Italy is home to not one, not two, not three, but four active volcanoes! Two of the volcanoes, Stromboli and Vulcano, are located in the Aeolian Islands along Italy's southern peninsula. The third volcano, Mount Vesuvius, rises above the gulf of Naples. A massive eruption from Mt. Vesuvius in the year 79 A.D. destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, coating the ruins in a layer of ash that has preserved them to this day.
But the largest volcano in Italy, Mount Etna, can be found towering over the ocean along the eastern coast of Sicily. With a basal circumference of 107 kilometers (87 miles), Mt. Etna encompasses an area of 1,190 square kilometers (459 square miles). This means Mt. Etna is two-and-a-half times larger than Mt. Vesuvius, and that makes it the largest volcano in all of Europe! Mt. Etna last erupted on February 16th, 2021, launching a cloud of ash 33,000 feet high!