Pompeii was founded by Osci around the VII century BC , on a plateau formed by a lava flow, not far from the river Sarno, although several witnesses attribute the first human settlements as early as the ninth century BC : during the period Osco, the village, an important road junction, with roads to Cuma, Nola and Stabiae, was surrounded by walls and reached an extension of 63 hectares. Pompei resented the influence of the Greeks before , due to the conquest of Cumae in the period between 525 and 474 BC and then the Etruscans, which was built under the temple of Apollo ; it was conquered by the Samnites, which descends from the mountains of Irpinia put to the dependence of Nocera. It was under the latter that Pompeii became a rich commercial city, with a thriving little harbor and surrounded by massive walls, built around 300 BC..
Conquered by the Romans in the third century BC, the city continued its development of trade, exporting, across the Mediterranean, olive oil and wine, of which he was a producer, especially during the second century BC : in these years also witnessed a strong urban development, with the construction of the hole, the temple of Jupiter, Isis and the Basilica, as well as numerous houses and residential villas. Under Roman rule before it became a municipium, enjoying even a partial independence, thanks to the support provided during the Second Punic War and then the colony, under the name of Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum, following the conquest by Sulla in 89 BC, during the social wars.
The area was hit by a powerful earthquake in 62, and the city suffered considerable damage, in part repaired promptly: but in 79, while some buildings were still undergoing restoration, an eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried the city under a blanket of ash and lapilli, deleting it entirely. In subsequent years, the area, barren and bare, was not subject to restocking and despite some research carried out in the first century, was never recovered, remaining buried for nearly 1700 years.
Vesuvius is a volcano explosive or effusive in a quiescent state since 1944, located in the eastern side of the province of Naples, in the territory of the national park established in 1995. Its height, in 2010, of 1,281 m, is located at interior of a caldera about 4 km in diameter. This is what is left of the former volcanic edifice (Monte Somma) after the great eruption of AD 79, which resulted in the collapse of the southeastern flank at which it is subsequently formed the present crater. It is currently the only active volcano of this type across continental Europe. It is the most dangerous volcano in the world and studied; this is due to the fact that live on its slopes about 800,000 people and the consequences of the eruption would be extremely devastating. In 1997, Vesuvius was elected by UNESCO (with the nearby Golden Mile) among the world's biosphere reserves. In 2007, Vesuvius has been proposed for the selection elect the seven wonders of the natural world as Italian Beauty In Nature, but failing to be elected after arriving in final.