Social innovation & local traditions to react after a disaster in Marche region

R5 - Appignano del Tronto
Where we are

The Marche region is the area in the central part of Italy, between the Apennines and the Adriatic Sea. In its province Ascoli Piceno, the municipality of Appignano del Tronto is located. The municipality has been recently exposed to a huge disaster – the seismic sequence of 2016-2017. The consequences were devastating, with almost 50% of the houses in the historical heart of the town condemned.




Appignano del Tronto prominent characteristic is the presence of rolling hills contrasted by light blue rock badlands. This natural landscape was shaped by three torrential rivers, Chifente, Pioppo and Volubile, which create the scenery of invaluable beauty. They represent an eternal fight between the hydrogeological fragility and the beauty of the landscape.

This 23 km2 territory has a pastoral vocation. Appignano del Tronto is proud of its long-standing tradition of preparing firework shows and setting up traditional music bands, consisting of different generations of musicians.

The area has a lot of buildings with high historical value. A building complex located in one of its main districts, named ‘Valle Orta’, is one of such examples. The complex was constructed by a local religious woman, Mother Maria Giacobetti. Nowadays its church is a place of pilgrimage, and the building is used to host political refugees.

On 24 August 2016, a terrible earthquake shocked the area. The numbers below describe state of the art in the municipality and show that it still feels the consequences of the disaster:

  • Total buildings:1100
    • Condemned buildings after 2016-2017 Central Italy seismic sequence: 225 (20.5%)
  • Total population: 1767 Displaced people after 2016-2017
    • Central Italy seismic sequence: 150 (8.5%)

Rural Heritage Hub

The Rural Heritage Hub will be located in a building belonging to the historic center of Appignano del Tronto. The building used to be a nursery school. It is now partially renovated and converted into an auditorium. It represents a happy stage of the existence for local people. It means lightheartedness, friendship and education for them. It is a symbol of resilience, a place to set a basis to restart, even after a disaster. The facility has a priceless cultural value in our grandparents, parents and sons’ minds.

Appignano del Tronto hub