Is Vesuvius still active?

Yes, and this is a big worry for many Italian authorities. In fact it happens to be the only active volcano on the mainland continent of Europe. Nearly 1.5 million people happen to live within the local region surrounding its base. Standing at a height of about 1277 Meters/4,190 feet, its crater measures nearly 600Meters/2,000 feet in diameter and 300Meters/1000 feet deep, and is just a mere 7-9 miles/11-15 Km southeast of Naples, Italy’s third largest city. It was made most famous by its eruption on August 24 in 79AD when nearby cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae were frozen in time by falling ash and lava killing an estimated 16-20,000 people. Much of what we know about that day comes from the Roman author, Pliny the Younger, who wrote an eyewitness account describing his uncle’s final moments (Pliny the Elder) before being killed by the eruption. On December 16 and 17 in 1631 nearly 18,000 were estimated killed in another eruption. Since then it has erupted 20 more times. A Royal Observatory was established on its slopes in 1884 to monitor its activity. More recently in April of 1906 several towns were destroyed by an eruption and in March of 1944 it destroyed the village of San Sebastiano. Despite the popularity of Vesuvius however, it should be noted that Mt. Etna in Sicily is actually Europe’s largest volcano. For access of up to four different webcam shots of Vesuvius, visit and click English and look for the webcam toolbar near the bottom of the page. You can Book a Tour at

Since then, Mount Vesuvius has experienced numerous eruptions, with the most recent one occurring in 1944. This eruption caused significant damage to nearby towns and villages, but it was not as devastating as the eruption in 79 AD.

Today, Mount Vesuvius is closely monitored by the Vesuvius Observatory, which keeps a close watch on its activity and provides early warning systems for nearby communities. While it is considered an active volcano, it is important to note that eruptions can be highly unpredictable, and the observatory's vigilance is crucial for the safety of the surrounding population.