Sandwiched between the Alps and the Africa plate, Italy has always been a hotspot for seismic activity.
The map above shows the earthquake zones in Italy — basically the entire Italian peninsula is an earthquake zone.
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.
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.
Update: If you are looking for news on the August 24, 2016, earthquake in Central Italy, please visit this post.