WIT Press

Crowd evacuation analysis of the Papal Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy


Free (open access)


Volume 9 (2019), Issue 4



Page Range

316 - 331

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Fabio Garzia, Mara Lombardi, Stefano Marsella, Giuliano Rossi, Nicolò Sciarretta & Massimo Guarascio


The safety and security of public events involving large masses, or anyway the safety of crowded sites, is a timely and important topic that must be properly and deeply analysed. It is therefore necessary to use proper methods of analysis and design of the safety and security of public events by a suitable engineering approach, aimed at guaranteeing the safety and security of people during evacuation in ordinary and emergency conditions.

The present work analyses the crowd evacuation of the Papal Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi that, together with the Sacred Convent, represent a unique and specific cultural heritage site where the mortal remains of St. Francis have been housed since 1230 AD. Millions of pilgrims and visitors from all over the world visit this site each year. In 2000 AD, together with other Franciscan sites in the surrounding area, it achieved uNESCO World heritage status.

To reach the desired goal, a proper simulation model of people evacuation was set up, considering the fundamental aspects of interaction between the architecture and layout of the basilica and the behaviour of the crowd.

The obtained results provide a series of important information for people evacuation management that leads to a more regular exit flow with a decrease in the time of stationary waiting and, therefore, with a decrease of the probability of generating spontaneous panic phenomena induced by the crowd. 


crowd evacuation, emergency management, safety for evacuation, security for evacuation