ABSTRACT: The great damages produced by the 2012 Emilia earthquake on masonry buildings made it necessary to study the mechanical properties of masonry structures in the zones most affected by the earthquake. The experimental campaign presented in this paper focuses in particular on rural masonry buildings of the Italian provinces of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio Emilia. Due to the high level of damages of the buildings under investigation, intended to be demolished, it was possible to perform destructive tests in order to characterize the masonry in terms of shear behavior. In-situ shear-compression tests and diagonal compression tests on full-scale masonry panels were performed, trying to select samples with similar characteristics, when possible. The results of the tests on three buildings investigated are presented and analyzed with the aim of comparing the shear strength parameters obtained from the two types of test performed.