The largest Roman naval base was first established here in 27 B.C. during emperor Augustus' rule. On one side of the vista, the mountain of Miseno has a walking trail that leads to a Roman tower once used as a military outlook. On the other side, a gate bars access to a fortified military area. How appropriate that two thousand years later, the Italians still use Misenum as a strategic military complex.
When Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., Pliny the Elder was in charge of the naval fleet and went by ship from here toward the destruction, probably to help rescue people, but he died instead. His nephew, Pliny the Younger, was a resident of Misenum at the time and wrote an account of the eruption as he watched from this very mountain.
The name Misenum comes from Misenus, a character in Virgil's Aeneid who drowned off the coast nearby after a trumpet competition with the sea-god Triton.