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A view of the Vesuvius does not belie the reality. The famous volcano, integral part of the artistic landscape of Naples and Pompeii is responsible for the preservation of an ancient city intact just as it was when it was buried under the ashes. Neapolitans go in fear of it but would be sorry to lose it. They can tell at once what the weather will be like by looking at its summit to see whether it is clear or cloud covered. To see one fine morning the pine-shaped column of smoke arising from it is a sign of good omen for all. The Neapolitans trust in San Gennaro, their protector in all situations of life, and especially the uncertainties of Vesuvius. The more serious among the supporters of Vesuvius, one of them were Hamilton, saw the volcano as a new study object. Towards the end of the 19th century the funicolare (funicular railway) allowed also to the less courageous people the ascend to the summit of the crater. Today the trip can be done by car or by one of the buses, which starts from Herculaneum or Torre del Greco. The route leads to the Vesuvius Observatory and the old chair lift station. Now in the observatory are samples of minerals and ash, engravings and photos of the Vesuvius. Then you walk to the promontory (1158) from where you have a magnificent view of Naples, before you will arrive at the summit of the crater, which is 200 m deep. Frome the way on the edge of the crater you have a wonderful view of the Gulf and its islands.