Is Mount Vesuvius still active?

Mount Vesuvius is the renowned volcano that is famed for destroying the historic city Pompeii in 79 A.D. Pompeii is now one of the largest archaeological sights in the world, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. All the while Mount Vesuvius is still sitting by, a massive looming volcano along the Bay of Naples.

History of Mount Vesuvius’s eruptions

Mount Vesuvius is an ancient volcano, with the oldest dated rock found on the large structure estimating to be about 300,000 years old. There have been a number of eruptions throughout its life, calculated to be in the high 30s. With eight major eruptions in the last 17,000 years, the most recent in 1944 during World War II. The 79 A.D. is by far it’s most famous eruption, obliterating and burying the nearby cities and towns in the thick volcanic ash. The volcano blasted waves of scorching volcanic ash, the ‘pyroclastic flows’ containing gas, ash, and rock. The wall of smoke estimated to be over 32 km tall, gathering speeds of 700km per hour. The gas rained down on the people of Pompeii burning their physical bodies and essentially burring them alive. Before this event, no one was aware that Vesuvius was an active volcano, even despite a warning earthquake before the eruption. It is still an active volcano, being the only estimating one in the entire is of Europe.

Will it erupt again?

For Vesuvius, it is not a question of if it erupts but when. Scientists have estimated that Italy’s volcano is overdue for an eruption. Due to the large population surrounding the volcano, Mount Vesuvius could jeopardize over 3 million people. There are many ongoing studies, monitoring the volcano’s activity, gas emissions and other indicators will give locals a warning for a future flare-up. The Italian government has also planned an eruption evacuation, to give nearby citizens a quick escape when the time comes. The ‘red zone’ which refers to the areas in closest danger to the volcano, including the city of Naples, have a prearranged evacuation 72 hours ahead of an impending outbreak.

How can you see it?

On your journey to Pompeii, a great stopover is a trek up to the looming volcano that caused the historic city’s demise. Whether you are driving up, a long-time hiker or just stopping through, travelling to the top of Mount Vesuvius is worthwhile. A breathtaking view of the cities Naples and Pompeii, the stunning coastline of the Bay of Naples, as well as the stretching blue sea with the islands Capri and Ischia sitting within. No trip to Pompeii is complete without a visit to this famous Mount Vesuvius.

Visit Mount Vesuvius on our Pompeii Day Tour today!