Dark Water: A Photographic History of Florentine Disasters

By Jacqueline Savory & Natalie Zawadzki

Florence, long known for being the birthplace of the Renaissance and home to countless pieces of art, suffered a number of events during the 20th century that would have a lasting affect on how the city would evolve and grow. In 1944, the oltrarno side had all the buildings along the river demolished by the retreating Germans in an attempt to slow down the Allied advance. However, it was the Arno river flood of November 4, 1966 that would have the most lasting impact on the city. When news of the flood spread, Florentines worked to save as much of the art housed in the city, with foreigners making up a large contingent. The coverage of the aftermath of the flood focused on the art, not the people of Florence and subsequently, the city was deemed a world heritage site. The ramifications of such a label has rendered the city stagnant, unable to grow and change.

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