Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Europe > Italy
Reload this Page >

Flooding in Venice

Flooding in Venice

Old Nov 11, 14, 8:42 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: BDL/PVD
Programs: UA, Marriott, Amex
Posts: 224
Flooding in Venice

I am supposed to arrive in Venice in less than two weeks and the city is flooded. It is also supposed to rain for most of the time between now and my arrival.

We are only there for 2 nights before we head to Paris. Should we tough it out or head elsewhere? I am traveling with my wife and 8yo daughter.

[URL="http://www.weather.com/safety/floods/flash-floods-italy-tuscany-liguria-venice-20141107[/URL]
newaarondavidson is offline  
Old Nov 11, 14, 10:10 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: SFO
Posts: 3,600
I'd probably get some boots and go. Acqua alta is fairly common in Venice. People put on boots, in some places they drop some platforms for people to walk across, and life goes on.

Plus, the prospect of acqua alta might scare some people away, and a less crowded Venice is a rare and wonderful thing.

I really didn't like Venice the first time I visited. It was July, it was full of people, all tourists, like a giant cruise ship terminal. It turned out I was doing it wrong - I needed to get away from Rialto and the city was completely different. The locals I then found told me to come back in the late fall or winter, maybe get lucky (yes lucky!) and find acqua alta, and have the city without most of the tourists. Then it'd be even better.
PWMTrav is offline  
Old Nov 11, 14, 12:58 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SFO, VCE
Programs: AA EXP >4 MM, Lifetime Plat
Posts: 2,881
Originally Posted by newaarondavidson View Post
I am supposed to arrive in Venice in less than two weeks and the city is flooded. It is also supposed to rain for most of the time between now and my arrival.

We are only there for 2 nights before we head to Paris. Should we tough it out or head elsewhere? I am traveling with my wife and 8yo daughter.

[URL="http://www.weather.com/safety/floods/flash-floods-italy-tuscany-liguria-venice-20141107[/URL]
This would be very bad in Genoa, Pisa, and other places, but not in Venice. They are used to this. They sell knee high boots called Wellingtons for the regular flooding. Venetians will be sitting in restaurants with water, almost coming up to the butt of their seat, as if it is totally normal. Look forward to experiencing Alta Aqua. It's a unique experience. Aqua alta only lasts for about an hour or so anyway. So if you get stuck in it, just have a coffee and wait it out. They sell Wellies all around near Piazza San Marco. If you go away from there into Castello and search a little bit looking for a household goods or hardware type of store, knowing that aqua alta is coming, you will find wellies at half the price of what the tourist places charge near SM (You can get them for the equivalent of 15 to 20 dollars). If you are staying in Dorsoduro, right near Campo San Barnaba you can get Wellies for a great price at Nadia's, right under the overpass. Anyone near there can tell you where here store is.

For one time use they have these yellow booties that are like durable garbage bags that you put on over your feet, and you can walk around with them. The only problem is that they only sell them near San Marco, and they charge almost as much as a store would charge for Wellies that will last your whole trip. Wellies are like the boots that fly fishermen wear when standing in a foot or two of water when casting. Aqua alta, or Venetian flooding, is nothing to be concerned about. It's related to tides and the scirocco wind. There is high tide and low tide every six hours. That means that not much time after the flooding the water is already receding. It's rare for Aqua alta, even the highest ones, to last much longer than an hour. I'm disappointed that I just came back from a month in Venice and didn't get any Aqua Alta, but I've been in it dozens of times. I buy some Wellies, and go walking around in it. I wouldn't think twice about flooding in Venice. No place is better prepared for it. The stores don't close, nothing changes. Flooding can be an issue everywhere, but not in Venice.

Last edited by Perche; Nov 11, 14 at 1:04 pm
Perche is offline  
Old Nov 11, 14, 1:19 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: PHL & PSA/BLQ
Programs: AA PPRO, Marriott/Hilton Gold, AMX-Plat, Global Entry
Posts: 2,600
There was a little acqua alta on the AM high tide last Tuesday. I had to go to San Marco to get some cash from the ATM and ran into the remnants around 9:30 AM. I took a couple of pics - if I can get one uploaded, I'll post it.


Last edited by JMN57; Nov 11, 14 at 2:23 pm
JMN57 is offline  
Old Nov 11, 14, 1:22 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: SFO
Posts: 3,600
Originally Posted by Perche View Post
I wouldn't think twice about flooding in Venice. No place is better prepared for it. The stores don't close, nothing changes. Flooding can be an issue everywhere, but not in Venice.
That's not true. Sometimes things change - if the water gets high enough, they get to draw a new mark on the wall

I've still yet to experience it, and I really want to. Is Acqua Alta at all common around New Years? I've been thinking about a winter trip to Venice in the next couple of years.
PWMTrav is offline  
Old Nov 11, 14, 1:53 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: BDL/PVD
Programs: UA, Marriott, Amex
Posts: 224
Thank you all, I thought it was more of a persistent flood than a "flood for an hour or so," type of thing.
newaarondavidson is offline  
Old Nov 11, 14, 2:18 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SFO, VCE
Programs: AA EXP >4 MM, Lifetime Plat
Posts: 2,881
Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
That's not true. Sometimes things change - if the water gets high enough, they get to draw a new mark on the wall

I've still yet to experience it, and I really want to. Is Acqua Alta at all common around New Years? I've been thinking about a winter trip to Venice in the next couple of years.
I don't think so. It's mainly in the Fall, and somewhat less commonly in the Spring. I don't think it happens in the middle of winter. It really is nice. Two years ago they had what I think was one of the highest ones that they've had, but it was around midnight. I stayed up for it and went out. If you've got the boots, there's no reason not to enjoy how unique it is.

Last edited by Perche; Nov 11, 14 at 9:46 pm
Perche is offline  
Old Nov 12, 14, 6:35 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Heraklion, Greece
Posts: 6,622
Originally Posted by Perche View Post
I don't think so. It's mainly in the Fall, and somewhat less commonly in the Spring. I don't think it happens in the middle of winter. It really is nice. Two years ago they had what I think was one of the highest ones that they've had, but it was around midnight. I stayed up for it and went out. If you've got the boots, there's no reason not to enjoy how unique it is.
If you go out at night and don't really know the place, you should make sure you don't fall over the edge of a canal: it is deeper there and Wellies won't be of help
KLouis is offline  
Old Nov 12, 14, 8:32 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: south of WAS DC
Posts: 10,131
;there have been a few major floods in venice, however, they are very rare. most are just at high tide, called acqua alta(?)and last for an hour or two. usually only the lower parts of venice flood. around st marks square is very low.

dec is a good time to go to venice, as the aqua alta, and the frigid cold clear out the riff RAFF.
slawecki is offline  
Old Nov 12, 14, 11:31 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: PHL & PSA/BLQ
Programs: AA PPRO, Marriott/Hilton Gold, AMX-Plat, Global Entry
Posts: 2,600
There are a number of factors that drive acqua alta - mainly wind direction, air pressure, rain and, of course, tides. Of those, the only predictable one are tides and the maximum tides occur with a new or full moon so if one wants to increase the probability of seeing acqua alta, it would be good to be there at those times of the month.
JMN57 is offline  
Old Nov 12, 14, 12:28 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SFO, VCE
Programs: AA EXP >4 MM, Lifetime Plat
Posts: 2,881
Of course with the MOSE Project, or gate at the entrance to the lagoon at Lido, they are supposed to be able to stop or significantly mitigate Aqua Alta in the future. We've been hearing that for decades. It hasn't worked to date because of Mafia corruption, with 30-40 local politicians, including the Mayor of Venice, currently under arrest. The CVN, or Conortium for a New Venice, the crooks in charge of constructing the multi-billion euro project over the last few decades, recently did a test and raised the gate from the water. http://nuovavenezia.gelocal.it/crona...oie-1.10290198

The media went on to point out that CVN was "stunned" about the amount of damage the salt water was doing to the gate. Since this group is licensed in perpetuity to be the only company allowed to do maintenance of the gate they not surprisingly announced that maintenance costs that were projected to be 20-30 million euros every ten years are now revised to a new cost of 20-30 million euros EVERY YEAR!

With no current Mayor, much of the city leadership under arrest, and the MOSE Project riddled with Mafia, despite what the article above says, I don't think there's any rush to see Aqua Alta before it ends. It's likely to continue for a while.

Last edited by Perche; Nov 12, 14 at 2:07 pm
Perche is offline  
Old Dec 19, 14, 12:20 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: MD, USA
Programs: UA- Pl (2MM), AA-Go, Delta-Silver, Hyatt-Globalist!, MR/SPG comb - Plat, Hilton - nada
Posts: 569
Was in Venice in Dec 2011...very minor flooding - but in St. Marks they did have the "table paths" setup. So if they water comes up you walk on the tables (~3' high) to stay above the waterline. But, of course, this means you have to follow a set path, can't just wander the square. There was water ~6-8") at the entrance to St. Marks Cathedral and they had pieces of wood lines up for folks to step on as they entered. Once inside it was fine - I guess the floor slopes up...
rwm818 is offline  
Old Nov 8, 17, 2:13 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SFO, VCE
Programs: AA EXP >4 MM, Lifetime Plat
Posts: 2,881
The summer in Italy was brutal, with a prolonged heat wave that was called Lucifero, or Lucifer. Now, the winter has come in, and it has been brutal, based on a cyclic wind pattern called the Bora. Naples and the Amalfi Coast were the hardest hit, with evacuations, Bologna has mudslide and flood warnings.

In Venice, they are having the highest aqua alta in the last four years. I was there at the one four years ago, and have been through them many times. The one four years ago peaked at around 1-2 AM. I set the alarm to go out there. Although you can't see where the sidewalk ends and the canal begins, and if you are not careful, you can walk into a canal. There are boots that you can buy called Wellies. They let you walk freely in the aqua alta. They come up to your knees, and let you walk around in it, and not have to walk on the passarelle, those picnic like tables that are connected end to end to walk on, and that don't go everywhere.

However, it is a bad idea to tell a Venetian that you like Aqua Alta. It's like saying you like cruise ships, or that you stay at an AirBnb. I made that mistake this summer. I was having lunch with some friends when I mentioned that I like it. I got some severe stares. One of them said, "My friend has a gelato shop. The water came into the shop and into her gelato cooler, and shorted out the condenser. She lost all her ice cream." Each of them told me stories of what a burden it is to them. When you are there, it doesn't seem to bother them, but under the surface they don't like it.

One group that is particularly effected are the gondoliers. Venice is full of bridges in the small canals. I've had to do the "limbo" when in my kayak, going under a bridge, when there is hardly any clearance. This fascinating video of a gondolier making his way under a bridge during the remnants of aqua alta when the water was still high, is fascinating. It led to applause from the crowd watching when he finally did it.

http://video.gelocal.it/nuovavenezia...ref=hfnvveer-2
Perche is offline  
Old Nov 8, 17, 9:38 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Heraklion, Greece
Posts: 6,622
Great video! Phantastic gondoliere!
KLouis is offline  
Old Nov 13, 19, 1:39 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: PHL & PSA/BLQ
Programs: AA PPRO, Marriott/Hilton Gold, AMX-Plat, Global Entry
Posts: 2,600
Well, for the acqua alta aficionado's we're at a 53 year high. Get out your waders!

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/13/europ...hnk/index.html
JMN57 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread