POPE Francis was greeted by tens of thousands yesterday as he visited a northern region of Italy which has largely rebuilt from a pair of earthquakes five years ago.

His first stop in the Emilia Romagna region was the damaged Duomo cathedral of Carpi.

After years of restoration, the cathedral reopened last weekend.

“There are those who remain buried in the rubble of life,” the pope said in his homily before 20,000 gathered in the piazza.