"No teachers were present to witness the cry of pain of Italian culture"

An account by Enrico Calzolari (I)

"I was an officer on board one of the Societa' Italia Navigazione's ships, which travelled all round the world, but just happened to be in Italy in that period. I was also expert in first aid because I was an ambulance volunteer and so, immediately after the flood, I set out for Florence in a four wheel drive car with two of my friends from Lerici.

We were completely selfsufficient with our own food supplies and sleeping bags. We had been given lodgings in the railway carriages at the station in Florence where we talked about every subject under the sun in our sleeping quarters each evening. I was put in charge of the hygiene in the carriages where the volunteers were sleeping because, considering our working conditions, we had to be very careful to avoid taking any mud with us into our lodgings.

We were sent to clean up the National Library and Ted Kennedy visited it while we were there. One of the friends who had come to Florence with me, Stefano Stefanini, who spoke English, went to say hello and thank him, so Kennedy asked if there were any teachers amongst us. There were no teachers there at all and this really appeared to surprise the American senator. No teachers were present to witness the cry of pain of Italian culture.

This was perhaps the moment in which I made up my mind to become a teacher; in fact, I taught at the Istituto Alberghiero in Lerici until two years ago.

Today Enrico Calzolari represents the Verdi party as Councillor for the Budget in Lerici Town Council.



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