Saturday, January 9, 2010

Venice Is Sinking... For Rizzle

On New Year's Day the family and I left Florence to spend the next two nights in Venice.  We had caught word that there was some flooding in the city, which left us a little bit worried, until we learned that Venice floods about 100 times a year, which helped... a bit.  They call the floods "acqua alta", which means "high water" in Italian.  They are caused by a combination of high barometric pressure and strong winds from the south which literally push the ocean up into the city.  The Mediterranean has little to no tide, so this doesn't affect it at all, but rising sea levels and the fact that Venice is slowly sinking certainly doesn't help.  I have decided that for purposes of posting on Venice this trip, the floods are the story, so that is what I have posted pictures and commentary of.  If you want to see some pictures of Venice on a nicer day, check out my post from last April on my last time in Venice.

When we arrived during the night the waters were down, so we were able to walk to our hotel and stay high and dry.  In the morning, the alley outside of our hotel was beginning to flood and we were lucky that the hotel supplied us with rain boots.  Pictured above are my parents and brother, about to embark on a wet Venetian adventure.

The city of Venice sets up boardwalks on main streets, though boots are still recommended.

Myself standing in a watery St. Mark's Square.

Boardwalks in front of St. Mark's and the Ducal Palace.  Yes, I took this picture while standing in the water.  I quite liked sloshing around in the encroaching Adriatic.

My brother, Cody, standing at the point of entry for water into St. Mark's Square.  Though the water also seeps up through grates in the middle of the city, you can see how high the sea water is here.

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