Florence, November 2016

This was the front door of our first office, or should I say my first office, in Via Ghibellina, wiped out by the flood on November 4th 1966.
Just a few steps away from the S. Croce cathedral, where the most important victim, Cimabue's Christ, was hosted.

It was also very close to the church of Santi Jacopo e Lorenzo, on which door jamb one could read the dates of the previous floods: 1547, 1557, 1740, 1844.

The last one is missing, ours, over 6 mt, just a few feet away from our office in Via delle Casine.

But we did not know what had happened. That day was a public holiday. Who did not live in the city centre, like me, heard the news on the radio.

Along with many Florentines I went to Via Ghibellina, slipping on a sea of mud and fuel oil, and I saw the soldiers coming, the "Mud Angels". Like everybody I started cleaning but there was nothing to be recovered. Besides, the office was tiny.

I walked up to the first floor, generously hosted by the Interpreting School that I had attended. After 15 days, along with the school, we started to work again and have not stopped since.

Many celebrations honor the 50th anniversary of the flood. Above all, "Unity in Diversity", the conference of all the Mayors of the world on natural disasters.

Dario Nardella
Mayor of Florence from May 2014.

Q.: Mr. Mayor, since you were born in 1975, when did you realize what the flood was all about?
A.: I was probably in elementary school. I still have in mind the images that explained better than any word the tragedy that hit this wonderful city.
Q.: Historically, every 100 years or so, the Arno river overflows. Could it happen again?
A.: A lot has been done but we still have work to do. I turn to President Rossi, Extraordinary Commissioner, so that he can do everything in his power to complete the necessary works to make the basin safe.
Q.: "Unity in Diversity" ended with a ceremony for the "Mud Angels".
A.: For us it was the natural conclusion to these days, during which not only mayors from several cities, but also individual citizens coming from all over the world met up to save our cultural heritage. By "our" I mean not only of the Florence citizens, but of the citizens of the whole world.

The conference will end with a day dedicated to the "Mud Angels", young people coming from all over the world to lend a hand, in particular to recover the books stored in the National Library.

foto enic

November 2018
Two scientific congresses were held in Florence during the last week in August. One was at the Fortezza da Basso, the other at the Palazzo dei Congressi and together they hosted a total 3,500 participants... (Read more)

Back to top