An account by Leo Giovanni Guerriero (I)
I am from Alessandria and, at the time of the flood in Florence, I was 19 years old and had just signed on at the University of Pavia. A group was formed at the university which left on November 9th, while I left with 7 friends, in two ancient cars, on November 12th. We managed to get as far as Prato with our cars , a 600 Fiat and an old Lancia, which we left there, and got a lift into Florence on a military lorry.
We went to an assembly centre in a high area of Florence, probably the Youth Hostel. We worked between Santa Maria Novella and Arno for about a week and then we were sent to work in the San Frediano area during the week that followed. We had to clean out the mud and depris from the cellars and ground floors and help the population.
However, what impressed me most of all was the determination of all the young people, though they were still greatly shocked by the event, while the older generation, which was equally determined, seemed to 'accept' the situation almost as if they were thinking: "we've survived so many problems in the past, we'll just have to resolve this one too".
I noticed exactly the same attitude in my own city during the flood of 1994.
Leo Giovanni Guerriero is a journalist and works in the
Press Office of the Regional Government of Lombardy.
His address is Via F.lli Sangallo, 30 - 20133 Milano tel. 02 67655313/0368 936895