(This is a special monographic volume edited by Giorgio Valentino Federici, Miriana Meli, Lucio Niccolai, Severino Saccardi, Simone Siliani e Vincenzo Striano) 

This special monographic and triple volume is entirely dedicated to the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1996 flood of the Arno, which struck several Tuscan areas. In the rest of the Italian peninsula the water of rivers and streams damaged the landscape. The most dramatic representation of that year of floods was, however, the river Arno that tragically devastated Florence in terms of human, economic, social and artistic losses (let’s also remember the high symbolic artistic value that Florence has been having over the centuries for the entire planet). The volume is ideally dedicated to all the victims of that catastrophe and to all those, who dedicated themselves to the rebirth of the city and of the affected territories with courage and civil commitment. As the tradition of this review requires, this is a “polyphonic” volume divided into thematic sections that brings together memories of the Florentine and Tuscan citizens. That tragic event was a sort of a turning point between a first phase, characterised by ignorance and a lack of attention to the environmental problems and to the protection of the territory, and a second phase following the first one, which, in spite of the delays we point out in the volume, is characterised by a different approach to soil and territory governance. The publication of this volume was made possible thanks to a fruitful collaboration between the review and the “Comitato di Coordinamento” of the projects ”Firenze 2016” and “Toscana2016”. For the creation of this volume, the cooperation of both public and private institutions all over the territory was needed. We wish that such a synergy might go beyond a mere commemoration and that it could encourage us to meditate on possible projects for the future. These projects might in turn enhance the bond with the educational and academic environments and engage the new generations in debating on the issue. For this wide overview of memories and reflections we decide to use as a starting point an article from November 1966, in which Ernesto Balducci recounts with his usual analytical power and evocative language, the flood and outlines the responsibilities as well as the innovations highlighted by the catastrophe.


Abstracts of the articles from the volume:

50 Years after the 1966 Arno Flood

Remembrance and Hope 

By Severino Saccardi

In this special volume (a triple one) of “Testimonianze” dedicated to the Arno flood of 1966 the personal memory, which isthe memory ofa one-day “mud angel”, is intertwined to the collective one. The volume also focuses on the hydrogeological balance of today’s Tuscany. We suggest a reconstruction of what happened and an analysis of the factors behind natural disasters that deals with the topics of prevention and safety, with the aim of reaching in the future (which is the only dimension worth for humanity according to Balducci) a balanced relationship between us and the environment. 


1966: Memory of the Flood, Today: Facing Floods

By Giorgio Valentino Federici

The “Comitato di Coordinamento Firenze2016” wants to take the opportunity offered by the 50th anniversary of the Arno flood of 1966 to answer all the questions about that tragic event has been posing. We are trying to understand what has been done and what still needs to be done, in order to promote and make more visible the projects aiming to tackle the problems concerning water and other environmental emergencies. 


That Microphone Hanging from a Window 

By Dario Nardella

Rome. Noone believed in the words of the RAI journalist Marcello Giannini, when he tried to describe the threatening waters flooding Florence. In fact, he was forced to lower the microphone from the window to let the deafening sound of the Arno’s fury be heard. Since 1966, communication systems haveradicallychanged and everything can now be heard live. In the meantime, prevention has been enhanced but there is still a lot to do. The allocation of fundsfor the construction of works (which can be promptly carried out) to protect the Metropolitan City of Florence and Tuscany from floods and hydrogeological risks is encouraging. 


Machiavelli’s Ancient Advice  

By Enrico Rossi

Machiavelli remind us that water, as fortune, must be dammed and governed in serene times, as otherwise the risk would consist in being ruinously devastated. The government of Regione Toscana, though having been characterised for a long time by a pragmatic reformism that has allowed the landscape to be harmoniously shaped, showed a more fatalistic side as well. A side that relied on “luck” in governing the waters. Localisms and overlapping legislations have hampered an effective and integrated land management. In recent years, however, the Region changed such a trend through ad hoc laws, which simplified procedures, entrusted the care of hydrographic basins to a single “Flood plan” (“Piano Alluvioni”) and allocated funds both for the already undertaken works and for the planned ones. 


A Catastrophe for the Whole Tuscan Region 

By Eugenio Giani

In 2016, the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Arno flood, which affected the whole Tuscan region (for instance the cities of Grosseto, Pontedera and Pisa) and scarred especially Florence, took place. 2016 is also the 20th anniversary of the 1996 flood that caused landslides, destroyed the villages of Cardoso and Fornovolasco and involved large areas of Versilia and of Alta Garfagnana. As well as commemorating the victims of those disasters, the two anniversaries should make us think over our land policies, raise the awareness of the younger generations towards environmental issues and make us all more acquainted to the work done by Regione Toscana.


Those Days in Florence

Piero Bargellini: My Father or “The Major of the Flood” 

By Antonina Bargellini

This article is a reconstruction of Piero Bargellini’s (Bargellini was the Mayor of Florence during the tragic days of the Flood) actions through the eyes of his daughter and recalls the mood of a man and citizen. The article uses as a starting point his own statements. Such statements have been selected both from interviews he did exactly during those dramatic moments and from the documents of that time. What comes out is the image of a “citizen among citizens”. A worried citizen, who lost everything, but proud of belonging to a city capable of reconstructing itself alone.  


Catastrophes and their Representation 

By Fabio Dei

This significant excursus of the Italian natural catastrophes, form the “Polesine” flood to the earthquake in L’Aquila highlights the differences of the role played by the public memory and by the public narration in relation to the historical period and to the socio-political situation. From the rhetoric of the “nobility” of the rescueoperations (the representation of which was unprecedented, in terms of emotional involvement and in terms of worldwide image) to the upsetting controversy following the L’Aquila earthquake, Italy seems to represent itself using the humiliating “Gomorra model”. The narrations of the natural disasters, however, offer an interesting perspective for the interpretation of the Italian republican history. 


Angels, who Conquest the Mud

By Anna Iuso

Almost 12.000youngsters, between students and young workers, arrived in the flooded Florence motivated by the desire to “save” the universal heritage preserved by the city, which had been seriously damaged by the water and the mud. The so-called “mud angels”, as they were called, were moved on one hand by a “feeling of belonging” that transcended the territoriality and on the other by the fundamental role played by books (hence the importance assumed by the rescue operations at the National Central Library of Florence) in our (essentially oral) culture. In fact, books contributed in making mud itself a symbol of “belonging” thus eclipsing in a generous humanity the rhetoric of the human responsibility of the disaster. It is a spontaneous movement, in which we can see the unconscious premise of the 1968 protests’ atmosphere in a different context from ours, which ischaracterised by a certain idea offuture that seems in crisis. 


They were Young and Felt to Belong to the “Universal City” 

By Erasmo D’Angelis

In 1966 there was an extraordinary wave of bad weather throughout Italy: rivers and streams overflew and many cities were flooded. Even the Arno, which at the time was not classified as a risky river in terms of hydrogeological risk, broke its banks and Florence was submerged. In the meantime, hundreds of young volunteers, motivated by a feeling of “belonging to a universal city”, arrived in Florenceand did their utmost together with the Florentine citizens, in order to save what could be saved. A Florentine journalist from “Corriere della Sera”, Giovanni Grazzini, called them the “mud angels” in recognition of their great value. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the flood, they gathered in Florence and, as on other occasions, they remembered and told their stories. 


We are no angels

By Franco Quercioli

This article is a narration that begins with the pages of a diary and continues with the chronicle of an exhibition held 40 years later by the “Archivio del Movimento di Quartiere”, which means the works of the exhibition are “told” with captions only. These captions are very eloquent in spite of the absence of photos and with the reconstruct the movement that was created, in order to react to the disastrous consequences of the Arno flood.  As a matter of fact, the movement involved plenty of youngsters, not just the “mud angels”. They gathered around parishes and people’s houses, which were the only centres bringing together groups of people. It is the story of “another” Florence, which we (even Florentine citizens) often fail to perceive, but which deserves to be remembered and promoted. 


1966 and the Civil Toolbox 

By Mauro Sbordoni

The days before the flood and those after it are recalled here. The starting point is the dairy of Florence’s Mayor Bargellini, who, although resigning, had to face the emergency. Then came the days of the laborious reconstruction and ofpeculiar political events. Florence was able to react by reinventing new forms of aggregation and of response that foreshadowed the institutions and the legislation yet to come. Florence answered with awareness and with the power of dialogue to the need for effective forms of defence and prevention and for new projects of citizenship. 


When Ted Kennedy Came 

By Valeria D’Agostino

The senator Ted Kennedy arrived in the flooded Florence after the disaster and what he found shook him profoundly: it was a city whose human, social and cultural fabric had been wounded but, which was nevertheless courageously facing an emergency. In the mud of the National Library, he experienced the immense disaster at first hand and brought the moral and economic support of the United States to a city that, as he said, “belongs to the whole world”. 


The Media, the Flood and the Lesson of “the City on the Mountain” 

By Piero Meucci

Today, in an era of capillary and hammering news (24 hours a day), it would be inconceivable what happened to the Florentine citizens with the 1966 flood. They could only count on words of mouth and (with great difficulty) on the radio. Even the headline on the newspaper “La Nazione” which was “Arno overflows Florence” had been swallowed up by the water together as a lie. The lesson of the “day after” were for the volunteering youngsters was unforgettable in terms of participation and share. It was an opportunity of human, social and political growth for an entire generation. A lesson that Florence had once again succeeded in teaching. 


Long Gone yet Meaningful Images 

Interview to Mario Primicerioby Severino Saccardiand Simone Siliani

At the time of the flood, Mario Primicerio was a young collaborator of La Pira. He would then become the Mayor of Florence. In this article he brings back memories of the Florentine political season of that moment and highlights (among the many reactions the flood caused) the importance of solidarity. In our present, which is characterised by a certain lack of confidence towards politics, the photographs of the youngsters aiding after the Genoa flood suggests that the path of solidarity towards the community is (once again) the one along which to travel. 


Christmas 1966: The Visit of Pope Paul VI in Florence 

Letters of Pope Paul VI to Giorgio La Pira

We make available three letters sent by Giorgio La Pira to Pope Paul VI in December 1966. The first one the Pope is invited to celebrate the Christmas Mass in Florence. Florence was on one hand a city scarred by the recent flood, but on the other it was also the city of Dante that, Jeremiah’s desolate Jerusalem struck by the Death alike, becomes the centre, in which the whole world meets. The first letter is then followed by two letters from the Pope, who said thanks: The Pope, in fact, had planned the visit. He then carried it out and officiated the Midnight Mass in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. By doing so he made the Florentine Church a “sister” of the Roman one. During that Mass the Pope prayed for the peace in Vietnam as well. 


“Le Murate” and the Flood 

By Roberto Mosi

A plaque on the corner of “Via Ghibellina” and “Via delleCasine” shows the level reached by Arno’s water during the three disastrous floods in 1333, 1547 and 1966. For every flood, we have documents reporting highly dramatic episodes concerning “Le murate”, which is in front of that corner and, which had been having different functions over the centuries. During the 1547 flood a “miraculous” event marked the birth of the “Madonna delle Nevi” Parish. The current headquarters of “Testimonianze” are actually located in that parish.


Two High-School Students Learn What is Solidarity 

By Silvia Costa

Two high-school students from Rome (born in Florence), are involved by their headmasters in rescuing the books from mud in November 1966. Still today their memory remains vivid in their minds. In the halls of the State archives at EUR the young volunteers carry out their work diligently and passionately, for they are aware of the importance of the task they have. This was an experience of great educational value, which gave birth to a new type of awareness. Such an awareness was then at the basis of the National Civil Protection. Today’s commitment to the presidency of the EU CULT shows two aspects: firstly, that this commitment has as a background those distant memories and secondly, that there is a certain awareness towards the importance of the creation of both the EVS and of the “Caschi Blu della Cultura” (“Blue Helmets for Culture”) for the international protection of the cultural heritage.


A Missed Opportunity? 

By Claudia Petrucci

In the mud of the Arno a generation of young and very young students discovered a new dimension of solidarity marked by: a welcoming atmosphere, equality and help. It was the discovery of a new way of conceiving culture, which differed from the one taught at school, since it combined together classical and scientific culture, theory and practice. It was a missed opportunity for the establishment of a lasting pact between the generations, which had actually been outlined on that occasion. It was a missed opportunity for combining together, as the Italian Constitution wishes, culture with work, rights and social responsibility.


The City Archive and the “Digital Flood” 

By Luca Brogioni

The historical archive of the Municipality of Florence preserves and makes available the administrative acts like the one concerning the territorial reorganisation implemented by Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena through certain reforms. These documents witness the changes over the years in the way people have been living together in a community. They are therefore historical documents. Since 2012 the archive has been organising projects aimed at enhancing the testimonies regarding the personal and domestic lives lead by the Florentine community. It has been inviting people to provide photos, texts, materials, which have been digitised by a group of skilled volunteers. Such material is a precious material, in order to remember our history and our roots. It is in this context that digitised images and testimonies witness the resilience, solidarity and self-organisation of the Florentine citizens in November 1966.


Those Days in Tuscany

Flooded Maremma

By Lucio Niccolai

Maremma is a marshy territory (then drained) very much accustomed to floods. Floods cause by the “Ombrone” river are particularly feared, since in several occasions it caused considerable damages to the countryside and to the local towns. The floods still on people’s minds are the one of 1944 (here recalled through Luciano Bianciardi’s words) and the one of 1966, when the “mud angels” intervened in Grosseto as well for the rescue of the “Chelliana” Library’s books covered in mud. What has been done in the meantime to prevent a phenomenon, that with climate change is becoming increasingly frequent? Unfortunately, little has been done and the intensive exploitation of the soil increases the likelihood that the next floods will be even more disastrous. 


The Swiss Wood 

By Pietro Piussi e Giampietro Wirz

A group of Swiss Forest engineering students came from Zurich to Florence after the 1966 flood of the Arno to help out the city and they used their skills to reforest a semi-abandoned area of the Mugello. The result was what has become over the years the so-called “Swiss Wood” (“bosco degli svizzeri”). As the volunteers and authors of this article explain, it was a project that wanted to symbolically indicate the fundamental importance of woods, as to prevent floods. 


Memories and Meditations of a “Suburban Mud Angel” 

By Stefano Beccastrini

This article is a recollection of the memories of a Valdarno inhabitant, who was a student in Florence in 1966 and, who came back home the very day before the water invaded the city. At that time the water of several streams had already invaded the Florentine area. In the wake of the memory, questions are once being asked about the role of communication. Why hadn’t people been previously told about the forthcoming disaster? Why were they told lies afterwards? Why were there conflicting opinions on the weight of the water on the dams of the flooded area? The images of the subsequent events come to light again together with the experiences of a “suburban mud angel”, who rescued the books both at the National Library of San Giovanni Valdarno, and at his Faculty Library in Florence, where the authoritative figure of Professor Garinstood (indignant at the unavoided disaster yet confident towards the city’s response) in the midst of the flooded books. 


It Was Not the Dam’s Fault 

By Remo Chiarini

The 1966 flood of the Arno and the dramatic moments during the night between the 3rd and the 4th of November at the Enel dam in Penna are evocated by Alvaro Pippucci, who is the last eyewitness of that night. The desire to redeem himself from the suspicion (which has been haunting him as well as his other co-workers) of having contributed to the exceptional flow of water causing the flood in Florence, comes to light. Magistracy, however, completely exonerated Enel and the workers manoeuvring the dams from the unjust accusation, after a long judicial procedure.


During the Night the Flood Overflew 

By MirianaMeli

How can a town change its appearance overnight? That dramatic night (4th November 1966), when the Arno overflowed and invaded the small district of “Compiobbi” (which lays on the banks of the river), the streets and the squares were invaded by an impetuous river that dragged with itself the belongings and the hopes of the inhabitants. The water invaded the places, where children and (barely) adolescents used to play. 


The Reggello’s Victims 

By Sandro Bennucci

On the night between November the 3rd and the 4th 1966 a landslide caused by the tiny torrent “Resco” (a tributary of the Arno) in “Reggello” swept away the houses in “Le Lastre” and killed seven people (eight, if we take into account the unborn baby, who died in the womb of his mother). It was a forgotten tragedy blurred in the memory by the catastrophe in Florence, but which is still in the hearts of the survivors. How very strange that the “Resco” was considered a “friendly” torrent and that a football team was even named after it…


Cultural Properties and Restoration: The Florentine “Lab”

The Restoration of the Artistic Heritage after the Disaster: memories and Protagonists

By Cristina Acidini

This gripping reconstruction of the frenetic work to salvage the artistic heritage damaged by the flood, gives us a tragic painting of those days, during which public and private institutions, citizens, volunteers from all over the world, worked hard together. It was a huge undertaking that left to the following generationsa precious chest of knowledge, the importance of which has been recognised over the decades during conferences and publications. This recognition is now on the occasion of the 50th anniversary renewed, especially for the benefit of the younger generations, to whom we must constantly teach the awareness of living on a territory characterised by a certain hydrogeological risk


To Salvage the Works of Art… 

By Marco Ciatti

The dramatic situation regarding the Florentine artistic heritage following the enormous damage caused by the flood, was immediately faced thanks to the operations to salvage the works of art, which were carried out with great expertise by a group of restorers. They tackled the emergency with shrewd choices and turned the drama into an opportunity of growth in the field of conservation techniques. By so doing they created in Florence an extraordinary laboratory that made Florence the international capital of restoration. 


When at the National Central Library of Florence the Concept of Restoration Changed Forever

By Gisella Guasti

The activities of the Restoration Laboratory were set up after the emergency caused by the 1966 flood of the Arno, which dramatically struck the books of the National Central Library of Florence. The laboratory changed forever the very role of the restorer and the concept of book restoration as well. Unfortunately, the exceptional experience and the prospect that the laboratory could become a research centre and a national/international reference point have faded over, as years passed by. The 50th anniversary, however, might be an opportunity to launch that idea again with the aim of making it an officially recognised stable reference point for the conservation of books and of more widely speaking of archives.


Our Memory is the Future of Books

By Carla Guiducci Bonanni (edited by Luca Nannipieri)

The account of Carla Giuducci Bonanni at the National Central Library of Florence during the days of the flood is taken from the book “Memory is the Future of Books” (“La memoria è il future dei libri”). The library, built unfortunately on the banks of the river, was swept away by the flood and its huge heritage of priceless volumes was damaged. It owes its rebirth to the competent and on-time intervention of well-known scholars, to the determination of humble employees, who worked hard to save the place, where they had spent most of their lives and to the young volunteers. Such a tragic experience raised awareness of the importance of restoring and preserving the book heritage. 


A Virtual Centre for Documentation

By Giulia Coco e Magnolia Scudieri

A research project promoted in the context of the 50th anniversary of the flood by the “Firenze2016” committee envisages the census of the Florentine historical and artistic heritage affected by the flood. It also envisages the preservation, digitalisation and consequently the enhancement and use of the materials in the fund “Flooded Florence” (“Firenze alluvionata”), which is in the “Gabinetto Fotografico” and in the “Ufficio Restauri” of the “Polo Museale Regionale della Toscana”.


Santa Croce: From Memory to Action 

By Giuseppe De Micheli

Everything in the Church of Santa Croce is memory, which becomes a monument. Even the memory of the floods, which afflicted the church over the centuries and left traces on stones, documents and works of art (like the Christ painted by Cimabue, which represents the highest symbolic example) is there. The wood of Cimabue’s work will become the very symbol of the devastation caused by the 1966 flood of the Arno for its damages as well as its restoration. The process of reorganising the church and securing its works of art started from this point: it was guided by the awareness that if memory became a guide for takin actions, then it could be transformed into a commitment for the present and a guarantee for the protection of the artistic heritage for the future. 


The “Flood Project” at the Archive of Opificio delle Pietre Dure 

By Irene Foraboschi e Anna Mieli

A “Flood project” at the Photographic and Restoration Archive of “Opificio delle Pietre Dure” in Florence brings together all those involved in the rationalisation of the organisations for the conservation of the documents. The project dates back to the 1930s but found itself facing an enormous workload after 1966. The project is creating a website that can be implemented and by so doing it would make information and images related to the flooded works more easily accessible to the widest audience possible. 


The Long March of the State Archive 

By Loredana Maccabruni

On November the 4th 1966 the State archives located in the Uffizi building were flooded. The water submerged 7 km of shelved material (about 70.000 documents dating back to the 13th century). It was an enormous damage to the priceless historical and cultural heritage. The new location of the archive in piazza Beccaria was designed to withstand the periodic flooding of the Arno and was inaugurated in 1989. About 65% of the documents has so far been restored in its laboratories. The lack of funding has, however, limited the works’ progression and conclusion. But now a ministerial appropriation of 2015 is on its way and aims at completing the restoration process. 


The Projects “Florence2016” and “Tuscany2016”

Monitoring the Arno 

By Simona Francalanci, Enio Paris e Luca Solari 

What has been done in half a century after the disaster f 1966 to protect Florence from floods? It is also in order to answer this question that the “Firenze2016” project has set up a “Comitato di Monitoraggio”. A series of measurements have been taken in the metropolitan section of the river with the aim of correctly understanding its behaviour during floods and periods of low water and with the aim of understanding the status of the riverbed. Knowing the river is therefore the best way to prevent damage from future floods. 


The 1966 Flood of the Arno: An Artist of 1965 and an Idea of 11 Years Before

By Francesco Niccolini

The idea of telling stories related to the 1966 Arno flood and its consequences for Tuscany and Italy for the stage was born 11 years ago. The goal was not to forget. Hence, the creation of the play by Francesco Niccolini. “Acqua azzurra” was the producer of his play Il filo dell’acqua, which was then performed as a national premiere with the collaboration of “Toscana Spettacolo onlus” and of the project “Firenze2016” in Pisa. 


The Security of the Territory 

The 1966 Flood of the Arno and The “Versilia” Model 

By Valdemaro Baldi, Giorgio Federici, Gabriella Montagnani ed Enio Paris

The flood that struck Upper Versilia in 1996 was so devastating that it destroyed an entire village. In order to describe the phenomenon, the term “water bomb” was used for the first time. What happened during the reconstruction was remarkable, for a virtuous system of collaboration between State, local authorities, volunteers, associations and committees representing the affected population was set up. It was then called the “Versilia model” and taken up by the National Civil protection. It is a model based on the synergy of several factors: adequate resources, efficient organisation, rapid response, no corruption and the intensification of the resilience in the affected population. For this last aspect, the contribution of the University of Florence through the CERAFRI (“Centro per la Ricerca e l’Alta Formazione per la prevenzione del Rischio Idrogeologico”) was very meaningful, as it worked on the memory of the event and developed research and training activities. This year, as part of the “Firenze2016” project, the centre is preparing the “Versilia2016” project for the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the flood in that area. 


Report of the Meeting held in October the 26th-28th 2015

By Comitato Tecnico Scientifico Internazionale (ITSC)

The ITSS highlights the important meaning of Florence for Italy and for the whole world. It also highlights the significant flood risk to which Florence is exposed and the paucity of actions that could be implemented to counter the threat of a catastrophic flood like the one of 1966. The ITSC points out that, although progress has been made in recent years with regard to the Arno floods, it is now more important than ever to formulate a unitary plan integrating structural with non-structural interventions that should be submitted to the national government before the 50th anniversary of the 1966 flood in Florence.  That plan should define the necessary interventions and the implementations based on accurate cost-benefit analysis and onrealistic timings. 


Floods, Climate Change and Meteorology: Yesterday and Today

By Bernardo Gozzini

Scientific knowledge in the meteorological field concerning events that can be forecasted, has changed in the last decades, making their forecasts more reliable thanks to certain technological innovations like the ability to process a greater quantity of both data and the ability to communicate in a more widespread way. Compared to 1966, which is the year taken as a reference for this analysis, the organisational structure for the prevention in case of emergencies has changed, as the Civil Protection has been established in 1998. The Civil Protection offers a system for forecasting and monitoring risks, which have become increasingly frequent due to the irreversible climate change. 


Politics and Instruments Againt Hydrogeological Risks: A New Setting

By Mauro Grassi

With the establishment of the “Struttura di Missione” by the current government, there has been changes concerning the mitigation of hydrogeological instability. This field is characterised by great inefficiency, due to the excessive fragmentation and the consequent overlapping of competences of the responsible institutions towards the protection of the territory. Therefore, a task force has been set up, with a single centre, which means that the many monitoring and management tools have been incorporated into a single one, according to the principle of simplification. Consequently, a medium or long-termplan, which programme certain methods for the improvement of the quantity and quality of the interventions, has been introduced. 


The 3P Model: Prevention, Protection and Preparation 

By Giovanni Massini

The 1966 flood made clear that there was a lack of national strategies regarding hydraulic risks. The repeated natural disasters of the recent years have led to a revision of laws and procedures to speed up interventions in the area. In this respect, the Tuscan region, which is particularly at risk not only for the Arno basin. An array of laws has been simplifying the competences about the matter. Such laws are based on national guidelines and supervise the assignment of funds for the most urgent works. They, however, have an integrated vision including environmental education and prevention. 


Safety Culture and Civil Protection: Progressing Forward  

By Titti Postiglione

There was no awareness about floods in 1966’s Italy. There was no forecasting or prevention of environmental risks, as shown by the improvised responses of the State to the major natural disasters, which have afflicted the country. Italy has come a long way in the meantime and today has a polycentric and coordinated Civil Protection System based on the principle of subsidiarity involving the various levels of the state administration, private bodies and “armies” of volunteers. In a word, citizens of all ages, who have understood the importance of both reducing such risks and the correct way to intervene for the protection of the territory. 


Towards a Time of Responsibility? 

By Lorenzo Tilli

This article concerns the meditations of a young man (born 21 years after the flood), who recalls those days in his town Incisa Valdarno and thinks over the causes of “natural disasters” from the point of view of a politician and of a local administrator. What has been done so far to avert or to mitigate such disasters? What has been preventing us from rethink the development of the territory? Now, at a time when further delays and mistakes are no longer accepted, there fortunately seems to be a reversal of trend.


Bibliography about the 1966 Flood of the Arno

Flood and Floods. Thematic Itineraries and an Essential Bibliography 

By Riccardo Ciliberti ed Elisa Di Renzo

The committee “Firenze2016” promoted the research concerning documentation, sources and bibliography related of the 1966 flood. The results of this research are available here in two sections: the first one concerns the historical floods, to which the city of Florence has been the subject, the second one analyses the material (news, records…) about the disaster of 1966, which is particularly well known in the media but, for which there is no specific or detailed reconstruction, except for the technical aspects around the restoration of the artistic heritage. The two sections are the followed by an updated bibliography on the Florentine flood.