Monday, December 23, 2019

'Tis the Season, or, Venetian Tidings

In the area around the church of San Giacometto, between the Rialto's Bridge and market, water was over an adult's knee at 9:40 am this morning

It's the acqua alta season in Venice and the tidings this year have made no residents glad, as an unprecedented number of what used to be considered exceptionally high tides have repeatedly flooded the defenseless city, causing more than a billion euros worth of estimated damages.

The total of five tides we've already had this season in excess of 140 cm is 3 more than the second highest number of such tides in any given year since 1872, and the overall frequency and intensity of the flooding is unparalleled. This morning's tide came in at 144 cm, a number which as recently as last year would have qualified as disturbingly high. But after a string of 140+ cm tides, it's gotten to the point that there was a certain amount of relief today because, well, at least it didn't hit 150. 

One could have shopped at the vegetable stalls of the Railto market without ever leaving one's boat

Campo San Giacometto (or San Giacomo di Rialto) submerged

Though never known for his beauty, the statue/pedestal known as "Il Gobbo"--atop which public announcements were proclaimed to what used to be the bustling hub of the Venetian Republic's expansive commercial empire--appeared to make like Narcissus in this morning's high tide....

While just a stone's throw away at the Osteria al Pesador, the Catch of the Day could quite literally have been caught while seated at one's table (appropriately enough, I suppose, as pesador is the Venetian word for fisherman).

But regardless of how high the water rose, deliveries still had to be made


  1. As if poor Venice hasn't been hit by enough! My best wishes to you for Christmas, even if a new set of thigh-high waders are, sadly, for everyone living there, at the top of their Christmas list!

  2. Mi dispiace! So sorry to hear this has happened again, just before Christmas! Hope the areas of Venice where people live are better and a celebration was possible for Christmas.