In order to empirically obtain the scaling relationships for the high-frequency ground motion in the Western Alps (NW Italy), regressions are carried out on more than 7500 seismograms from 957 regional earthquakes. The waveforms were selected from the database of 6 three-component stations of the RSNI (Regional Seismic network of Northwestern Italy). The events, MW ranging between 1.2 and 4.8, were recorded within a hypocentral distance of 200 km during the time period: 1996-2001. The peak ground velocities are measured in selected narrow-frequency bands, between 0.5 and 14 Hz. Results are presented in terms of a regional attenuation function for the vertical ground motion, a set of vertical excitation terms at the reference station STV2 (hard-rock), and a set of site terms (vertical and horizontal), all relative to the vertical component of station STV2. The regional propagation of the ground motion is modeled after quantifying the expected duration of the seismic motion as a function of frequency and hypocentral distance. A simple functional form is used to take into account both the geometrical and the anelastic attenuation: a multi-variable grid search yielded a quality factor Q(f) = 310 f0.20, together with a quadri-linear geometrical spreading at low frequency. A simpler, bi-linear geometrical spreading seems to be more appropriate at higher frequencies (f 〉 1.0 Hz). Excitation terms are matched by using a Brune spectral model with variable, magnitude-dependent stress drop: at Mw 4.8, we used Δσ = 50 MPa. A regional distance-independent attenuation parameter is obtained (K0 = 0.012 s) by modelling the average spectral decay at high frequency of small earthquakes. In order to predict the absolute levels of ground shaking in the region, the excitation/attenuation model is used through the Random Vibration Theory (RVT) with a stochastic point-source model. The expected peak-ground accelerations (PGA) are compared with the ones derived by Ambraseys et al. (1996) for the Mediterranean region and by Sabetta and Pugliese (1996) for the Italian territory. © Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006.