Several high-intensity earthquakes have occurred in Italy in the last decades, causing considerable damage to architectural heritage and pointing out the particularly high seismic vulnerability of masonry churches. A significant research effort has been devoted to develop specific methods for the damage analysis and the seismic vulnerability assessment of these assets. An abacus of damage mechanisms recurring in the church structural components has been developed and has become an important reference in rapid assessment procedures as well as in more detailed analyses. In this perspective, the damage occurred to a church during the Pianura Padana Emiliana (Emilia) Earthquake of 2012 is analyzed here. The damage pattern reproduced, indeed, situations listed in the abacus of mechanisms. The seismic response of the church has been analyzed with different numerical approaches, with complete and with partial models that have allowed an appreciable understanding of the global behavior and of the modality of damage progressing into the mechanisms. The use of vector graphics software tools for 3D modelling that have become available in recent times has allowed to thoroughly understand the constructional complexity of the asset and, consequently, to develop simpler but structurally significant models for numerical analysis.
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