Mount Vesuvius towers over the city of Naples (Photo: Getty)

A tourist who climbed Mount Vesuvius by the forbidden route hurt himself by falling into a crater after dropping his phone while taking a selfie.

A 23-year-old man descended into the crater of an active volcano in Italy while trying to retrieve his cellphone, then fell several meters after losing his balance.

Guides nearby had to descend into the crater to pull him back out, and a mountain rescue helicopter was even called.

They treated him for minor injuries, including cuts and bruises to his arms and back, but he refused to be taken to a hospital, according to La Repubblica.

Now an American and his family are being investigated for taking a forbidden route up the volcano, ignoring signs that told them it was dangerous.

They were reported to the police and may be charged with trespassing.

The last time Mount Vesuvius erupted was in 1944 (Photo: Bettmann archive)
A drone shot looking into the crater of Vesuvius (Photo: Getty)

The family reportedly did not purchase tickets and bypassed the turnstile to take the prohibited route.

Mount Vesuvius, which towers over the southern city of Naples, is infamous as the volcano that destroyed Pompeii in AD 79.

It continued to erupt in 1944 and is still considered one of the most dangerous in the world because it is so close to residential areas, 600,000 people live in the danger zone.

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US tourist fell into Mount Vesuvius after taking selfie and ignoring signs

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