Firenze - May 5 - Day 2

When you reach an unknown place, one person can make a world of difference. Emma has made a world of difference today. She has taken Vincent, Niko and Ief around for hours and initiated them in the history of Isolotto.

Isolotto (Island) is the neighborhood I have been in for three days now. It is located next to the river Arno, on the outskirts of Florence. When it comes to urbanization, this is a utopian place. Besides this, Isolotto has a an incredibly rich history.

Take for example the story of Don Mazzi. In the 50’s, the priest Don Mazzi gave all the buildings that were meant for the priests, to host a workshop: the ‘Fabrica Italiana de accesori’. Fiaba also  means “fairy tale” in italian. The building of the factory was rented for a symbolic rate, on condition that it was used for people from Isolotto, ex-prisoners and people with disabilities. Fiaba produced handbags, various accessories for clothes and ropes!

At some point, the ecclesial authority took down the keys from the church from Don Mazzi and forbade him to continue the mass. For 8 months the church remained closed, mass, marriages and baptisms simply happened outside. After eight months, Don Mazzi got back the permission to use the church again.

All people came together on the streets and showed their keys: Le chiavi della chiesa chiavi di tutti (The keys from the church are the keys from everyone)!

Ideas slowly began to take shape. Several people in the Viale dei Bambini asked why the rope was rolled up. It was very hot today. All day I took in the smell of the warm plastic that protects me from the rain. Dogs found me a very interesting sniffing object. Children pulled on everything that is loose. They got underneath me and called me ‘house’. Tomorrow is a new day. I feel like doing something.

Ropes, prisoners, factory. What a Fiaba, what a fairy tale. This can not be a coincidence. And this is just one of the stories Emma told me yesterday.

Rope