A refuge against bombs

The former daytime hotel becomes a public air raid shelter

In 1939, the accountant Mario Pastorino, owner of the daytime hotel, granted the municipal administration permission to organize a public air raid shelter in his underground premises in Piazza Mazzini. Thus, work began to construct a tubular living quarters capable of providing shelter to several hundred people.

The intensification and proximity of bombings made the presence of shelters indispensable. However, the area of Modena is characterized by a significant presence of water in the subsoil, a factor that made it difficult to adapt basements to air raid protection standards. The municipal authority was therefore forced to set up numerous shelters to overcome the shallow depth and poor usability of those organized in the basements of private buildings. Between the end of 1943 and 1944, all areas of the city see the construction of shrapnel trenches, collapse shelters, and underground galleries.