Friday's stage will take the riders to edge of the Mount Vesuvius crater; stage details in the previous post. The riders will approach Vesuvius from the sea, and take the switchback road (4 turns close together) up to the finish line that will be in the parking area near the crater's edge (the parking area is a slightly wider white band in the photo where the vegetation meets the barren slope; from the parking lot visitors have to walk about 30 minutes on a gravel path to reach the actual edge). Click on the above photo to see details.
Mount Vesuvius is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. It is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that to the destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the death of 10,000 to 25,000 people. It has erupted many times since and is today regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of 3,000,000 people living close to it and its tendency towards explosive eruptions.
The eruption of Vesuvius in March 1944 is the last eruption that occurred at Vesuvius. Since then the volcano has been in a quiescent stage without any major sign of activity.
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