Volcanoes in Italy with video of Mount Etna eruption

There are more than 30 volcanos in Italy, but there are three that pique the general interest of travelers to Italy.

Mount Etna erupts

It’s crazy to think that just last week I was in Sicily and wasn’t too far from Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest and most active volcano. At.9:30 last night, local time in Italy, Mount Etna lit up the night sky with an eerie red glow as lava spewed into the air and down the mountainside.

Mount Etna’s name is believed to be derived from the Phoenician word ‘attuna’ which means ‘furnace’. The ancient Greek believed that this was the home of the god Vulcan and when the volcano erupted, it was Vulcan forging weapons for the god Mars.


Mount Stromboli

Nearby Sicilian towns were not immediately in danger, although it is unknown at this time if a volcanic ash cloud was released. The eruption is called a strombolian explosion, named after Mount Stromboli, a nearby volcano on the island of Stromboli that constantly has small eruptions. On the Carnival Magic cruise last week, the captain cruised us by Stromboli at night where we were able to witness one of these small eruptions.

A volcano erupts as the Carnival Magic passes Mount Stromboli off the coast of Sicily
Mount Stromboli eruption | photo by Kaye Hurst for TravelingMamas.com

Mount Vesuvius

One of Italy’s most famous volcanos is Mount Vesuvius, which is most known for its eruption in 79 A.D. which buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, along with their inhabitants. It has erupted 50 times since then with the last eruption in 1944. Here’s a photo of Mount Vesuvius when I visited Ancient Herculaneum near the modern town of Ecolano.

Mount Vesuvius from Ancient Herculaneum | Photo by Shannon Hurst Lane/TravelingMamas.com

Tours to two of these three volcanos are available as port excursion during the cruise port stops of Messina and Naples.

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