Thursday, December 12, 2013

Venice High Water, Acqua Alta

I have heard about the seasonal flooding in Venice that turns tourists into ‘children’ playing in the expansive puddle that is St. Marks Square and is only an inconvenience for the local Venicians, but I have never been in Venice when the event occurred.

During my visit this year acqua alta occurred on three days.    DSCN4132
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The flooding is slow as water seeps in from all the canals and lagoon.   A signal is blasted in the morning to announce that the flooding had started.  I would be more than 6 hours until the water started to recede.     During this time the locals will pump out their first floor stores, walk to work or begin their shopping with knee high boots and think little of the event.

But travelers and visitors embrace the novelty.   Local vendors sell inexpensive plastic boots in bright colors.   Your options are plastic foot covers, wet shoes or waiting out the flooding.   Not all streets are flooded but many of the main routes will have portions with more than 4 inches of water.     Some of the vaporetto routes were closed until the water level under the bridges lowered enough to allow the boats to pass.

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