4th of November 1966: Remembering “The Great Flood” that devastated Florence and Santa Croce up to the Venice region

In the early hours of the 4th of November 1966, Tuscany was awakened by a disastrous event that changed the fate of the entire territory and marked indelibly the life of those affected, as well as all businesses focused on leather. Remembering the 50th anniversary of what is known as “The Great Flood”, our staff has decided to remember this event through witnesses records and archival photos that tell these dramatic pages of Italian history from skin entrepreneurs’ point of view who risked losing everything and, despite odds, were able instead to get up, collaborate and help each other. There are many stories of “extraordinary solidarity” that characterised those days: from companies remained unscathed that tanned on behalf of those that were deeply affected by the flood to the Gozzini factory that allowed drying in their own ovens the engines of tanneries that were affected by water in its Santa Croce’s workshop. Even Florence, the city struck most violently by the flood, witnessed enormous solidarity towards its industries. Among previously unpublished short stories, one tells about the ALFA fund (American Loans to Florentine Artisans), who gave birth to a micro-credit system in favor of 300 Florentine artisan companies, drawing on the resources made available by large US customers. In our next weekly issue will feature the stories that we have gathered in Tuscany and also in some small villages of Veneto region (Chiampo, Bassano del Grappa, and the Brenta Riviera) that were also affected by “The Great Flood” known by locals as in the local “Aqua Granda”.


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