We thought it would be obvious …

A look back (first published 25 November 2014): I think this piece should have gone under the heading “In Search of Vesuvius” because that is how it begins.

The Phraser

Vesuvius from the Castell dell-Ovo Vesuvius from the Castell dell’Ovo

We should have known better – nothing is obvious about Vesuvius.

The volcano has sat across the bay from us all summer – big, blue and balmy.  It reclines like some artist’s prop, a balance to the curve of sea and islands, a backdrop for the scuttle of life on its slopes and down to the shore.

It looks benign, the perfect place for an afternoon stroll, perhaps even a villa or two.

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Pozzuoli – harbour, amphitheatre and Solfatara

Ferry in the Bay of Naples

Ferry in the Bay of Naples near Pozzuoli

Pozzuoli, some 15km west of Naples, should be an ordinary, busy ferry port … but it’s not and never has been.

Part of what makes it unique is that it can’t stop moving.

La Solfatara, a crater formed some four thousand years ago, just up the hill from Pozzuoli’s harbour, is a vivid example of what’s going on.

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