An account by Andrea Pisaneschi (I)
"The headmaster of the Classical Lyceum, where I was a first-year student, told us about the flood. The school council gave students permission to take time off from school if they wanted to go and help the city of Florence. I was only 17 at the time, however I decided, with a school friend, to go and lend a hand just the same.
Paying for our own tickets, we caught a train and arrived in Florence in the evening. The station looked as though a war had passed through it. We went to sleep at my friend's aunt's house and the next morning headed for the National Library where we were told to shovel away the mud. We worked alongside the parachutists and there was so much mud that it was up to a metre deep in some of the rooms of the library. As a rule, however, it covered the lower shelves of the bookcases. Every now and then, while we were working, someone would come round with hot drinks, like tea or coffee, cigarettes and rolls.
By the evening we were tired out and filthy but we still had to be disinfected before we went back to the house for the night. We stayed in Florence for three days. When we went back to school, I kept on boasting about it to the kids at the lyceum. It was something I would do all over again if need be, even though it was jolly hard work. I was really delighted to have done what I did. I have now have an eighteen year old son whose name is Sacha and who knows all about my experience in 1966; should something like that ever happen again he would do exactly the same as I did."