Venice and high tide (Acqua Alta in italian or venetian dialect) is something Venetians have to accept and to live with. November is one of the time when this event is more frequent, compared to the other month. This happen when a combination of astronomical tide, strong south wind (scirocco) and the periodic movement of sea waters, a sort of long wave which washes all Adriatic coasts can cause a larger inflow of water into the Venetian Lagoon. High water levels are measured on the mareographic zero at “Punta della Salute” and 97% of the town is at +100 centimetres. This means that the actual water-line is always much less than the high water forecast. For example, an exceptional high tide of +140 centimetres means that 59% of the town is covered by water, but even in the lowest parts the water-line won’t reach more than 60 centimetres on the streets.
Here some shots showing how some areas of the city are affected by a +125 cm level.
San Marco square; water is upcoming through holes on the floor that normally are used as water drain wells
This is the wavy way from boats moving in front of San Marco, when the lagoon is about +100; can you imagine what could be the wavy way caused by a cruise ship?
San Marco square is about to be flooded
Venetians are prepared and know perfectly how to move in this situation, using high boots or raised sidewalks
Easy to recognise a tourist or visitor…
Pigeons also don’t like to stay on the floor
Rialto area; not so different…
+125 cm is not a particular high level, normally no more than 30% of the city is affected by this. This short reportage is just to show you how different the logistic could be in Venice. During high tide boats can’t pass under more of the bridges, delivers are delayed or canceled. Public transport are limited on timing and routes but also these are part of Venice, the most beautiful city in the world. Is there any solution to reduce or avoid this? I think that none can stop the nature; Mose project (40 years old now) or any other system are not working as far today. Venice is almost 16 centuries old and, even if with all it’s difficulties, it will stay for a long. Venice needs more respect from all the people living, visit or stay for a limited period of time; have more respect for this city, help Venice to continue to offer it’s beauty for ever.
Gear used: Leica Q, Leica M10 + 35 sum micron ASPH
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