I haven’t been up to Venice for a while but news travels fast in this country and the alerts of high water are rampant as the rain continues to pour down across the country. Multiple areas are flooded but thankfully in higher altitudes, it’s turning to snow (great for the ski areas!), though Venice is always one of the cities hit hardest, and tonight the sirens for acqua alta have been sounding on the regular.
Tonight at 11:00 pm, the water level in the city is supposed to surge up through the canals to 170cm over the norm during high tide – if it does hit that high, the only higher tide since 1923 was in 1966 – the same time and storms that flooded Florence. For those of you not familiar with the metric system, I am 165cm tall. Now that doesn’t mean everyone on the first/ground floor in Venice is going to drown. There are some parts of the city that are “higher” than others, though the most famous point, Piazza San Marco, is the lowest, which makes it a swimming pool even at the slightest levels of high water. The Venice commune advises when the surge goes up to 140cm, the water in the Piazza is usually about 60cm deep, or about two feet. We’re talking tonight and the few days after that, the surge going thirty centimeters higher. On the news, we’re seeing people walking in waist-deep water.
If you want to keep track of the city of bridges over the next few days, check out the live stream of the Piazza and the Rialto Bridge on Skyline. Or search for #acquaalta on Instagram. I hope everyone stays safe and warm over the next few days. The weather is getting crazy again.