After the Florence Flood: Saving Vasari’s ‘Last Supper’
New York Times, By PAULA DEITZ Nov. 3, 2016
FLORENCE, ITALY — In early morning light, the low buildings lining both sides of the Arno River here glow in their myriad shades of ochre, like the shallow river itself, which flows calmly through the city.
When I was here on Nov. 4, 1966, with my husband-to-be on our first trip to Europe together, it was quite a different sight. It had rained for days, and, totally saturated, the water table rose up; the river, coursing angrily with a release from an upriver dam, overflowed its retaining walls into the streets. Stranded in our hotel along the river, I looked down from a second-floor interior balcony and saw that the water had risen frighteningly to the ceiling of the lobby. I asked for two candles, two bottles of water and a couple of packets of breadsticks.