Vesuvius Volcano cycling paths and climbing

Vesuvius is a characteristic example of a volcano in a volcano made by an outer broken cone, Mt. Somma, which has an almost completely destroyed crater belt. In it there is a smaller cone, the Vesuvius, divided from the former by a depression called Valle del Gigante, a part of the ancient caldera where subsequently, probably during the 79 AD eruption, the Gran Cono or Vesuvius arose.
Valle del Gigante is divided into two parts: Atrio del Cavallo in the west, and Valle dell'Inferno in the east. The northern part of Somma's ancient crater is well preserved, since it has been protected from the volcano's devastating violence by the height of the internal wall which prevented the lava from moving downslope. The slopes are furrowed by deep radial gorges produced by the erosion of the meteoric waters. The whole section is then characterized by dark volcanic rock spikes. The old crater edge is formed by a series of summits called "cognoli".
While the height of mount Somma and its profile have remained unchanged for centuries, the height and the profile of the Vesuvius have suffered considerable variations caused by the following eruptions, with raisings and lowerings.
The Vesuvius is a characteristic polygenic and mixed volcano: this means that it consists of lava of different chemical composition (for example trachytes, tephrites, leucitites) and formed both by lava flows and by pyroclastic deposits. All the areas lying on the mountain slopes are formed by soils transported by mudflows moving downslope in the rainy seasons through deep and narrow gorges called beds or more commonly "lagni". The high embankments are formed by piles of lavic scoriae, which precipitated in incandescent state and spread towards the lower slopes, being precious for the vegetation thanks to their fertile material, rich in silicium and potassium.

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Jerry de Concilio