At least €5 million in damages, according to initial estimates of the technicians. A gaffe broadcasted worldwide, with cameras focused on the 200-meter abyss which opened at dawn on Lungarno Torrigiani, very close to the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery, on the southern bank of the Arno River.
Fortunately there were no deaths or injuries. By dinner time, the water service was reconnected in homes and firefighters were removing the last car engulfed in the progressive collapse of the road surface.
But the controversy is going to last — longer than the repairs that Mayor Nardella hopes to see completed by late summer. Because Publiacqua is in the middle, the limited private-public company (40 percent owned by ACEA), that has the highest water rates in the country and since 2009 was a fief of the former mayor, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
“And there are the chubs,” joked a boy wading up to his ankles, remarking on the fish on the street in a video that went viral in Italy. At that moment a small stream of water flowed away at the end of Lungarno Torrigiani, on the corner of Via de Bardi, and taking the road downhill to the latter. After the first reports were sent to Publiacqua and the municipal police, technicians and workers intervened to identify and repair it, and around 3:30 a.m. the work was done. Everybody went home.