"In the midst of all that desolation, what impressed me most of all was the smell of freshly baked bread at a baker's shop that had just re-opened"

An account by Fabrizio Galeotti (I)

"I was studying at the Berchet Lyceum in Milan and when we heard about the flood in Florence, our Art History teacher, Prof.ssa Cerchieri, organized a group of volunteers to go and help the city and its works of art.

There were about twenty of us, students from various classes, and four of them were classmates of mine from the 1G. I can still remember their names: Bruno Nacci, Leopoldo Ravizza and Ricky Clippel, a lanky boy who was too tall to fit into the bunks in the railway carriages where we were lodged. I remember we used to tease him about having to sleep with his feet sticking out of the bed.

We were sent at once to clear the mud out of the Pazzi Chapel and after that to the National Library to remove the flooded books. A few days later we were moved to an abbey outside Florence, I can't remember what it was called, where we had to try and dry the books, which were wet right through.

We had all left home with our own food supplies and we stayed for a period of seven days in all. That week was extremely gratifying. I remember that, a few days after our arrival, when I was working in Santa Croce, I smelt a smell in the midst of all that desolation that made a great impression on me. It was the smell of freshly baked bread from a baker's shop that had just re-opened. We went and bought some at once".



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