Discover the dormant volcanoes of Naples, Italy

Discover the dormant volcanoes of Naples, Italy
Discover the dormant volcanoes of Naples, Italy

Imagine living knowing that, beneath your feet, lies a sleeping giant capable of completely altering the course of your life in a matter of hours. It is not a movie script, but the reality of the residents of Naples, a city that lives with the constant threat of its volcanoes. In this article, we will explore the complex relationship between the Napoletans and these incredible forces of nature.

Naples is a city of intense contrasts, where ancient and modern intertwine in a continuous dance. However, in addition to its rich history and vibrant culture, the city hides a fascinating and terrifying geological history beneath its surface. Volcanoes, like the famous Vesuvius, are not just historical landmarks, but active agents that shape the life and destiny of the region.

What is the real threat from Naples’ volcanoes?

Concern about volcanoes is not unfounded. History is full of examples of its destructive force, such as the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, which buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Although Vesuvius is the best known, it is not the only volcano to worry residents and scientists in the region. Below Naples lies the Caldera dos Campos Phlegreos, a vast volcanic region that does not show its threat in an obvious way, but is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

How do Naples residents live with this reality?

The relationship between Napoletans and their volcanoes is complex. On the one hand, there is a certain resignation and acceptance, a legacy of centuries of coexistence with these giants. On the other hand, security and monitoring measures are constantly updated to ensure the protection of the population. I recently spoke with geologists who monitor volcanoes 24 hours a day and discovered a mixture of fascination and deep respect for these forces of nature.

A catastrophe announced: what do the experts say?

While predicting volcanic eruptions accurately is challenging, experts are particularly concerned about signals coming from the Phlegrean Fields. The region has shown unusual activity in recent decades, raising suspicions that an eruption, although not immediately imminent, could be brewing on the horizon. Authorities, aware of the risks, have drawn up detailed evacuation plans, but the logistics of moving hundreds of thousands of people are a challenge in themselves.

On my recent visit to Naples, the beauty and tranquility of the city almost made me forget the danger that lurks below. Yet when speaking to locals, the awareness of risk is palpable, a constant reminder that the land beneath your feet is only temporarily tranquil. An American military doctor’s account of the 1944 eruption of Vesuvius illustrates the violent disruption these events can cause in everyday life.

Beauty and danger: Tourism in the volcanoes of Naples

Today, part of Naples’ tourist appeal lies, paradoxically, in its volatile nature. The summit of Vesuvius offers spectacular views, attracting visitors from all over the world. Projects like the Volcanic Attitude festival bring art and science together, highlighting both the beauty and risks associated with volcanoes. A visit to Campi Flegrei, despite its quietly sulfurous appearance, is a constant reminder of the devastating power that rests not far below the surface.


The relationship between Naples and its volcanoes is a fascinating study of coexistence with natural risks. The city’s geological history, constant scientific monitoring and preparation for possible future eruptions tell the story of a community that, despite constant danger, chooses to live and thrive in one of the most spectacular places on Earth.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Discover dormant volcanoes Naples Italy



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