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SEARCHING INTO THE PAST. Reading Vesuvio's Eruptions through a Geo-Archaeological tour in the city of Naples


Naples is located in a very special area, with geological aspects that make it truly unique: it is a seismic area towered over by an active volcano and the entire area, including the islands in the Gulf, is volcanic. This provides the city with great richness in terms of fertility, energy, springs and unique ruins such as Pompeii and Ercolano, but it also represents a great and constant menace that people often forget (no evacuation plan could be successful since the area around Mt. Vesuvius is so densely populated).

The idea of dedicating Researchers' Night to Vesuvius and to earth science (as main keywords) has several objectives: draw nearer researchers to public highlighting the essential nature of research and its association to life in this area and, in respect of a different field of science such as archaeology, to remind us of who we are, to remind people that Mt. Vesuvius isn't a mountain and that it could be dangerous; to remind them how the volcano's presence has affected people, history and society. In brief, the idea is to dedicate a virtual and real itinerary to disciplines that are essential to anyone living near Mt. Vesuvius and to localize this itinerary in the ancient centre of Naples, in the "Decumans" of the Roman era (reproducing the same layout as Pompeii and Ercolano), with the addition of cultural and amusing events.

The principal activities are: A temporary "museum" of the Vesuvian Observatory in Piazza Dante Temporary exhibits of researchers' work and life in the numerous coffee bars of Piazza Bellini "Research and Adventure" dialogs, scientific demonstration and videos in Piazza Bellini, prepared by researchers of the National Institute for Applied Optics Guided geological and architectural tours through the decumans Theatrical performances in the area of the ancient Roman theatre Concert of electronic music in the Cloister of the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory.

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