The 1888-90 eruption The first scientifically studied “volcano”

Descriptions of volcanic eruptions, even quite accurate ones, are present in history in Roman times starting from Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger, who observed the eruptions of Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields.
The first properly scientific observation of an eruption, however, was documented by Giuseppe Mercalli, Professor of Volcanology and Seismology at the University of Naples, and Orazio Silvestri, Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Catania, in the late 19th century.
The scientists observed the different phases of the 1888-90 eruption of Vulcano first hand, characterising its eruptive mechanisms, the chemical-physical and petrographic properties of the erupted magma, and took the first photographs of an explosive “vulcanian” eruption.