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The End of Acqua Alta High Tide Flood in Venice

Aqua Alta with a Venice policeman for the Pedestrian Traffic
Aqua Alta Policemand Pedestrian Traffic

MO.S.E floating seawalls Efficiency

The Mose seawall Project against Acqua Alta proved its remarkable effectiveness since 2020 and 2021.

The Venetians had the pleasant surprise of finding themselves dry when the lagoon waters should have overwhelmed Venice.

So the goal has been achieved; the images of Venice under the waters that we present to you are nothing more than a thing of the past.

Certainly, the floating seawalls will not be lifted for small tides, and there can still occasionally have some water in St. Mark's Square, which is one of the lowest points in Venice.

It is also to respond to this last possibility that protection behind a glass barrier is now being implemented to protect St. Mark's Basilica.

So you no longer need to wear boots in Venice to go for a walk!

November 1966

Imagine Venice immersed at 100 % by two metres of water!

This time everybody was very afraid, the end of Venice! Venice sank and at the same time the poetry of Lord Byron:
“Ode on Venice” once again surfaced:

Oh Venice! Venice! when thy marble walls
Are level with the waters, there shall be
A cry of nations o'er thy sunken halls,
A loud lament along the sweeping sea!
If I, a northern wanderer, weep for thee”
Lord Byron

Acqua Alta Saint-Mark Square Venice Italy
Acqua Alta Saint-Mark Square Venice
But truly, Acqua Alta has nothing to do with “the sinking” of Venice, which certainly is true but of less than a millimetre a year.

Certainly, over last century, Venice sank about 10 centimetres, due to industrial groundwater extraction but largely stopped when artesian wells on the mainland were capped in the 1960s.

Acqua Alta, what is it?

Then it is what?

Acqua Alta occurs when certain events coincide; the high tide forms an alliance with low pressures and that their windy friend, Sirocco, participates with our friend the Moon.

These elements together trigger the across-the-board flood of waters of the lagoon in Venice.

Igor Stravinsky Venice Italy 1925
Igor Stravinsky in Venice in 1925

When Acqua Alta plays the Music

History is true and arrived at Igor Stravinsky the Acqua Alta had been then so high as the compositor could no longer return to his hotel.

The concierge of aforementioned hotel Bauer, took Igor Stravinsky in his arms and carried him indoors.

It was after this Acqua Alta that Igor Stravinsky writes “The Flood”!

Our Advises Living well with Acqua Alta

The biggest problems Acqua Alta poses, at most some centimetres of water in calli (streets) which gives them a glistening aspect, is getting the camera quickly!

Besides, you will be warned in case of serious Acqua Alta. Sirens (which still date to the last world war), will shout a warning signal. If you are surprised in the city without Wellington boots, the dealers will be delighted to give you plastic bags for makeshift boots to make waiting better!

The period at risk is from September 15th till April 15th every year.

Venice Flood Acqua Alta Forecast

If you think to visit at this time of the year, it is best to be prepared with a pair of Wellington boots and enjoy the pleasure, as the children, of walking in the puddles!

MO.S.E plan

There are 78 floating seawalls on about 1600 metres and divided in four chunks with huge hatches that can close up or open according to the whims of the tide.

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