An account by Massimo Fabbri (I)
I was only 15 years old but I still remember it as being an incredible experience, and this was also because I lived in Via Circondaria, which remained untouched by the floodwaters. We spent the whole day of November 4th at home because of the bad weather and then in the evening, at about 6pm, my father decided he wanted to go out and took me with him. We found a tank blocking all access to Piazza Sant'Jacopino: the square was flooded wth water and the streets all around were like rivers. It was only then that we discovered there had been a flood.
On November 6th I managed to reach the centre with a friend. We had heard that a first aid and medicine distribution centre had been set up at the Archbishop's Palace and they needed volunteers to help them take people in and divide them up according to their needs. We were put in charge of a stall full of emergency rations and indispensible articles in the street in front of the entrance to the Archbishop's Palace. The more serious cases, people who needed more than just an aspirin or cough mixture, were sent up to the upper floors where doctors and nurses were available.
An incredible number of people came. We stayed there all day with only a short break for lunch off the "K rations" from the American army. A water lorry from Camp Derby was parked in Piazza San Giovanni and the American soldiers distributed water supplies as well the famous K rations.