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.

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