Guide to Venice and Flooding

Some years ago, when we visited a quaint Amish town in western Pennsylvania and stayed at a bed and breakfast, we noted that someone had written in the guest register about the annoying clip-clop of the Amish horses.  (No, we're not making this up.)

In Venice, the flooding gets negative comments from some people, but it does get noticed, and it's part of the uniqueness of the city.  You've probably heard about it.  So here's our take:  Yes, Venice floods, at high tides.  That doesn't mean when it rains, as a high tide can occur in dry weather, and a low tide or normal tide can occur in a rainstorm.  When the tide rises, it overwhelms the drainage system, and salt water begins to back up in the drains, and parts of the city flood.  This can lead to a lot of consternation from people who can only handle perfect conditions, and to predictions of Venice one day just slipping under the sea and disappearing.

In fact, we almost missed this event in the four days we spent in Venice.  On the day we left the city, flood waters began rising in the morning, partially filling St. Mark's Square with water.  The vast majority of the city was dry, so we took the view that this was an interesting, and memorable event that we were fortunate to experience.  As the water rises in St. Mark's Square, workers put out elevated walkways, which are just like walking on long banquet tables.  We gladly walked along the elevated walkways in St. Mark's Square, so we could experience what it was like to be in the square when it floods. 

Overall, we found the flooding to be a minor annoyance as we detoured around the water. 

(You may notice Big Ben in the left side of some of these pictures.  The company that restored the famous clock is now working on restoring part of St. Mark's Square, and they draped their project in a huge photograph of Big Ben, as an example of what they can do.)




Use the tour company we used for our Venice trip --
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