We had a great time visiting Pompeii and its volcano this summer. Vesuvius literally blew its top in AD79 and submerged the town of Pompeii in ash, mud, and molten lava. The ruins deserve their reputation: they're incredibly well preserved, down to murals, pottery, and yes, casts of the victims.
Travel tips: If you're an EU citizen bring your passport or driver's license along to the ruins, your children will get in free and adults pay less too. We paid a taxi driver 120 Euros to pick us up at Pompei train station, drive us up the volcano (stopping when we wanted to take pictures), wait 1.5 hrs while we explored the crater, then drop us off at the ruins. It was worth it and, given that there are five of us, much cheaper than paying for five seats on a bus tour. We saw Vesuvius and Pompeii in a single day.