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Earthquakes in Italy and a Map of Italy’s Earthquake Zones

Sandwiched between the Alps and the Africa plate, Italy has always been a hotspot for seismic activity.

Take a look at this simple map, which shows the earthquake zones in Italy.

The legend indicates that the strongest quakes, the Category I tremors, are common in a few pockets in Sicily, Basilicata, Puglia, Campania, Lazio, Abruzzo, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

The lower-grade Category III quakes show up mostly in southern Italy, in Puglia and Campania.

But the large portion of the country lies in a Category II quake zone.

As you can see, almost the entire Italian peninsula is an earthquake zone.

Besides natural plate movements, fracking is also a possible cause of the latest seismic phenomenon in regions like Emilia Romagna. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, “is a [mining] technique used to release petroleum, natural gas, or other substances for extraction.” Daily Kos links to a number of articles about the latest drilling/fracking/gas exploration projects in the Po River Valley.


Seismic activity in Italy is very common. Since writing this post, in response to the 2012 Emilia earthquakes, there have been several other earthquakes to hit the Italian peninsula. In fact, I wrote about — and felt — the August 24, 2016, earthquake that destroyed the central Italian town of Amatrice. Also since the original publication of this post, I have found a more detailed map of the earthquakes that have hit Italy over the last century.

Earthquakes in Italy on a Map

Photo of earthquakes in Italy from 1900 to 2017. / Photo: Phoenix7777Own work [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Resources for Italy Earthquake Information

I cannot possibly cover every tremor that happens in Italy, though I do try to write about ones that are newsworthy for the purposes of an Italy travel website. For example, in 2009 I wrote about the Beffi triptych, a work of art that was saved during the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, Abruzzo.

But there are better places for you keep up with the latest earthquake info. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, or EMSC, is a great resource for keeping up with earthquake news in Italy. They have an app called LastQuake, which I don’t use, but I do follow their twitter account @EMSC.

In fact, Twitter is the best resource for real-time info on earthquakes in Italy. Simply follow the hashtag #terremoto (terremoto means earthquake in Italian) to understand that earthquakes, both small and large, are happening all the time in Italy.

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