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The Friuli Model and the 1976 earthquake.

The destruction, reconstruction and rebirth of Gemona del Friuli in an emotional itinerary of 26 sites.

The earthquakes of May and September 1976 dramatically altered the course of recent history in Gemona del Friuli and Venzone: so many victims, two magnificent historic medieval town centres devastated, and the local social and economic fabric torn to pieces.

This terrible destruction was followed by an impressive reconstruction effort, writing one of the most beautiful pages in the centuries-old history of the two towns, which drew strength from their deepest roots to rise up again together.

The 1976 earthquake in Gemona
The 1976 earthquake in Gemona
Rescue workers in Gemona after the 1976 earthquake
Rescue workers in Gemona after the 1976 earthquake
Entrance to the Cathedral in Gemona after the 1976 earthquake
Entrance to the Cathedral in Gemona after the 1976 earthquake
Detail of the Cathedral after the 1976 earthquake in Gemona
Detail of the Cathedral after the 1976 earthquake in Gemona
Columns of the Cathedral in Gemona in 1976
Columns of the Cathedral in Gemona in 1976
“Glemone torne su” - Gemona will rise up again, written on a wall after the earthquake
“Glemone torne su” – Gemona will rise up again, written on a wall after the earthquake
Two children after the 1976 earthquake in Gemona
Two children after the 1976 earthquake in Gemona
Rescue workers in Gemona after the 1976 earthquake
Rescue workers in Gemona after the 1976 earthquake
Living in tents in Gemona after the 1976 earthquake
Living in tents in Gemona after the 1976 earthquake
Reconstruction of the Cathedral after the 1976 earthquake in Gemona
Reconstruction of the Cathedral after the 1976 earthquake in Gemona
Leaving after the 1976 earthquake in Gemona
Leaving after the 1976 earthquake in Gemona
Ricostruzione del Duomo dopo terremoto del 1976 a Gemona

A successful reconstruction

Thus Gemona and Venzone were born again: a reconstruction project that set an example for the participation of the people and the work of the institutions, known the world over as the “Friuli Model”, a miracle enacted in all 137 of the municipalities affected by the earthquake.

Gemona and Venzone today offer an example and model of “successful reconstruction”, which we invite you to learn about through a highly emotional theme tour.

From the decisions made by the local people and institutions to the various administrative polices and methods adopted, from reconstruction to restoration by anastylosis using the original parts, we can all learn about and experience this process implemented by the tenacious people of Friuli.

"1976 – Fragments of Memory” itinerary

There is an itinerary for touring Gemona del Friuli through an “emotional” experience and itinerary telling the story of the town’s rebirth following the 1976 earthquake. Visitors are accompanied along an alternative itinerary, touring exhibitions, photo collections and particularly symbolic and significant sites.

“Fragments of Memory” photo panel itinerary

This itinerary touches on  26 sites which could be described as “places of memory”, presenting the most important buildings, views and corners of the city, with photographs taken before and immediately after the earthquake, while the results of the reconstruction are before the visitor’s eyes all the time, permitting comprehension, comparison and verification of the different approaches to reconstruction and methods used, and the immense amount of work that was done to bring the city back to life.

modello-friuli_mostra-terremoto-gemona

"1976 – Fragments of Memory” permanent photographic exhibition

via bini 26 – historic town centre

A series of snapshots from the archives of local and national photographers, presented with texts, testimony and film segments telling the story of the May 6 earthquake and the reconstruction, with the goal of “preserving the memory” of the earthquake and revealing “the dramatic power of the event and the strength of a people who rose up again out of the dust”.

OPENING HOURS
Winter:
Tuesday-Sunday: 10.00-18.00
Closed Mondays
Summer:
every day 9.30-19.00

“1976 FRAGMENTS OF MEMORY” educational workshop about the earthquake

Piazza Municipio, 5

Set up by Ecomuseo delle Acque del Gemonese and the City of Gemona, with the scientific assistance of the National Institution of Geophysics and Volcanology, offering an opportunity for multidisciplinary learning about seismic phenomena with a highly interactive, participatory approach. Part of a regional itinerary about the earthquake in Friuli which includes not only the “1976 Fragments of Memory” photo exhibition but the documentary exhibition “Tiere Motus” in Venzone and a series of itineraries in the Gemona area.

OPENING HOURS
Saturday:
10:00 – 13:00 / 15:00 – 18:00

Sunday:
10:00 – 13:00

INFO AND BOOKING
Ecomuseo delle Acque del Gemonese
+39 338 7187227

modello-friuli_lab-didattico-terremoto

Church of the Beata Vergine delle Grazie

Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie a Gemona

A symbol of the earthquake and its destructive power, with its monumental late 15th century staircase, the ruins of which have been arranged to form a rock garden, with restoration of the doorway, parts of the façade and the outer walls.

The church was known as “the little picture gallery of Gemona” because it contained important paintings, a number of which are now on exhibit in the Civic Museum in Palazzo Elti.

Monumental door of the Town Hall loggia

Dettaglio Porta della Memoria a Gemona

Gemonese artist Ercole Emidio Casolo created the bronze “Door of memory” in 2006 to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the 1976 Friuli earthquake. Gemona del Friuli rose to fame all over the world under the sad title of earthquake “capital”, and today the name is synonymous with resilience, offering an ideal model of “successful reconstruction” setting an example in terms of the participation of the local population and the work of the institutions that has become known the world over as the “Friuli Model”.

Ercole Casolo, who is not only an artist but a historian with in-depth knowledge of events in the city, has managed to tell a story ten years long in eight squares, with eight captions and eight pillars, abounding in artistic details telling the story of the events from the destruction to the reconstruction of the town.

The decision to place the work in the loggia of the town hall is clearly a symbolic one: the door leading into the Council Chambers of the City of Gemona, the “centre of operations” for the reconstruction of the town, is also the door everyone passes through to enter the “home” of the community.

In memory of the victims, the town cemetery contains a  Memorial by architects Gianpaolo Della Marina and Marzia Di Doi, a symbolic, evocative work bearing a heart-rending poem by the late Gemonese citizen ltalo Calligaris.

 

“It was a night in May”
It was a night
in May
that tore us up by our roots
and all that we were
lay hidden beneath
a quavering mantle
of debris,
but they thought us
alive
though we were dead
to the comfort of tears
to the warm embrace

Chosen for you
What to see

Gemona Cathedral

Itineraries

A stroll through the town centre

Trivia

The “Borgate” or hamlets

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