The Guardia di Finanza School in L’Aquila, Stronghold of the Institutions and the G8

The entrance of the non-Commissioned Officers School in Coppito, L'Aquila The Italian Government has decided to move the G8 Summit venue from La Maddalena to L’Aquila, the city symbolising the earthquake that hit Abruzzo on 6 April.

The Guardia di Finanza Non-Commissioned Officers’ School is the venue for an austere G8 increasingly alive to the issues of natural calamity-related risk prevention, aversion and management.

The School complex, already dubbed “Guardia di Finanza City” is located on the outskirts of L’Aquila, in the Coppito district, and since 6 April, after verifying its safety, it houses the Civil Protection Department’s Di.coma.c, or Direzione di Comando e Controllo of the Civil Protection System, which is coordinating emergency work in the wake of the earthquake. Since mid-April, the college also houses the institutions that lost their premises on account of the earthquake.

The college takes in 3,500 non-Commissioned officer cadets every two years. Building began in 1986, the first lot, comprising about 700,000 cubic metres, being completed over the subsequent six years.

The college’s perimeter wall, which is over 2 km long, encloses about 45 hectares of hilly ground, where the headquarters offices, the parade ground, the auditorium, the sports facilities, the cadets’ quarters and the multi-purpose unit are laid out. The classrooms and mess are located behind the cadets’ quarters, linked by raised walkways with arched glass roofs. The upper part is home to the permanent staff’s quarters, the infirmary, the vehicle fleet and the technology control rooms. Last but not least, the top of the hill features a helipad equipped for both day-and night-time take-off and landing.

Other facilities for the college’s exclusive use are located outside the perimeter wall, as is a car park capable of accommodating a thousand or so vehicles in an area of about 4,000 square metres.

In July the Coppito barracks became the centre of attention of the entire world and it was remodeled to lodge the World Leaders and foreign delegations. The whole complex, thus also the auditorium and the gymnasium has been given a full makeover with targeted intervention wherever it was required; and fully ten accomodation complexes, comprising a total of approximately one thousand rooms, have been remodeled. A simple G8 venue, with only the essentials and close to the citizens. The three weeks that followed the Summit the barracks remained open to the public enabling the citizens to visit the Main Conference room, the lodgings of the Heads of State and Government, the Press Village and the three exhibitions created for the G8.

Since 5 September whilst the non Commisioned Officers course for the Guardia di Finanza got under way the remodeled rooms of the G8 delegations are now temporarily being used by the 430 people previously lodging in tent cities. The tent cities will be closed before the cold weather sets in. Commodities have been incremented in the barracks, in the endeavour to create a home away from home, in the canteen, library, study rooms, TV room, pool table and internet.