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Earthquake Risk in Italy - Updated for 2022

We are often asked where the earthquake risk in Italy is at its most dangerous. We've the answer for you: not only the most at risk but the least at risk regions too.

High Risk: regions where the worst earthquakes in Italian history have occurred and are at high risk.

Earthquake damage to a house in Umbria

A few areas in particular stand out, they are as follows:

  1. The central mountain range area, running from Umbria and Le Marche in central Italy, has been badly hit in recent times - this risk zone runs all the way down to Calabria in the far south;
  2. South-western part of Calabria;
  3. North-eastern and south-western coasts of Sicily;
  4. The area north of Udine, bordering Slovenia, in Italy's far north-east corner region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Low Risk

The low risk areas include:

  1. Eastern parts of Piedmont; the capital of this region is Turin and the city is just outside the low risk zone of eastern Piedmont, therefore Turin falls into the low end of the medium earthquake risk category.
  2. Most of Lombardy, this is the region where Milan is located and Milan has a moderate risk of earthquakes as it, like Turin, falls just outside Lombardy's low risk area and is therefore in the low end of the medium risk category.
  3. Eastern half of Trentino-Alto Adige;
  4. The southern half Puglia (from south of Bari to the southern tip of Puglia).

The 4 Questions We Get Asked Most About Earthquakes in Italy

  1. Question: Is Rome at risk of earthquakes?  Answer: Rome is at the upper end of the medium risk category and borders onto the higher risk category.
  2. Question: Is Florence at risk of earthquakes? Answer: Florence is at the upper end of the "medium" risk category for earthquakes.
  3. Question: Is Venice at risk of earthquakes? Answer: Venice is in in the low medium risk category.
  4. Question: Where was the worst earthquake in Italy? Answer: Messina in 1908, anywhere between 75,000 and 200,000 where killed. This is the worst earthquake in European history and devastated both Eastern Sicily and Southern Calabria.
  5. Question: When was the last major earthquake in Italy? Answer: In 2017 major quakes occurred in Lazio, Abruzzo, Le Marche and Umbria as well as on the island of Ischia.

Virtually No Earthquake Risk in Italy?

When it comes to earthquakes there is virtually nowhere on earth that is zero risk. In Italy, the region with virtually no risk of earthquakes is Sardinia. It is pretty much as safe as the safest corners of the globe.

Earthquake Risk in Italy Map

Is the region of Italy you're visiting at risk? Have a look at the seismic risk map for Italy

Important Note

If you are going on vacation to Italy then the earthquake risk will probably not influence your decision on where to visit. I am no statistician, but I would think that the risk of an earthquake happening during your week or two in Italy would be tiny.

Of course, there is never a guarantee of anything these days so always make sure you are insured - see our important advice here.

However, if you are buying property then you need to seriously consider if it is wise to buy in an earthquake prone area.

Firstly, because any property you see may have previous earthquake damage that you are unaware of.

Secondly, there is always the risk of a future earthquake destroying your Italian dream and risking your life in the space of minutes.

The choice is yours! However, be sure you read our guide to insuring a home in Italy against earthquakes etc.

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