TLS Survey and FE Modelling of the Vasari’s Cupola of the Basilica dell’Umiltà (Italy). An Interdisciplinary Approach for Preservation of CH

  • Grazia Tucci
  • Gianni Bartoli
  • Michele BettiEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 961)


This paper presents an interdisciplinary approach for identification and assessment of historic buildings that combines Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) survey and Finite Element (FE) numerical modeling. The structural analysis of an historic building requires the development of an interconnected series of operations aimed at obtaining a satisfactory knowledge of the building, where usually in-situ investigations are performed together with advanced computational analyses. In this process, the geometric and topographic survey plays a pivotal role and therefore the possibility to rapidly acquire large amounts of spatial data (and to geo-reference any kind of information) allows to provide effective geometric and monitoring data that can be subsequently employed for structural analyses. In this respect, the interchange between Geo-informatics and Engineering sciences can be considered a challenging issue in the field of conservation/preservation of cultural heritage (CH). On the one hand, in fact, the accuracy of measured data directly affects decision-making and analysis process. On the other hand, the merging of digital documentation technologies with innovative computational techniques supports the creation of an inter/trans-disciplinary cooperation model towards sustainable preservation of CH. These issues are herein addressed through the discussion of an emblematic case study: the Cupola of the Basilica dell’Umiltà in Pistoia (Italy) designed and realized by Giorgio Vasari in the middle of the sixteenth century.


3D digitization of cultural heritage Metric survey Numerical modeling and structural analysis Dome 



The metric survey, coordinated by the authors, has been developed during the Specialization Thesis of the arch. M. Riemma and the Phd Thesis of the arch. A. Nobile: the Figs. 2, 3 and 4 show their drawings. The authors wish also to acknowledge: Arch. V. Tesi of the Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la città metropolitana di Firenze e per le province di Pistoia e Prato; Eng. G. Palchetti of the Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia Foundation, who supported the research; V. Bonora, L. Carosso, F. Panighini and I. Tomei who took part in different survey campaigns, together with the authors; Prof. F. Russo with Zenith Ingegneria Srl, a spinoff of the Engineering Dept. of the University of Ferrara who carried out the topographical framework and E. Fiorati, Canon of the Basilica dell’Umiltà.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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