Mount Vesuvius, a volcano off the west coast of Italy, is one of the only active volcanoes on Europe's mainland. It is part of the Campanian volcanic arc, which rests on a tectonic boundary where the African plate is being subducted beneath the Eurasian plate.
Mount Vesuvius is classified as a complex stratovolcano, based on its explosive eruptions and pyroclastic flows. It is most famous for its eruption that destroyed Pompeii. Since 1944, numerous earthquakes of various magnitudes have occurred around the base of the volcano, the biggest of which occurred around Naples in 1999. This earthquake was the same intensity as the one that occurred just before the eruption that destroyed Pompeii.