At 8pm on 29 September 1538, a crack appeared in the earth near the ancient Roman settlement of Tripergole, violently spewing out a concoction of pumice, fire and smoke over six days. By the end of the week, Pozzuoli had a new 134m-tall neighbour. Today, Europe’s newest mountain is a lush and peaceful nature reserve, its shady sea-view slopes the perfect spot for a picnic.

The mountain's 'conception' actually goes back to the early 1530s, when an unusual level of seismic activity began rattling the area. It was at this time that locals also noticed a dramatic uplift of the land between Lago d’Averno, Monte Barbaro and the sea, a shift that displaced the coast by several hundred metres. Little did they know that under them a Monte Nuovo was preparing for its unforgettable entrance.