Alban Hills
The Alban Hills are the site of a quiescent volcanic complex
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

 in Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, located 20 km (12.4 mi) southeast of Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and about 24 kilometres (14.9 mi) north of Anzio.

The dominant peak (but not the highest) is Monte Cavo
Monte Cavo
Monte Cavo is the second highest mountain of the complex of the Alban Hills, near Rome, Italy. An old volcano extinguished around 10,000 years ago, it lies about from the sea, in the territory of the comuneof Rocca di Papa. It is the dominant peak of the Alban Hills...

. There are two small caldera
A caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption, such as the one at Yellowstone National Park in the US. They are sometimes confused with volcanic craters...

s which contain lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

s, Lago Albano and Lake Nemi
Lake Nemi
Lake Nemi is a small circular volcanic lake in the Lazio region of Italy south of Rome, taking its name from Nemi, the largest town in the area, that overlooks it from a height.-Archaeology and history:The lake is most famous for its sunken Roman ships...

. The rock of the hills is called Peperino (lapis albanus) a particular Tuff
Tuff is a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from vents during a volcanic eruption. Tuff is sometimes called tufa, particularly when used as construction material, although tufa also refers to a quite different rock. Rock that contains greater than 50% tuff is considered...

, a combination of ash and small rocks that is useful for construction, and provides a mineral-rich substrate for grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...



The area was inhabited by the Latini during the 5th to 3rd centuries BC. The ancient Romans
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 called them Albanus Mons. On the summit was the sanctuary
A sanctuary is any place of safety. They may be categorized into human and non-human .- Religious sanctuary :A religious sanctuary can be a sacred place , or a consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar.- Sanctuary as a sacred place :#Sanctuary as a sacred place:#:In...

 of Jupiter
Jupiter (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Jupiter or Jove is the king of the gods, and the god of the sky and thunder. He is the equivalent of Zeus in the Greek pantheon....

 Latiaris, in which the consul
Consul was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic...

s celebrated the Feriae Latinae, and several general
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

s celebrated victories here when they were not accorded regular triumph
Roman triumph
The Roman triumph was a civil ceremony and religious rite of ancient Rome, held to publicly celebrate and sanctify the military achievement of an army commander who had won great military successes, or originally and traditionally, one who had successfully completed a foreign war. In Republican...

s in Rome. The temple has not survived, but the Via Triumphalis leading up to it may still be seen.

The hills, especially around the shores of the lakes, have been popular since prehistoric times. From the 9th to 7th century BC there were numerous villages (see the legendary Alba Longa
Alba Longa
Alba Longa – in Italian sources occasionally written Albalonga – was an ancient city of Latium in central Italy southeast of Rome in the Alban Hills. Founder and head of the Latin League, it was destroyed by Rome around the middle of the 7th century BC. In legend, Romulus and Remus, founders of...

 and Tusculum
Tusculum is a ruined Roman city in the Alban Hills, in the Latium region of Italy.-Location:Tusculum is one of the largest Roman cities in Alban Hills. The ruins of Tusculum are located on Tuscolo hill—more specifically on the northern edge of the outer crater ring of the Alban volcano...

). In Roman times these villages were inhabited as a way to escape the heat and crowds of Rome, and there are many villa
A villa was originally an ancient Roman upper-class country house. Since its origins in the Roman villa, the idea and function of a villa have evolved considerably. After the fall of the Roman Republic, villas became small farming compounds, which were increasingly fortified in Late Antiquity,...

s and country houses.

Towns and cities

The towns and villages in the Alban Hills are known as the Castelli Romani.

Volcanic activity

Examination of deposits have dated the two most recent eruptions to around 37,000 and 41,000 years ago. The area exhibits small localised earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

 swarms, bradyseism
Bradyseism is the gradual uplift or descent of part of the Earth's surface caused by the filling or emptying of an underground magma chamber and/or hydrothermal activity, particularly in volcanic calderas...

, and release of carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 and hydrogen sulphide into the atmosphere. The uplift and earthquake swarms have been interpreted as caused by a slowly growing spherical magma chamber
Magma chamber
A magma chamber is a large underground pool of molten rock found beneath the surface of the Earth. The molten rock in such a chamber is under great pressure, and given enough time, that pressure can gradually fracture the rock around it creating outlets for the magma...

 5-6 kilometres below the surface; some think that it may erupt again; if so, there is risk to Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, which is only 25 to 30 km away.

There is documentary evidence of an eruption in 114 BC
114 BC
Year 114 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Balbus and Cato...

, but the absence of holocene
The Holocene is a geological epoch which began at the end of the Pleistocene and continues to the present. The Holocene is part of the Quaternary period. Its name comes from the Greek words and , meaning "entirely recent"...

 geological deposits has largely discredited it as a volcanic event and instead the account is considered to be a description of a forest fire.

The volcano emits large amounts of carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

. This can potentially reach lethal concentrations if it accumulates in depressions in the ground in the absence of wind
Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. In outer space, solar wind is the movement of gases or charged particles from the sun through space, while planetary wind is the outgassing of light chemical elements from a planet's atmosphere into space...

. The asphyxiation of 29 cows in September 1999 prompted a detailed survey, which found that concentration of the gas at 1.5 m above the ground in a residential area on the northwestern flank sometimes exceeded the occupational health threshold of 0.5%. Eight sheep were killed in a similar incident in October 2001.


Writers and artists who have produced work about this area include:
  • Clara Louisa Wells
    Clara Louisa Wells
    Clara Louisa Wells was an American writer and inventor who lived between 1848/1850 and 1923/1925. She was born in New England, studied in Boston and took a degree in science. She had very good knowledge of Latin, Greek, Italian and French....

     in The Alban Hills ed. 1878
  • Charles Coleman painter
  • Charles H. Poingdestre
    Charles H. Poingdestre
    Charles H. Poingdestre was a painter. He stayed in Rome 30 years where he opened a paint studio in Dei greci road, n. 36.Some favourite subjects of his paintings were the "Campagna Romana" and the "Paludi Pontine"....

  • Edward Lear
    Edward Lear
    Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator, author, and poet, renowned today primarily for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form that he popularised.-Biography:...

     painter and lithographer
  • Ellis Cornelia Knight
    Ellis Cornelia Knight
    Ellis Cornelia Knight was a writer and painter who socialized with many of the notable personalities of the late reign of George III: Horatio Nelson, Lord and Lady Hamilton, the Prince Regent, the Princess of Wales, and the Princess Charlotte....

    , writer and painter in "Description of Latium or La Campagna di Roma"
  • George Gordon Byron in "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
    Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
    Childe Harold's Pilgrimage is a lengthy narrative poem in four parts written by Lord Byron. It was published between 1812 and 1818 and is dedicated to "Ianthe". The poem describes the travels and reflections of a world-weary young man who, disillusioned with a life of pleasure and revelry, looks...

  • Georgina E. Troutbeck - Rambles in Rome - London - ed. Mills & Bonn - 1914
  • James Duffield Harding
    James Duffield Harding
    James Duffield Harding , English landscape painter, was the son of an artist, and took to the same vocation at an early age, although he had originally been destined for the law...

     in "Tourist in Italy"
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer, pictorial artist, biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath. He is considered the supreme genius of modern German literature. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science. His Faust has been called the greatest long...

     in "Italian Journey
    Italian Journey
    Italian Journey is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's report on his travels to Italy from 1786–7, published in 1816–7. The book is based on Goethe's diaries...

  • John Henry Henshall
    John Henry Henshall
    John Henry Henshall , born Manchester 1856, was a painter and etcher and a member of the Royal Watercolour Society. Leaving school at the age of sixteen, Henry - he preferred his second forename to that of John - attended the Manchester School of Art, where he was taught by William Jabez Muckley...

     watercolor painter
  • Richard Colt Hoare
    Richard Colt Hoare
    Sir Richard Colt Hoare, 2nd Baronet FRS was an English antiquarian, archaeologist, artist, and traveller of the 18th and 19th centuries, the first major figure in the detailed study of the history of his home county, Wiltshire.-Career:Hoare was descended from Sir Richard Hoare, Lord Mayor of...

     in "A classical tour through Italy and Sicily"
  • Richard Voss
  • Thomas Ashby
    Thomas Ashby
    Thomas Ashby FBA was a British archaeologist.-Family:He was the only child of Thomas Ashby , and his wife, Rose Emma, daughter of Apsley Smith...

    , archaeologist, wrote "The Roman Campagna in Classic Time"
  • William Brockedon
    William Brockedon
    William Brockedon was a 19th century English painter.-Early life:He was born at Totnes on 13 October 1787, son of a watchmaker. He was educated at a private school in Totnes, but learned more from his father, taking over the business during the illness of nearly twelve months which ended in his...

     painter and illustrator of guide-book
  • William Leighton Leitch
    William Leighton Leitch
    William Leighton Leitch was a master Scottish landscape watercolour painter and illustrator. He was Drawing Master to Queen Victoria for 22 years...

     watercolor painter in Lanuvio
  • John Singer Sargent
    John Singer Sargent
    John Singer Sargent was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings...

    , painter in Villa Torlonia
    Villa Torlonia (Frascati)
    The Villa Torlonia in Frascati is a villa belonging to the Torlonia family in Frascati, Italy.The land on which the villa was built originally belonged to the Abbey of Grottaferrata, which donated it in 1563 to Annibal Caro, who commissioned a small villa where he spent the last years of his life,...

     - Frascati
    Frascati is a town and comune in the province of Rome in the Lazio region of central Italy. It is located south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills close to the ancient city of Tusculum. Frascati is closely associated with science, being the location of several international scientific...

  • Gavin Hamilton, artist and antiquarian, painter and archaeologist, in Genzano and Lanuvio (18th century)
  • Stendhal
    Marie-Henri Beyle , better known by his pen name Stendhal, was a 19th-century French writer. Known for his acute analysis of his characters' psychology, he is considered one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism in his two novels Le Rouge et le Noir and La Chartreuse de Parme...

    , writer, in Albano Laziale, Chroniques italiennes (1836–1839):L'Abbesse de Castro
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.