Venice is experiencing its most severe flooding in 50 years. Here are 15 photos of the city’s extreme flooding.

People walk on a catwalk in the flooded St.Mark's Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice

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People walk on a catwalk in the flooded St.Mark’s Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice
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REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri
  • Venice, Italy, is facing its annual flooding season. Water levels peaked at 4 feet, 3 inches (1.27 meters) on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
  • It’s high-water season in Venice, meaning that heavy rains and high tides cause the lower parts of the city, including the tourist area of St. Mark’s Square, to flood.
  • Many hotels carry rain boots for tourists as preparation during high-water season, which usually lasts from autumn through early spring.
  • City officials also put up wooden catwalks so people can still get across Venice without walking through the floods.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

High-water season is back in Venice, Italy, where tourists and Venetians donned rubber boots and walked on catwalks to avoid being soaked in the historical city’s flooded streets on Tuesday.

Venice’s tide forecast office told the Associated Press that water levels peaked at 4 feet, 3 inches (1.27 meters) on Tuesday morning, but the tides were expected to rise overnight.

The city’s high water season usually lasts from autumn through early spring. Flooding is most likely to affect the lowest parts of the city, including the tourist area of St. Mark’s Square.

When the city floods, water invades homes, businesses, cafes and more. On Tuesday, nursery schools were closed by officials as a precaution.

Forecasts in the region suggest that rain is expected to continue for the next several days, which could mean more floods for the city.

In the meantime, Venice officials have erected wooden catwalks in severely flooded areas to provide safety for people trying to get from place to place.

Here are photos of Tuesday’s flooding, and how residents and tourists alike faced the high tides.


Residents and tourists donned rain boots and carried umbrellas as they walked through the city on catwalks raised on high stilts.

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People walk on a catwalk in the flooded St. Mark’s Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice
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REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

The sea level around Venice has risen by a little more than 10 inches since 1870. At the same time, the land has continued to sink at a rate of 2 to 3 millimeters per year.

Source: Associated Press


The phenomenon of high water, locally known as “acqua alta,” happens annually in Venice, most often in late autumn through early spring.

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One woman carried her daughter on her back as she walked in the flooded St.Mark’s Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice
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REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

Source: Associated Press


Water levels peaked at 4 feet, 3 inches (1.27 meters) in some parts of the city on Tuesday morning.

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Workers carry platforms across the flooded St.Mark’s Square to help tourists and locals get around.
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REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

Source: Associated Press


Many hotels provide disposable rain boots to tourists so they can still enjoy the city.

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People walk on a catwalk in the flooded St.Mark’s Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice.
source
REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

Source: Associated Press


Venice authorities warn people of rising water with a siren that sounds across the city.

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November is considered the off-season for tourism, but many still flock to its canals.
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REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

Source: Associated Press


St. Mark’s Square was closed to the public while the area faced flooding on Tuesday.

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A view of the flooded St.Mark’s Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice.
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REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

When it’s dry, the square is a gathering ground for pigeons, who feast on scraps from tourists.

Source: Associated Press


Despite St. Mark’s Square being closed, some people braved the flood waters to get across the city in places without raised catwalks.

source
REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

Source: Associated Press


Ducal Palace, a tourist hotspot just off St. Mark’s Square, remained open “despite exceptional tide.” It urged visitors to use rickety raised walkways to reach it.

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People walk on a catwalk in the flooded St. Mark’s Square during a period of seasonal high water in Venice.
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REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

Source: Associated Press


Tourists visit Venice year-round, even during the “acqua alta” floods.

Source: Associated Press


And Venice is used to the flooding. Many businesses continue their day-to-day activities despite the water.

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People walk down a flooded street during a period of seasonal high water in Venice.
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REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

Source: Associated Press


But the saltwater that’s been flooding Venice is eroding the foundations of buildings across the historical city.

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Men pour buckets of water out of their restaurant in Venice as the city floods during high water season.
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Giacomo Cosua/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Source: Associated Press


Forecasters said more water is expected overnight on Tuesday. In 2018, 75% of the city was under water because of the annual floods.

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High water In Venice blocks people from walking down stairs.
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Giacomo Cosua/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Source: Associated Press, Insider


The highest “acqua alta” Venice has ever recorded was in November 1966, when floods hit 6 feet, 4 inches (1.94 meters).

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A worker ties his boat by the Rialto bridge during a period of seasonal high water in Venice.
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REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

Source: Associated Press


Venice has been trying to stop the flooding for more than a decade with a $6.5 billion infrastructure project that has been plagued with scandal and criticism.

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Tourists walk in a flooded street during a period of seasonal high water in Venice
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REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

Source: Business Insider


The infrastructure plan, called Mose, includes creating a series of underwater barriers that would prevent flooding when the tide hits 43 inches.

In 2014, Venice’s former mayor Giorgio Orsoni was arrested following a corruption scandal over the development of the project. The project is intended to act as a barrier to prevent high waters from encroaching on the city, Corruption and bribery have caused the project to stall out.

Source: Insider