Burnt to a Crisp – New Year in Florence is a Wash Out

The tourists and the Florentines always hope that the New Year will come in with a bang. For 2010 it came in with a wet whimper.

Fireworks in drier years
Fireworks in drier years

The 2010 fireworks were rained out.

To celebrate the end of 2009, the new mayor, who made a splash with the grand pedestrian zone around the Duomo (wrecking havoc with the bus system), wanted to have four concerts at various venues, including one that started at the train station in Bologna and then taking the 37 minute trip on the new Frecciarossa (Red Arrow) high speed train to Florence for the second half of the concert at the train station. Note: this train unfortunately spent 90 minutes in a tunnel the week before. On New Year’s Eve the train made a successful run, but the Florence concert was soggy.

It has been raining for a week. From 9am on the the 31st to 11am on the 1st the rain was non-stop. Thus, the river is rising…

Highest Arno in ten years
Highest Arno in ten years

The Arno, which flooded in 1966, was never adequately dredged or walled. Therefore, the Florentines are spending the first day of 2010 watching the bridges.

Ponte Vespucci can hardly span the roiling river
Ponte Vespucci can hardly span the roiling river

This is not a new pastime. Acqua Alta in Arno happens almost every winter. Books have been written about it.

 The Arno frozen - January 10, 1985
The Arno frozen - January 10, 1986

Another 24 hours of rain is expected and then the temperature is to drop below zero.  Maybe Florence will get the same ice rink it enjoyed in the Winter of ’85 -’86.

January 10, 1985 the Arno froze
Ice on the Arno in 1985

One thought on “Burnt to a Crisp – New Year in Florence is a Wash Out

  1. you sound so pessimistic and sarcastic about Florence. Like a know-it-all who would rather be someplace else. It is depressing.

    P.S. I was at the Piazza Signoria on New Year’s Eve and there were thousands of happy people there. The orchestra was superb, the fireworks were a little scanty, but I would rather be there than Times Square. You sound a little washed out yourself.

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