APPENDIX 2. Quotes extracted from textual data and translated into English

1. In the presentation it was all-beautiful, the virtual pictures are still there, how beautiful! A shame they are only virtual (....) Please, give us the floods back and resign right away: I am one who voted for you. (Letter published on 25/09/09)

2. But, how could they do such a thing to the living heart of our beloved city (...)? I almost have tears in my eyes. (Letter published on 5/10/09)

3. My beautiful lake, to which I am very much attached, and to which I had even dedicated years ago a poem, in dialect to better express my deep feelings for it, cannot disappear this way (Letter published on 27/09/09)

4. No one can steal the lake... Leave us at least this little bit of nature that remains to be seen and admired! (Letter published on 25/09/09)

5. When I was a little boy on Saturday afternoons, my parents used to take me to the lakeshore to stroll and admire our lake. Then I grew up and I used to go with my friends, with my girlfriend. Now I am married, I went for so many walks there with my wife and each time we would stop on a bench to admire the lake! Now I have a child and I would like to be able to take her there, too, to admire the lake. Don’t cancel the lake from us, please don’t do it. It is beautiful to see it in the morning when I go to work and to greet it at night before going back home. It is part of my life. (Letter published on 30/09/09)

6. I have lived on milk and lake since my childhood that is since 75 years. I remember my dad who, every night after dinner, regardless of the weather and the season used to go out to the square to see his lake. When he came back, we used to ask him, for a joke: ‘Dad, is the lake still there?’ And his answer was: ‘It is there and it is always more beautiful’. I think that now he would be turning in his grave. (Letter published on 1 Oct. 2009)

7. I would like for tomorrow’s children to be able to stroll on the lakeshore with grandparents or parents, and stop enchanted throwing bread to the ducks and admiring the arrival of the swans, like we all did(...) I would like for the lake to remain everything it has been for us, grown-up Comaschi. (...) This wall prevents all of this! (Comment posted on 24/09/09, accessed on 14 Apr 2010)

8. How was it possible to design and build this horror? But those who have the power to govern are Italians? Or extraterrestrial aliens? (Letter published on 01/10/09)

9. If the city lost the view of the Lario, it would lose itself (Letter published on 25 Sept. 2009)

10. Como cannot be apart from the lake. Como is ‘the lake’. (Letter published on 05/10/09)

11. It’s as if in Milan they decided to cover all the duomo and hide it from people’s view...But are we joking? It’s like taking off the soul of the city! (Letter published on 26/09/09)

12. The offense to the environment is the wall in construction. The lake, the lakeshore and the old town are a continuous whole: they are three inseparable realities in osmosis. The fracture caused by the wall breaks an equilibrium embedded in the culture of Como that lives serenely its panorama. (Architect, letter published on 30/09/09)

13. In Como fortunately, it is not so frequent to end up with the high waters, it is not necessary to ‘secure’ the city permanently, Como already has its walls, of another epoch, function and charm. (letter published on 02/10/09, [reference to the historical walls surrounding the old part of town])

14. Dismantlement of this wall of shame, which is useless! Almost surely we won’t get any more floods, considering the climatic situation and the [lake levels managing body] (Letter published on 29/09/09)

15. Considering also that the flood events, as years go by, become less and less intense, maybe also because the gates in Lecco/Olginate are being better managed, I wonder in the end why this useless ‘wall’ has been built. (Letter published on 29/09/09)

16. How often has the lake been flooding? Every 3/4/5 years? And how much did it cost considering that everything is always covered by the insurances? (Letter published on 26/09/09)

17. Between walls, barriers and cement casts a go-go, now our lake has been caged and closed like a vulgar hydroelectric reservoir. (...) a project that has closed the lake but also the doors to all sensitivity and culture. (Letter published on 27/09/09)

18. The beauty and the romanticism of the lake on the square well surpassed the (few and well compensated) [flood] damage to the shore owners: besides, the flooding lake only took what was already its: Piazza Cavour used to be the port of Como, without walls, without roads, without benches, without barriers, without brigands, but with a splendid city at its back. (Letter published on 26/09/09)

19. I prefer a prospective week of lake flooding than a permanent cancellation of the landscape. (Comment posted on 24/09/09, accessed on 14/4/10)

20. There may be nothing left to do for us but cry by the wall, by our own wailing wall, trying to remember the glories of the past. (Letter published on 26/09/09)

21. But...I was born with the view to the lake and I will have to die in front of a wall but you are crazy?! (Letter published on 27/09/09)

22. (...) A disaster from the cultural and emotional perspectives for who really cares for the lake. I feel more pain than indignation. (Letter published on 29/09/09)

23. Give us back the fabulous lakeshore of Como, which in difficult times like these, only with a little glimpse while driving past, brightens our mood! (Letter published on 26/09/09)

24. I am German and I have known the lake of Como for 20 years (...) To me and all of them [family and friends, from Italy and elsewhere] the lake has always had this strange effect: as soon as I arrive here I relax, I feel great, I breathe deeply and I forget the daily stress. This is due to a landscape of extraordinary beauty (Letter published on 4/10/09)