Vesuvio National Park

Vesuvio National Park, of great geological and historical interest, has been established in order to safeguard the values of the territory, also from the need to defend the most famous volcano in the world.

Vesuvius, a typical example of fence volcano consisting of an external truncated cone, the extinct Mt. Somma, with a crateric perimeter which has been mainly destroyed and in which there is a smaller cone represented by Vesuvius, which is still active. The territory, rich in historical-naturalistic beauties, boasts of a unique agricultural production for the great variety and originality of its tastes.

The Vesuvius National Park was founded in order to preserve animal and vegetable species, vegetable and forest associations, geological peculiarities, palaeontological formations, biological communities, biotopes, scenic and panoramic values, natural processes, ecological balances. Its purposes are, moreover, the application of ways of management or environmental restoration suitable to realize an integration between man and the natural habitat, also through the protection anthropological, archaeological, historical and architectural values and the protection of traditional and pastoral activities; the promotion of educational and formative activities of scientifis research, that can be interdisciplinary too, the promotion of compatible recreational activities as well; another purpose is the defence and the reconstitution of hydraulic and hydrogeological balances. The task and the values concerning the Vesuvius National Park are even wider because we have to defend the most famous volcano in the world, and at the same time one of the five most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the high urban conurbation that ahs recently grown up around it, disrespectful of the laws forbidding the construction of buildings. So the Vesuvius National Park represents an anomaly among the European National Parks, a sort of challenge aimed to rescue the wild and enchanting beauty of Vesuvius and Monte Somma (Somma Mountain), pulling them away from the incredible deterioration and giving them back to the pleasure of the old and the new generations they belong to.

Environment and Nature

Vegetazione vesuvianaThe territories around the Vesuvius and Monte Somma are differentfor various environmental seasons but, at the same time, they share some aspects, in particular the strong anthropization that characterizes the lowest slopes of both mountains. Speaking of the differences, it is necessary to point out that the first area is drier and sunnier than the other, with a typical Mediterranean vegetation, artificial grown pinewoods and ilex trees, which are occupying more ground in comparison with pines, and are reforming the splendid Mediterranean forest. The second (Monte Somma) is damper with a wood vegetation similar to the Apennine one, with chestnut woods, oak trees, alders, maples, ilexes; among these there is, even if rarely found, the wonderful birch, a very unusual presence in a Mediterranean habitat. The colonization of lava grounds by the numerous plants, begins after the cool down and is due to the liche Stereocaulon vesuvianum, which has a coral shape, it is grey and is the first living being which installed itself on the cold lava by preparing the land in receiving roots of the plants. It entirely covers the Vesuvian lava making it change to grey, giving the lava a silvery reflection during the full-moon nights. The list of plants includes 906 different species. Among these species we can observe interesting types, such as the Neapolitan maple, the Neapolitan alder and the Helichrysum litoreum, particularly abundant on the Vesuvius. We can point out also the large number of orchids (23) and the broom present in different species: Genista tinctoria, Genista aetnensis; the last one was imported from Etna in 1906 and today it is widespread on the entire Vesuvian territory.

The fauna

La lepreThe fauna of the Park is particularly rich and interesting. Among mammals, there is the "oaken mouse", the presence of whiwh is rare in other parts of Italy, but there is also a presence of the dormouse, the beech-marten, the fox, the wild rabbit, and of the hare. More than 100 species of birds live there, which can be classified as resisents, migrants, wintering and breeding. Interesting is the contruction of nests by the various birds, the buzzars, kestrel, hoopoe, turtle-dove, woodpidgeon, great spotter woodpecker, rock thrush, raven, coal tit. Recently there have been more frequent observations of the sparrowhawk, a very elegant and woody predatory bird. During the winter the woodcock, the black redstart, the wryneck, the song thrush, the siskin remain in the Park. During the period of mogrations garden warblers, subalpine warblers, pied flycatchers, redstarts, black eared wheater, woodwarblers, golden orioles, nightjars, bee eaters and many other species fly over the Park, many of which coming from sub-saharian quarters where they spend the winter. Among the reptiles we have to mention the coloured green-lizard, the inoffensive western whyp snake and the Turkish Gecko. Among the invertebrates we can notice the most coloured diurnal and nocturnal butterflies that remain during the flowering of the Mediterranean Vesuvian soil.

Tags: | Italy | National Park | Vesuvio | Mountains |


Sign up to receive the news from Euro-POI

About Newsletter