...is worryingly high. It seems as though it's been raining forever - although, in fact, it can only have been since Christmas Day, as I distinctly remember wheeling the terracotta pots from the garden up to Santa Caterina on the afternoon of the 25th, through eerily deserted (and dry) streets.
We went to take a look yesterday at the river level, and - despite the fact that it was a good three metres higher than normal - there seemed little cause for concern, as there was still another three metres to go before it would reach danger point. And still it rained. I went to check again, this morning, having been to the butcher for some fegatini, and saw that two of those three metres have now also gone, and the river bank was dotted with people peering anxiously over at the muddy torrent below. I imagine the more elderly amongst them have clear memories of the floods of '66, when the Solferino bridge was swept away, and this entire quartiera was apparently waist-deep in water. On the news, they've announced that the Serchio has burst its banks at Nodica, about four miles away, and that they've opened the relief canal towards Livorno, which ought to drain off a lot of the flood waters in the Arno. Whether it's enough, remains to be seen - the powers-that-be are announcing a disaster averted - but frankly it seems a little premature of them. The river level here always rises for several days after there's been rain upstream...and there's still more rain forecast (even though today we actually have sun for the first time in ages!)
Time for another cappuccino, and a slice of fruit cake...while we still can!
Walnut & Roquefort Sformato.
Chicken Involtini, in cabbage leaves.
Panettone Bread & Butter Pudding.