Italy: A Royal Fury

So swiftly it rushed towards the royal stream, that naught held it back.

My frozen body at its mouth the raging Archain found, and swept it into the Arno.

Dante well knew the sudden fury of the Arno and its tributaries. So did later Florentines who saw their city flooded in 1333, 1577, 1666 and 1844. Last week the 450,000 citizens of the capital of Renaissance art once again watched in silent disbelief as the floodwaters of the "royal stream" receded. This time, the raging tide had swept down from the mountainous north...

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