"I spent 2 days removing the mud from a perfume shop in the centre and, to thank me, the owner gave me a bottle of perfume which I then swopped for a banana because I was hungry".

An account by Fabio Tucci (I)

"I was 14 years old at the time of the flood in Florence, and used to play as soloist on the electric guitar in a pop group. I had been playing with my group, which was called "the Things", in the suburbs of Florence on the evening of November 3rd 1966. We found it difficult getting back home because of the heavy rain and there was a long wait to cross the bridge over the Vingone, which was closed to traffic immediately after the Fiat 600 Multipla, in which I was returning to Florence with the rest of the group, passed over it.

The next morning the waters of the Arno gradually began to rise until they reached Viale Belfiore, where I lived at the time. I remember I found it very difficult to return home with the shopping, and was forced to enter through a window on the mezzanine floor.

When the water went down, I started to help at once, at first by regulating the road traffic and joining in the work to clean up the street near my house; afterwards, I spent 2 days with some friends removing mud from the basement of a perfume shop in the centre and, to thank me, the owner gave me a bottle of perfume which I swopped for a a banana because I was hungry.

Later on I helped clean up my old primary school in Via P. da Palestrina; lastly, I worked at the National Library for several days, at least until the schools reopened, at first by helping the soldiers and other volunteers transfer the worst damaged books to more suitable lodgings and later by spending many hours placing sheets of absorbent paper between the wet or damp pages of the lesser damaged books.

Today Dr Fabio Tucci is a paediatrician at the Centre of Paediatric Oncomathology in Florence



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