Mud in Florence - Fango a Firenze

2-16 November 2016

In November, Florence will mark 50 years since the worst flood in the city's history since 1557. The British Institute of Florence will be commemorating the anniversary in a number of ways.   

We are running a special one-week course entitled “The Arno Unleashed: Seven centuries of art and floods in Florence” Comprising lectures and on-site visits, the course will address the central role of the Arno River in the city’s economic rise and identity as well as its destructive power through an exploration of the historic floods of the 13th – 20th centuries. 

On Wednesday 2 November at 18:00, the film-maker Roger Graef will discuss his controversial documentary “Why save Florence?” at the Harold Acton Library of the British Institute of Florence Palazzo Lanfredini, Lungarno Guicciardini 9. 

On the evening of the actual anniversary, Friday 4 November at 17:00, the Harold Acton Library will host the launch of a book of testimonies of the flood entitled “Perimetri perduti”, in the framework of artworks by David Cass, inspired by the 1966 flood.


His book explores the events before, during and after the catastrophe and features watercolour studies by the artist alongside texts from invited authors with a link to the city. On the occasion, the artist will also display some of his paintings inspired to the 1966 flood.

The exhibition will be followed by eye-witness accounts of the flood and the première screening of Roger Graef’s documentary “Why save Florence?” at 19:00.

Wednesday 9 November at 18:00, Bruno Santi, Director of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure will speak at the Cultural Programme. His talk in Italian is: ‘L’alluvione a Firenze: sgomento e riscatto di una città’.

Wednesday 16 November at 18:00 Swietlan Kraczyna, one of the founders of ‘Il Bisonte’ International School of Advanced Printmaking in Florence will give a lecture in English: ‘The 1966 flood: an eye-witness account’.

The British Institute of Florence welcomes lovers of Florence, from mud angels to current residents and students, to join us in marking the anniversary of an event which cost over 100 lives and many livelihoods, as well as destroying and damaging countless books and artworks.