According to Lyell, Etna is rather older than Vesuvius - perhaps of the same geological age as the Norwich Crag.
Vesuvius (q.v.), the volcanic forces of which had been slumbering for unknown ages, suddenly burst into violent eruption, which, while it carried devastation all around the beautiful gulf, buried the two cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii under dense beds of cinders and ashes.
In 1839 he went to Naples and was soon appointed director of the Vesuvius observatory, a post which he held until 1848.
The Icelandic volcanoes may be divided into three classes: (I) cone-shaped, like Vesuvius, built up of alternate layers of ashes, scoriae and lava; (2) cupola-shaped, with an easy slope and a vast crater opening at the top - these shield-shaped cupolas are composed entirely of layers of lava, and their inclination is seldom steeper than 7°-8°; (3) chains of craters running close alongside a fissure in the ground.
The white muscat wines of Vesuvius are also of good quality, and the island of Capri produces some excellent wine.