When the Adriatic is at high tide or there has been heavy rainfall, Venice suffers from high water levels(aqua alta). Particularly prevalent in the winter months. The lowest parts of Venice get flooded. The locals just don plastic sacks on their feet, held by elastic bands.
But not to worry - those umbrella vendors appear selling rubber boots instead.
Occasionally the water level rises above the level of the squares and streets flooding them. Acqua alta, or high water is likely to happen between late september and april; especially during the months of october, november and december.
When the city is flooded you can walk on the raised platforms that are placed for that purpose or buy a pair of rubber boots.
venice is under water more than half of the year and they`re very honest about it.
there`s even a small billboard by the docks on the side of the doge`s palace saying how many days in a year ( about 200 something).
expect the worst and hope for the best before going there.
and if you`re as lucky as me that the few days i was there san marco was dry, don`t forget to say your prayer of thanks.
On occassions, during winter especially, you will get the Aqua Alta in venice.
This is where due to the high tide the water rises to the extent of flooding the squares and walk ways. This is more of an issue around the low lying areas such as St Marks square.
However the local council is very well organised and wooden walkways are erected to enable the people to keep there feet dry.
One Dec 28th 2005 we took the following pics with a little flooding in St marks Square.
The website below gives forecast of expected water levels -
A sudden storm can catch you unaware in Venice and the water level can rise rather quickly. In this picture everyone is hiding around the Doges Palace after a sudden downpour which also left St Marks Square one foot deep in water.
Venice has sunk in the last 100 years, a result of mainland industries pumping water out of the aquiefer below the city. As a consequence, ominously high tides that used to be a minor annoyance, have become a regular winter occurence, particularly in low-lying areas like St Mark's Square.
They will convince you to eat the fish of the day (8euro/per 100g). Little do you know that they will serve you a 700g fish and you will end up paying 56euros for terrible fish in a diner type of restaurant. Please avoid and please don't be fooled. The food is awful here including the pasta.
On the bad winter days you can find yourself walking on flooded St. Marco Square so try to get high shoes or boots.
BTW - because of the floods some houses left the first floor unoccupied.
.It was 9AM of our 2nd day.Breakfast was ending."You are leaving very soon" said the waiter. His brusque remark surprised me.He pointed to the canal-side windows where 2 inches of water was lapping at the table legs. "Rapidamente",I said.The hotel elevators were off, so we climbed to our room.We had planned to walk to the Ca d'Oro(opens at 10) but there was now no hurry. It was lunch before we descended. The water was up to the second step! A booted porter passed in the hall below. "Hey! How do we get out?""No problema". He disappeared and shortly returned with 4-30 inch green plastic garbage bags and 4 yellow long plastic ties. Properly attired we waded out into the Lista, mounted the boardwalk and 2 blocks further waded to the Brek Tavola Calda(on higher ground). These boots and garter-type fasteners(!) should be in your coat pockets if you possibly arrive during AA.If you do not use them,put your soiled laundry in them. I admit we did not try them out on a long walk thru a submerged area,but during the flooding there were places where they were helpful.
Pick your time and season to Venezia carefully. When the water is high, you will need waders.
Photo is from a very old cover copy of USA Today © (I think). (film @ 11:00)
I would never stay and / or take a picture in Venice if the water was this high!
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