Most people have heard of the famous Italian volcano Mount Vesuvius which erupted in 79 A.D. burying the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing over one thousand people. However, you might not be aware that Italy has 3 active volcanoes including the only active one on mainland Europe; and numerous other volcanoes that have erupted in historic times. No discussion of Italian Geography would be complete without information on volcanoes. On this page we list the volcanoes found in Italy along with interesting facts about the main ones. This information includes where they are located, when they last erupted, and how dangerous they are. This information is written for both kids and adults.
Italy's 3 Active Volcanoes
Mount Etna is located on the east coast of the Italian island of Sicily between the cities of Messina and Catania.
This volcano is almost continuously active; in fact, it is one of the most active volcanoes in the entire world.
Mount Etna is a stratovolcano; which means it has been built up by numerous layers of volcanic ash, hardened lava, tephra, and pumice.
With almost constant eruptions its height is continuously changing; however, it is approximately 10,922 feet (3,329 meters) high.
Mount Etna is the largest volcano in Europe.
Its last major eruption was in November of 1928. This eruption caused severe damage to the town of Mascali but due to an orderly evacuation no human lives were lost.
This volcano's eruptions usually involve slow lava flows, as opposed to sudden explosions, enabling people to escape.
Stromboli is one of the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. The whole island is basically the volcano.
This volcano has been almost continuously active for the past 2000 years.
This volcano's elevation is 3,034 feet (926 meters) above sea level.
The island Stromboli is on has only about 500 residents.
This volcano is famous for having small but frequent explosions that catapult glowing cinders and molten rock into the air. These types of eruptions have been classified as Strombolian eruptions; named after this volcano.
Stromboli has been given the nickname "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean" due to its eruptions making it visible from far out at sea.
This volcano is located on the Bay of Naples just east of Naples, Italy.
This volcano is famous for its eruption in 79 AD which buried the Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii and killing over 1,000 people.
This is the only active volcano on mainland Europe; however, it is not in a constant state of eruption.
Mount Vesuvius is 4,203 feet high (1,281 meters).
Mount Vesuvius last significant eruption occurred in 1944.
Italy's Dormant Volcanoes
Italy has several volcanoes that are classified as dormant but have erupted within the last few hundred years. They are listed below. The most dangerous of these is considered to be Campi Flegrei, near Naples. Many scientists are concerned that this massive volcano could erupt soon and, due to the dense population of where it is located, put thousands of people's lives in jeopardy.