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Acqua Alta

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Photos of Venice Flooding

Zattere photo

October 31: Dorsoduro

The acqua alta of Halloween, 2004 was the worst in 10 years, with water depths reaching 40 cm (16 inches) or more in the Piazza San Marco by early afternoon.

These pictures were taken in Dorsoduro, where my son and I had ventured out from the Peter Deilmann river cruise ship Casanova in mid-morning. When we climbed the wooden bridge leading from the Stazione Marittima pier to the San Basilio vaporetto stop, we discovered that the Zattere--the promenade on the historic center's side of the deepwater Giudecca Canal--was underwater. (Fortunately, the edge of the fondamenta was lined with a band of white Istrian stone, providing a visual cue for tourists who otherwise might have stepped off the pavement and into the canal.)


San Basilio vaporetto stop photo

In this photo, a couple are standing on a temporary walkway between the flooded Zattere and the ACTV vaporetto platform at San Basilio. (When the weather forecasters predict flooding, municipal workers assemble walkways from boards and metal supports that are stacked in strategic locations around the city.)


photo

The permanent walkway to the San Basilio vaporetto platform was almost submerged when we reached the adjacent wooden bridge. Not long after this photo was taken, the ACTV suspended waterbus service because platforms were inaccessible.


Dorsoduro photo

Wanting to avoid the flooded Zattere, we headed inland, only to discover that most streets were already deeply flooded. (We subsequently learned that the acqua alta had risen 29 cm, or nearly a foot, in the hour from 9 to 10 a.m.)


Dorsoduro photo

The neighborhood's Venetian residents had rubber boots (or waders, in some instances), but these tourists had to settle for bare feet and rolled-up trousers.

 

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