one of the most well-known and studied volcanoes in the world for its structure, its eruptive history, and its position, being situated in a densely populated area a few kilometers from the city of Naples.
The current volcano structure is the result of the union of an older external cone, Mount Somma, and a younger internal cone, Vesuvius, formed as a result of violent eruptions. The two cones are separated by a depression called Valle del Gigante which is itself subdivided into the Atrio del Cavallo to the west and the Valle dell’ Inferno to the east.
The origin of the Somma-Vesuvius volcanic structure dates back to about 400,000 years ago. Currently, Mount Vesuvius is a phase of “active rest” and is constantly monitored to control any significant variation in its activity.