Field team: survey of the Santissimo Sacramento e Rosario church

The following pictures were taken by Eng. Francesco Graziotti, Eng. Ilaria Senaldi and Eng. Daniele Perrone representing Eucentre. Translation from Italian to English by Elide Pantoli (University of California, San Diego)

Date:                                     October 20th 2016

Category:                            Parochial Church

Name of the structure:     Chiesa di Santissimo Sacramento e Rosario

Building typology:              Unreinforced masonry

Municipality:                        Fermo (FM)

Epicentral distance:          [65 km]

Description of damage:

The SS. Sacramento and Rosario church was built in the second half of the 1700s. The church is rectangular in plan, it has an apse, and it has a brick facade, with two couples of engaged columns sitting on top of each other; the pediment has a triangular gable. The bell tower, whose belfry has a small ribbed cupola, is on the right side of the apse. The inside of the church has rich decorations from the second half of the 1800s, and it is characterized by engaged columns of fake alabaster with three altars and two niches in each side of the nave. Above the overhanging cornice supported by capitals there are the window openings, linked through a triangular vault to the barrel vault, with is realized in “camorcanna” (nonstructural reed and plaster vault).

This church showed a worsening of the pre-existing damage caused by other earthquakes such as the Ascoli Piceno earthquake of 1943, which was observed in 2003. It was observed the re-opening of pre-existing cracks which were in the past only filled with mortar, especially in the extrados of the triumphal arch. In fact, it was possible to observe dangerous cracking and partial falling of portions of the decorative stucco on the triumphal arch, especially in correspondence of the keystone of the arch, with potential falling or other portions in correspondence with the major altar.

The earthquake of August 24th 2016 also caused the separation and consequent falling of other heavy parts of the stucco decorations located on top of the main entrance at the intersection of the facade with the barrel vault of the nave.

Moderate cracks re-opened because of the in-plane response of the facade and the lateral walls in correspondence with the openings.


Plan view of the building













Exterior of the church










Damage in the wall of the triumphal arch (left) and South wall (right) observed in 2003









Damage in the wall of the triumphal arch (left) and South wall (right) observed in 2003









Cracks in the extrados of the triumphal arch


Cracks in the extrados of the triumphal arch












Cracks in the South wall (exterior view)









Cracks in the South wall (interior view)









Damage to the stucco decorations (cracks and detachments)









Portions of the stucco decorations fallen during the earthquake of August 24th 2016





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