Montale’s Chair

November 4th, 1966 was a very normal school day, I believe I was in eighth or ninth grade (I’m not sure, I never liked school much). That morning my mother came to wake me up and told me that the Arno had overflowed. We lived in the hills – it was farmland at the time – and the stone walls surrounding the streets had collapsed from the rain. The cars were stuck and we had to walk all the way to Piazza Michelangelo to see what happened. It was a crazy situation. So, the next day, equipped with rubber boots, we went to help as much as possible.

My grandmother was living in Milan, married to the poet Eugenio Montale. But she also had an apartment in Florence, with a cellar full of their things, and they asked us to go and recover what could be saved. We went to town with a farmer and we picked up some furniture with a tractor and a trailer: crates of muddy books and I wouldn’t know what else. Months later, Montale came to pick up his stuff but he left some things out: bundles of old books that we kept and an armchair, the one I’m sitting on right now.

Martino Marangoni, 1 July 2016

Il banco di maglieria

Di quel giorno ricordo poco, ero un ragazzino, avevo appena dieci anni.
Papà aveva un banco di maglieria al mercato in Piazza San Lorenzo, proprio in centro. Quella mattina verso le cinque ci alzammo. Avevamo questo sentore che l’Arno potesse straripare da un momento all’altro. Andammo subito verso il magazzino per salvare la maglieria e metterla sul soppalco in alto, mentre le persone correndo per strada già gridavano “arriva l’acqua, arriva l’acqua”. Noi scappammo subito in macchina: ricordo di aver visto un’onda di mezzo metro arrivare lungo la strada stretta.
Dopo due o tre giorni, papà riaprì il banco (con dei pancali di fortuna) e ci fu la ressa delle persone per acquistare i golf, faceva freddo e molti non avevano più nulla!

Franco Fallani, 14 luglio 2016