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An Overview of Seismic Risk Management for Italian Architectural Heritage

Lucio Nobile*

Laboratory LADS, Department DICAM, University of Bologna, Cesena, Italy

* Corresponding Author: Lucio Nobile. Email:

Structural Durability & Health Monitoring 2023, 17(5), 353-368.


The frequent occurrence of seismic events in Italy poses a strategic problem that involves either the culture of preservation of historical heritage or the civil protection action aimed to reduce the risk to people and goods (buildings, bridges, dams, slopes, etc.). Most of the Italian architectural heritage is vulnerable to earthquakes, identifying the vulnerability as the inherent predisposition of the masonry building to suffer damage and collapse during an earthquake. In fact, the structural concept prevailing in these ancient masonry buildings is aimed at ensuring prevalent resistance to vertical gravity loads. Rarely do these ancient masonry structures offer relevant resistance to actions other than vertical ones and then they are intrinsically vulnerable to stresses induced by the earthquakes. One of the main technical activities carried out by the Civil Protection after an earthquake is to assess the damage in the buildings and to evaluate their own usability. Regarding historical buildings, ad-hoc synthetic forms, drafted in agreement between the Italian Civil Protection Department and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism and based on visual inspection, are adopted by qualified technicians. In this paper, such activities are described and discussed along with the Italian Civil Protection System. However, given the complexity of the main technical activities to be performed after an earthquake there is a need for more accurate methods based on Structural Health Monitoring.


Cite This Article

Nobile, L. (2023). An Overview of Seismic Risk Management for Italian Architectural Heritage. Structural Durability & Health Monitoring, 17(5), 353–368.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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