|Elevation||950 m (3,120 ft)|
|Last eruption||5,000 BC|
The dominant peak (but not the highest) is Monte Cavo at 950 m. There are two small calderas which contain lakes, Lago Albano and Lake Nemi. The rock of the hills is called Peperino (lapis albanus) a particular Tuff, a combination of ash and small rocks that is useful for construction, and provides a mineral-rich substrate for grape vines.
The area was inhabited by the Latini during the 5th to 3rd centuries BC. The ancient Romans called them Albanus Mons. On the summit was the sanctuary of Jupiter Latiaris, in which the consuls celebrated the Feriae Latinae, and several generals celebrated victories here when they were not accorded regular triumphs 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 and Tusculum). In Roman times these villages were inhabited as a way to escape the heat and crowds of Rome, and there are many villas and country houses.
Towns and cities
The towns and villages in the Alban Hills are known as the Castelli Romani.
Examination of deposits have dated the four most recent eruptions to two temporal peaks, around 36,000 and 39,000 years ago. The area exhibits small localised earthquake swarms, bradyseism, and release of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide into the atmosphere. The uplift and earthquake swarms have been interpreted as caused by a slowly growing spherical magma chamber 5-6 kilometres below the surface; some think that it may erupt again; if so, there is risk to Rome, which is only 25 to 30 km away.
There is documentary evidence of an eruption in 114 BC, but the absence of holocene 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. This can potentially reach lethal concentrations if it accumulates in depressions in the ground in the absence of wind. 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 in The Alban Hills ed. 1878
- Charles Coleman painter
- Charles H. Poingdestre painter
- Edward Lear painter and lithographer
- Ellis Cornelia Knight, writer and painter in Description of Latium or La Campagna di Roma
- George Gordon Byron in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
- Georgina E. Troutbeck - Rambles in Rome - London - ed. Mills & Boon - 1914
- James Duffield Harding in Tourist in Italy
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in Italian Journey
- John Henry Henshall watercolor painter
- Richard Colt Hoare in A classical tour through Italy and Sicily
- Richard Voss
- Thomas Ashby, archaeologist, wrote The Roman Campagna in Classic Time
- William Brockedon painter and illustrator of guide-books
- William Leighton Leitch watercolor painter in Lanuvio
- John Singer Sargent, painter in Villa Torlonia - Frascati
- Gavin Hamilton, artist and antiquarian, painter and archaeologist, in Genzano and Lanuvio (18th century)
- Stendhal, writer, in Albano Laziale, Chroniques italiennes (1836–1839): L'Abbesse de Castro
- Louis Gurlitt, German painter
- Freda, Carmela et al. (2006). "Eruptive history and petrologic evolution of the Albano multiple maar (Alban Hills, Central Italy)". Bulletin of Volcanology 68: 567–591. doi:10.1007/s00445-005-0033-6.
- Cecconi, Manuela; Scarapazzi, Maurizio and Viggiani, Giulia M. B. (2010). "On the geology and the geotechnical properties of pyroclastic flow deposits of the Colli Albani". Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment 69 (2): 185–206. doi:10.1007/s10064-009-0250-x.
- Behncke, Boris (2003). "Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology". Archived from the original on 13 February 2006.
- Feuillet, N.; Nostro, C.; Chiarabba, C. and Cocco, M. (2004). "Coupling between earthquake swarms and volcanic unrest at the Alban Hills Volcano (central Italy) modeled through elastic stress transfer". Journal of Geophysical Research 119 (B2): B02308.1––B02308.16. doi:10.1029/2003JB002419.
- Carapezza, M. L.; Barberi, F.; Tarchini, L.; Ranaldi, M. and Ricci, T. (2010). "Volcanic hazards of the Colli Albani". In Funiciello, R. and Giordano, G. The Colli Albani Volcano. Special Publications of IAVCEI #3. London: Geological Society. pp. 279–297.
- Pizzino, L.; Galli, G; Mancini, C.; Quattrocchi, F. and Scarlato, P. (2002). "Natural Gas Hazard (CO2, 222Rn) within a Quiescent Volcanic Region and Its Relations with Seismotectonics: The Case of the Ciampino-Marino Area (Alban Hills Volcano, Italy)". Natural Hazards 27 (3): 257–287.
- 5000 parts per million which is .5%. "Occupational Health Guideline for Carbon Dioxide". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, United States Center for Disease Control. 1975. Archived from the original on 7 June 2009.
- Benson, Sally and Cook, Peter, et al. (2005). "Chapter 5: Underground geological storage". In Arbanades, Juan Carlos. IPCC Special Report on Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. pp. 195–276, page 249. ISBN 978-0-521-86643-9. Archived from the original on 2 June 2006. citing Carapezza, M. L.; Badalamenti, B.; Cavarra, L. and Scalzo, A. (2003). "Gas hazard assessment in a densely inhabited area of Colli Albani Volcano (Cava dei Selci, Roma)". Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 123 (1/2): 81–94. doi:10.1016/S0377-0273(03)00029-5.
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