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Venice Travel Guide

The Acqua Alta in Venice


Venice is a city surrounded by water and it suffers from the effects of tides. Acqua Alta is a high tide and it is a phenomenon that occurs when the tide comes up. Venetians know that when Acqua Alta comes they have to move all things that can be damaged. In conclusion, Acqua Alta only represents little extra work and they have learned to live with it.

If you are planning to visit Venice, you should get yourself a pair of boots to help you walk on the water in case of Acqua Alta, which is highly possible.

A tide in Venice usually reaches between 40 and 80 centimeters of height, but in autumn and winter the tide exceeds 110 centimeters, and this phenomenon is known as Acqua Alta. This phenomenon can be predicted and Venice has 18 sirens which sounds three hours ahead of time if the Acqua Alta is near.

If Acqua Alta reaches 110 centimeters, 15 percent of Venice gets flooded but this is not a major problem because few places can get seriously affected. When the water reaches 140 centimeters 90 percent of the city gets flooded and most places are full of water for example Plaza de San Marco. Its too difficult to walk by the streets and canals.

When Acqua Alta exceeds 160 centimeters, all Venice is flooded, if you do not want to fall into the water that comes from the lagoon, you must be very careful, because streets become slippery. In this case the sirens sound for 10 minutes every 30 so it is very evident that something is going on.

Although the Acqua Alta could be dangerous a large number of tourists think that it is an exciting experience, but you should be careful and always keep informed about when Acqua Alta could occur.





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