Venice is built on water, and now sadly, much of it is underwater. A brutal combination of high tides and violent winds have brought the Adriatic far higher than normal into the city.
Photo credit: Manuel Silvestri / Reuters
Being a coastal city built on canals, Venetians are no strangers to flooding. Called “acqua alta” in Italian, this actually happens about once each quarter, but it’s rarely this bad. On Monday, the high-water level reached five feet. Businesses shut down and tourists and residents alike were evacuated out of flood areas. It goes without saying that this weather can be devastating to businesses, especially those that rely on tourism. But searching Twitter for some first-hand accounts, it seems like there was a lot of “business as usual” happening.
My last trip to Venice was during a drier time, 2016
News reports make the flooding sound life-ending, and Twitter makes it sound like kayaking to the cafe is just what you do. I’m sure the truth is somewhere in between, but now, in addition to a little brightly-colored-boot envy, I’m curious. Have you ever been during acqua alta? How does a tourist cope with landmarks and museums being closed? What made you decide to wait it out, as opposed to changing your itinerary?