Today it is still regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes because 3 million people live nearby and Vesuvius' eruptions tend to be explosive rather than gentle. The last eruption was in March 1944 which destroyed several nearby villages.
Review by malcolm p, May 2013
Doing what: Naples Shore Excursion: Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii Day Trip from Naples
3 parts, Pompeii, lunch, Vesuvius. Tour was compressed to 6 hours so we could get back to our ship on time, which meant our Pompeii tour was rushed. Pompeii is huge, we took the quick route through, but as we walked we looked down side streets - more buildings and streets everywhere. Tour guide was a bit inexperienced, kept having to ask her where we are on the map. Lots of stepping up and down from high curbs, paving stones are rough. Pompeii really needs a full day plus to completely see everything. Lunch was thin-shell pizza or pasta, free drinks, good rest break. Vesuvius was a real hike, the bus goes to the top of the tree line, then it is about a one-mile hike on a 10-foot wide fenced path at about a steady 10%+ grade to the top, 30 minutes up, 20 minutes down. Going up, the back of your legs and buttocks wear out and coming down your thighs wear out. Take one of the staffs offered at the start - they're free (donations please). At the top, they ask you to wait for a free guide, but you can continue on your own - ours was a geologist. I have a problem with heights, so the crater was scary - 500 foot vertical cliffs to the bottom. The only sign of activity was a steam vent in one side. Easy walk 1/3-way around the rim, view Pompeii, etc. Easy walk back down, but the path is loose volcanic material, my legs were trembling afterward. Very first time I've seen a volcano close up.
Wow, what a wonderful trip! We were picked up at our hotel on time, and our guide and driver were excellent! Pompei is just amazing and our guide was so informative and interesting, he really made the place come alive for us! Vesuvius too was quite thrilling, altho its a much less detailed and much shorter tour. The +- 1 mile trek to the volcano edge was tough but definitely worth doing - all in all, it was great value for money and I would not hesitate to recommend it
Our guide, David, was superb. Full of interesting information that was easy to listen to. I was thrilled to walk on a live volcano and one so infamous. The pizza in Naples was absolutely delicious. The ruins of Pompeii were fascinating and older and in much better condition than Rome's. The only disappointment was the weather. Cloud on Mt. Vesuvius kept us from seeing anything but the ground beneath our feet (not even the crater when I stood right next to it) and we got drenched with rain in Pompeii.