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Earthquake Risk in Italy - Updated for 2024

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We are often asked where the earthquake risk in Italy is at its most dangerous. We've got the answer for you: not only the most at-risk regions but the least-at-risk regions too. Simply scroll down and discover if the region of Italy you are visiting is at risk.

For volcano risk in Italy click here.

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

21 May 2024: Campo Flegrei, the most dangerous seismic area in all of Italy, and experts warn that it is in an extremely volatile state experienced a seismic swarm with 160 tremors since Monday evening, raising significant concern among residents. The strongest quake, with a magnitude of 4.4, struck at 8:10 PM, following an earlier 3.5 magnitude quake, marking the region's most powerful seismic activity in 40 years.

Inspections led to the evacuation of 39 families from 13 buildings in Pozzuoli. Additionally, 140 inmates from Pozzuoli's women's prison were evacuated due to structural damage. Cracks appeared in some buildings, prompting temporary relocation of the prisoners to other regional jails.

A reception area was set up at a sports center in the Monterusciello district of Pozzuoli, where 80 people slept overnight, while many others stayed in their cars. Residents expressed frustration over the chaos, with one noting, "I don't know what would have happened if it had occurred during the day with schools open. The panic is likely to cause more damage than the earthquake."

In response, authorities closed schools in Pozzuoli and surrounding towns on Tuesday for inspections. Bacoli’s Mayor, Josi Gerardo Della Ragione, confirmed the closure of all schools due to recent bradyseism tremors.

The Vesuvius Observatory identified the epicenter of the strongest quake near the Solfatara in Pozzuoli. Tremors were felt in Bacoli, Monte di Procida, and several Naples neighborhoods, causing widespread alarm. This recent 4.4 magnitude quake surpassed the previous high of 4.2 recorded in September 2023.

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

  1. The entire central mountain range area, but particularly the area running between Umbria and Le Marche in central Italy, is high-risk. This area has been badly hit in recent times with earthquakes, leading to extensive damage to property and loss of life. 
  2. South-western part of Calabria;
  3. North-eastern and south-western coasts of Sicily;
  4. The area north of Udine, bordering Slovenia, this is Italy's far north-east corner, located in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Positano, Amalfi Coast ItalyPositano & the Amalfi Coast, shown in the photo, is not considered a high risk area.

Low Risk

The low risk areas include:

  1. Eastern parts of Piedmont are low risk; however, the capital of this region,Turin, is just outside the low-risk zone of eastern Piedmont; therefore, Turin falls into the next category up, at 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. The eastern half of Trentino-Alto Adige.
  4. The southern half Puglia (from south of Bari to the southern tip of Puglia).

The Questions We Get Asked Most About Earthquakes in Italy

Is Rome at risk of earthquakes?

Rome is at the upper end of the medium risk category and borders onto the higher risk category.

Is Florence at risk of earthquakes?

Florence is at the upper end of the medium risk category for earthquakes.

Is Venice at risk of earthquakes?

Venice is in in the low medium risk category.

Is the Amalfi Coast a high-risk earthquake zone?

No, it is not considered a high-risk zone and is considered one of the safest parts of the Campania region.

Where was the worst earthquake in Italy? 

In Messina in 1908, it is believed that anywhere between 75,000 and 200,000 people were killed. This is the worst earthquake in European history and devastated both Eastern Sicily and Southern Calabria.

When was the last major earthquake in Italy?

In 2017 major earthquakes occurred in Lazio, Abruzzo, Le Marche and Umbria as well as on the island of Ischia.

Where can I get info when a major earthquake occurs in Italy.

Residents and tourists in Italy should stay informed through official channels, such as Italy's Civil Protection Department, and be aware of emergency procedures and evacuation routes. If you are not in an emergency situation or in an effected area you can follow the latest on major news events in Italy, including earthquakes, on our blog - you can follow us here.

Are there early warning systems for earthquakes in Italy?

Yes, Italy has implemented early warning systems, such as the ShakeAlert® system, to provide seconds to minutes of warning before strong shaking occurs.

Can earthquakes trigger volcanic activity in Italy?

Italy has both seismic and volcanic activity, but earthquakes do not directly trigger volcanic eruptions. They are separate geological phenomena.

Where is there 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 a house in Italy then you need to seriously consider if it is wise to buy real estate that is located in an earthquake prone area. The reasons for this are twofold:

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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