This paper focuses on the vulnerability assessment of a civic tower built in 1512, which is now considered a national monument. It is the original bell tower of S. Ambrogio church that was destroyed in 1809. Experimental investigations have been carried out on this historical tower. First, detailed investigations have been carried out to identify the geometry of the tower as well as the mechanical features of the constituting materials. Then, ambient vibration tests have been applied using five Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) sensors to detect of the main dynamic features, e.g., modal parameters and damping. Two output-only identification methods, including Frequency Domain Decomposition and Random Decrement Techniques, have been used. The outcomes of the modal identification have been employed to inform the FE model. The numerical analysis can be used for vulnerability assessment, providing a valuable picture of possible damage evolution, tower collapse mechanism, and subsequently, useful hints for the execution of structural retrofitting strategies.
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