Naples and Herculaneum
From the Gulf of Naples in the northern Mediterranean Mount Vesuvius is a prominent feature of the skyline as it rises to 1,281 m (4,203 ft) . Three million people live around the base of the mountain which last erupted in 1944. Naples is the third largest city in Italy and its suburbs surround the base.
The mountain was declared a national park in 1995 and roads lead up to its peak.
The city is very old dating back to the second millennium B.C. Today it is a blend of the old and the new and offers beautiful sights as one drives along the coast.
A short drive from Naples is another site where excavations of an ancient city are taking Place. It is called Herculanium and was also buried by the ash from the 79 A.D. eruption. Herculanium appears to have been a richer city than Pompeii. The homes were larger and more lavishly decorated.
The entire site is below the level of the surrounding land. It is accessed through a long tunnel and access ramp.
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