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Solfatara is a shallow volcanic crater at Pozzuoli, near Naples, and is part of the Campi Flegrei volcanic area. This region formed about 4000 years ago. The name stems from the Latin, Sulpha terra, "land of sulphur", or "sulfur earth".
It is a dormant volcano which is last known to have erupted in 1198. Nevertheless, it still emits jets of steam along with sulphurous fumes. From the Roman period onwards the vapours were used for medical purposes. The crater floor clearly remained a popular tourist attraction during the 17th century.