This paper concerns the analysis of the site amplification that significantly influenced the non-uniform damage distribution observed at San Giuliano di Puglia (Italy) after the 2002 Molise earthquake (MW = 5.7). In fact, the historical core of the town, settled on outcropping rock, received less damage than the more recent buildings, founded on a clayey subsoil. Comprehensive geotechnical and geophysical investigations allowed a detailed definition of the subsoil model. The seismic response of the subsoil was analyzed through 2-D finite-element and 3-D spectral-element methods. The accuracy of such models was verified by comparing the numerical predictions to the aftershocks recorded by a temporary seismic network. After calibration, the seismic response to a synthetic input motion reproducing the main shock was simulated. The influence of site amplification on the damage distribution observed was finally interpreted by combining the predicted variation of ground motion parameters with the structural vulnerability of the buildings.

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