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Brunello Cucinelli Is Restoring a 13th-Century Italian Village That Was Ravaged by an Earthquake

“The project is intended as a donation towards a future inspired by human sustainability,” Cucinelli says.

Italy's Castelluccio di Norcia before the 2016 earthquake

Brunello Cucinelli is picking up where it left off with an epic renovation project in Italy.

Six years ago, the Italian fashion label launched a study in regard to rebuilding and upgrading the 13th-century Umbrian village of Castelluccio di Norcia, before halting due to the pandemic. The medieval site was critically damaged in 2016 by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the Apennines Mountains in central Italy. At least 241 people were killed in the natural disaster and local towns were destroyed. The study resumed and then wrapped last year. Now, the Brunello and Federica Cucinelli Foundation has unveiled plans to restore “the entire community a new.”

Italy's Castelluccio di Norcia post 2016 earthquake

The iconic Italian designer and architect Massimo de Vico Fallani painstakingly studied archive documents and on-site surveys to understand the historical and artistic significance of the urban area where Castelluccio stands as the fulcrum. Cucinelli’s foundation has actually done similar work in Umbria before. The team spent 25 years restoring the village of Solomeo and the surrounding hills that are home to Cucinelli, his family, and his brand’s headquarters and workshops.

As for Castelluccio, the team plans to revamp the main square and church first. The Santa Maria Assunta church was hit particularly hard by the earthquake and only the aspe remains. The foundation is planning to fully rebuild the site with the help of de Vico Fallani and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage’s specialists and technicians. The village will also be home to a new open-air theater that is meant to be a “symbolic place of culture,” according to the foundation.

It sounds like nothing will look out of place, either. The team will reportedly use traditional construction techniques and decorative elements in keeping with the existing structures and overall period. In fact, the foundation says it has looked at the environmentalism criteria formulated by Italian architect Gustavo Giovannoni in the 1930s to ensure it appropriately modernizes the historic site.

“The project is intended as a donation towards a future inspired by human sustainability, an attempt to make a significant contribution of beauty to the humanity that will animate the centuries to come,” Cucinelli said in a statement. “My dream is for Castelluccio to be born anew just as it was before the earthquake, and this idea we are committed to realizing is a tribute to its extraordinary beauty, its long history and its peaceful, hardworking and dignified inhabitants.”


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