BREAKING NEWS
This content is not available in your region

Tourists and residents slosh through a flooded Venice

Comments
Image: Venice Flooding
A woman carries her daughter in a flooded St. Mark's Square, in Venice, Italy, on Nov. 12, 2019.   -   Copyright  Luca Bruno
Text size Aa Aa

VENICE, Italy — Tourists and Venetians alike donned high boots and took to strategically placed raised walkways on Tuesday to slosh through the high water that has hit much of the lagoon city.

Venice's tide forecast office said the water level peaked at about 4 feet 3 inches Tuesday morning but warned that an even higher tide was forecast for after nightfall.

The high water invaded cafes, stores and other businesses. Sirens warned people in Venice of the rising water, and as a precaution, authorities closed nursery schools.

A top tourist attraction, the Ducal Palace, just off St. Mark's Square, tweeted that it's "open today, despite the exceptional tide," and advised visitors to use the raised walkways leading to its entrance.

Many hotels keep disposable knee-high plastic boots handy for tourists. Venetians' wardrobes often include over-the-knee rubber boots.

A woman carries her daughter in a flooded St. Mark\'s Square, in Venice, Italy, on Nov. 12, 2019.
A woman carries her daughter in a flooded St. Mark\'s Square, in Venice, Italy, on Nov. 12, 2019.Luca Bruno

As the phenomenon of high water, locally known as "acqua alta," goes, the levels Tuesday, while amusing for tourists and a nuisance for residents going about their business, were far lower than the 6 feet 4 inches in the devastating November 1966 flood in Venice.

But even lesser levels of the salty high water, over the years, take their toll on the city, eroding foundations of homes, businesses and city buildings.

Bad weather is continuing to dog Italy, with no real let-up forecast for several days.

In Policoro, a southern town in an area known for its ancient Greek ruins, a whirlwind ripped the roofs off two homes, but the occupants inside escaped injury, Italian news reports said.

In that same region of Basilicata, swaths of the tourist town of Matera, famed for its Sassi former cave dwellings, were flooded after heavy rains.