permanent exhibition

palazzo Orgnani Martina - via Mistruzzi n. 4/9
33010 Venzone (UD)


friday : 15 - 19

saturday and sunday : 9 - 13 / 15 - 19


full : 5 euro / cut price : 4 euro / school children : 3 euro

Knowing how to start again

During the winter 1976-1977 Friuli changed its appearance.

photo foto Elio e Stefano Ciol

While the communities were evacuated to the coastal towns, in the earthquake-affected zones people worked feverously in order to construct the temporary lodgings that would have to accommodate the population for all the reconstruction years. The difficulties were enormous. A census of the families left homeless, the identification of areas where temporary villages could be built, the realization of urbanization works, the installation of a huge number of prefabricated homes were all urgently needed. The deadline of 30th April 1977, set as the date for the return of the inhabitants to their own hometowns, was respected. In little more than seven months, during a hard winter, 350 villages scattered throughout 91 Municipalities were constructed. This meant 20,000 lodgings able to accommodate 75,000 people. Thanks to the Army, the National Fire Department, the technicians of the electricity company ENEL and telephone company SIP, the enterprises and the many Italian and foreign volunteers, these homes rose up within the original town area. There were also prefabricated buildings which accommodated shops, handicraft and agricultural activities, private and public services. These were supplied by the Crafts Development Agency (ESA), by the Regional Agency for Agricultural Development (ERSA), by the Chamber of Commerce, by the Category Associations and by the Italian Postal Service. So began the “baracche” years. All around there were ruins and desolation. After the catastrophe, the rubble had been cleared. It was necessary to decide whether to restore or to pull down the damaged buildings. The priorities were dictated by proper urban projects. Administrators were nominated and rubble dumps were identified. The restorable houses or those next to ones to be demolished were shored up. The demolitions became a crucial starting point for the reconstruction.

However, life resumed its normal activities once again. The prefabricated homes, organized into villages where the daily life of the destroyed neighbourhoods was recreated, offered families a temporary but dignified arrangement. Family life resumed along side the normal working activities. Intense social and political activities developed, the main aim of which was summarised by “reconstruction and development”. It became clear that in order to win the reconstruction bet, an extraordinary unanimous effort was required. It was the moment for discussion and debate. The Committees of the “Baracco-poli” or barracche-villages opened the way to full participation. The criteria were defined on where and how to reconstruct. Thedesire to return home ignited the debate on the reconstruction. Every community discussed with it own administrators how and where to erect the new houses, the public buildings, the facilities and the infrastructure. The debate also involved the technicians. The reconstruction projects were shown and discussed at public meetings. The debate was animated. The confrontation, sometimes hard, turned out to be useful and constructive. There were two inalienable principles: the reconstruction of a town had to happen where and how it had been. The priorities were first the factories, then the houses and lastly the churches.

© copyright 2009
Associazione Comuni Terremotati e Sindaci della Ricostruzione del Friuli