Paul Conway and Martha O’Hara Conway. Flood in Florence, 1966: A Fifty-Year Retrospective: Proceedings of Symposium, November 3 and 4, 2016, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tamara E. Livingston


The year 2016 marked the fifty-year anniversary of the tragic and destructive flood in Florence, Italy. The floodwaters shook the world with their indiscriminate destruction of human life, property, and priceless Florentine cultural heritage. Early in November of 1966, days of heavy rains transformed the Arno River into a raging beast, overflowing its retaining walls and submerging much of the city and the area around it in foul, murky water filled with sediment, vegetation, sewage, motor oil, and the flotsam of human civilization. The floodwaters either destroyed or badly damaged historic collections of art, sculpture, architecture, books, manuscripts, and documents stored in low-level galleries or basements of institutes, libraries, museums, and private residences.

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