On Sunday, October 9th, the State Archive of Florence inaugurated the exhibition Arno: Source of Prosperity, Source of Destruction. A History of the River and the Territory in the Archives. The exhibit, organized by the Archive and the Superintendency in collaboration with Tuscany’s Deputazione di storia patria is part of a program of events promoted by the Coordination Committee for “Progetto Firenze 2016” in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the flood and will be open to the public for free until February 4th, 2017 with the following hours:

Monday to Friday:

9am to 5pm


9am to 1pm

Closed Sundays and holidays


The Archive focuses on the history of the River Arno, an essential source of prosperity for Florence but also the root of hydrogeological disasters, grief, and destruction. Numerous materials are on the display – documents, maps, drawings, original projects, photographs, artworks, and even an original boat used on the Arno on November 4th, 1966.

In the three sections comprising the exhibition space, the first two are dedicated to the thousand-year-old bond between the river and the surrounding territory, with special attention paid to Florence and Florentine areas. The third section addresses the consequences of the impact that the Arno waters had on the Archive’s patrimony, then housed in the 40 rooms on the ground floor of the Uffizi Gallery, as well as on many other public and private archives across the city, and remembers the prompt response of institutions and the many citizens, notable the young “Mud Angels” who came from around the world to help save the city.

Light is shed on the interventions of Tuscany’s Archival Superintendency (Soprintendenza Archivistica), carried out swiftly and energetically, in the recovery and restoration of archival documents belonging to the city, Church, and private families gravely damaged in 1966, and includes further floods, beyond the Arno basin, which in recent years has damaged the archival patrimony of the region, focusing on the technical progress made in document restoration procedures necessary to repair the damages caused by the waters.

The many materials coming from galleries, collections, and Florentine and non-Florentine cultural institutions have been reproduced in a catalogue, published by Polistampa, together with contributions from professional specialists in archival studies, geography, history, architecture, and art history.