It all started the night between the 3rd and 4th November of 40 years ago when an exceptional rain fall caused the Arno river to overflow its banks, flooding the city.
Before this, in 700 years Florence had been flooded other 57 times and today it is possible to see wall plaques marking the level waters reached in previous centuries (like, for example, in 1547, 1740 and 1844). The last one was in 1966 and caused death and serious damages to the artistic and architectural heritage in the historic centre. The countryside was flooded as well for days after the disaster and many small towns were isolated and suffered major damages.
Eventually, and slowly, Florence was able to regain its look once again and that was also possible thanks to the enormous aid from students of all the world who gave their precious help to safe and recover the extraordinary artistic heritage. After 40 years many of them will now return to Florence and Florentines would like to give a special thank to them, today as well as they did at that time.
Two excellent tributes will leave an indelible sign for this anniversary: the restoration of two artworks like the David by Donatello (the Bargello Museum will be an open yard ï¿½ its manager announced with satisfaction ï¿½ for the restoration of an absolute masterpiece of the Renaissance), and Last Supper by Vasari, financed by the Italian Civil Defence.
The programme will take place from November 3rd to the 5th and includes concerts, press conference, seminars, exhibitions and above all the call of those volunteers who came from all over the world to save Florence and its art.
To remember and thank these people and in order to make the anniversary of the International Day of European Voluntarism an event to be held every year in Florence, on November 4th, at 11.00 am in Palazzo Vecchio, in the Salone dei Cinquecento, the ï¿½International Convention of Mudï¿½ will take place.
Another special tribute to all those angels is also visible at www.angelidelfango.it/
- where images and videos give you an accurate reconstruction of what happened at that time.
During the days of the flood, the Mayor of Florence was Mr Piero Bargellini, a man particularly dear to the Florentines as in those days he used his home as the operation headquarter open night and day and where politicians and writers like Moro, Ted Kennedy (who is expected again in Florence for the commemorations), Saragat and Montanelli were received. His efforts are always vivid in the memories of many Florentines so much that the sculptor Enzo Pazzagli dedicated a sculpture to Mr. Piero Bargellini, now remembered as the Flood Mayor. To visit the Park: Via Santï¿½Andrea da Rovezzano ï¿½ Florence ï¿½ www.pazzagli.com