A scene of desolation : Ottajano [i.e., Ottaviano], swept by volcanic ashes from Vesuvius, Italy
Starting in 1631, Vesuvius entered a period of steady volcanic activity, including lava flows and eruptions of ash and mud. Violent eruptions in the late 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s created more fissures, lava flows, and ash-and-gas explosions. These damaged or destroyed many towns around the volcano, and sometimes killed people; the eruption of 1906 had more than 100 casualties. The most recent eruption was in 1944 during World War II. It caused major problems for the newly-arrived Allied forces in Italy when ash and rocks from the eruption destroyed planes and forced evacuations at a nearby airbase.
Italian Time Travel Trip 1906 Italy was getting ready for the 1908 Summer Olympics when Mount Vesuvius erupted. It became active in January and culminated with an eruption on April 5th, when Vesuvius killed over 100 people and ejected the most lava ever recorded from a Vesuvian eruption ever. Government funds previously allocated for the Summer Olympics had to be diverted to the reconstruction of Naples, requiring a new location for the Olympics to be found. April 10 – The lava flow from Mount Vesuvius, which had almost ceased, starts again in the direction of Torre Annunziata; reached the cemetery of that town and then turned in the direction of Pompeii (again!). April 28 – The Milan International world's fair opens in Milan. It welcomed 4,012,776 visits and covered 100 hectares (250 acres). May 6 – The first Targa Florio, an open road endurance automobile race, starts in the mountains of Sicily near Palermo. The race was initiated by Vincenzo Florio and is considered to be the oldest sports car racing event.