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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Venice under water


Flooding in Venice is pretty common, but the most recent flood left 70% of central Venice under water. I'm amazed by how people seem to be taking it in stride—ordering espresso, having pizza for lunch and even swimming in Piazza San Marco!

P.S. Remember these photos from four years ago?

(Photos by AP Photo/Getty/Reuters, via The Atlantic)

75 comments:

samantha hahn said...

'No' to a garden apartment.

Amelia Beamish said...

Nothing gives me the heebie-jeebies worse than watching people swim in flood waters. After working in a city pool and finding all the gross things that get into an actual controlled and chlorinated pool I can only imagine what's in that water.

koala said...

wow, i was just there in september and our gondolier told us they get flooding several times a year and they have play alarms so people can run home and move their furniture to safety, but it was hard to imagine. now i know! thanks so much for sharing!

Allison Donohue said...

And yet the city is still so beautiful! Imagine if you were visiting when this happened...

http://allisondono.blogspot.com/

allie.noel said...

eww...

GIULIA said...

I "lived" there for a few weeks two winters ago and it flooded every morning. for me, there was nothing more exciting than going to breakfast in a bar where everyone acted completely normal. i had my boots and everything :)
they are building this mechanism to stop "l'acqua alta" (i understand why, it's not very hygienic etc), so i feel like i veneziani are enjoying it now more than ever because they know these might be the last years. how would you feel if they took away from you something you've always had (and always been annoyed by)? i think we'll all miss it.

Lievebee said...

i love their spirit!

labuonaforchetta said...

I've been in Venice before when it was flooded like that and it's definitely a crazy sight. What I don't get is why with the amount of pigeon poop in Piazza San Marco ANYONE would strip down and go swimming! I scrubbed my feet until they were red after wading through those nasty waters. Yuck.

Theresa said...

I have never seen anything like this! Wow!

J+H @ Beyond The Stoop said...

i say "ew" to that one too! i went to hoboken after sandy's flooding and it SMELLED. i guess if it's mostly ocean water it would be different than flooding due to sewers overflowing...

i heard of several apartments near my house that had overflowing sinks and toilets and that's how their garden level apartment flooded! talk about disgusting!!

and how do they know they aren't going to get electricuted in that mess!? seems odd that the power is still on, no?

gives me the heebie jeebies, too!

Bridget said...

So cool. Rainboots are a must there I guess.

Kristín Jóna Kristjónsdóttir said...

just what I was thinking!

tonia said...

So many smiling faces!

Chloe Moon said...

That's crazy & hilarious how people are just like nonchalant about it.

Ergo-Blog

Ann said...

I spent a summer in Italy and was in Venice when it flooded like that. It was the most fun, carefree experience I have ever had. It was thrilling to run through the streets splashing water everywhere. Thank you for reminding me of that happy time!

Julia said...

That picture of the waiter in the rain boots reminds me of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Jeremy Fisher, "The water was all slippy sloppy in the larder and in the back passage" (or something like that)

Meadow said...

Those people who are swimming are nuts. It is SO unsanitary. European streets are not clean.

Lisa said...

thats pretty cool and looks fun.. i am sure its not always though!

Sara S. said...

this is fun, but I honestly question the timing of your post given that parts of the NYC area was just recently under water, and has suffered so much damage. Not fun for us, especially those who had houses literally float away. I'm surprised at this post.

Johanna Kolb said...

When I went to the Architecture Biennale di Venezia two years ago, Venice was flooded too. There where tables outside, so you could walk through Venice, useing the tables like a catwalk. The flood changed every day. One day there was flood in the hotel lobby in the morning and in the afternoon San Marco was dry. It was crazy and amazing, and the tables looked very comical, after the flood was gone.

Leah Rife said...

Italians are so classy! I love it when people roll with things like that.

Serial Monogamist said...

When I went to Venice in 2004, I had no idea that I was arriving during flooding season. (I was backpacking, and didn't do much research beyond "where next? Should we read that section in 'let's go europe?') A woman on the train was wearing knee-high boots and asked if we'd brought ours. Nope. But they did have catwalks and planks set up all through the flooded area to help other tourists like me who didn't bring boots.

Jessica said...

Does it not damage the buildings??

Anne D said...

I would argue that no street is really clean... no matter the continent

Chimmy said...

So crazy... I keep thinking of the sanitation too!

but I guess when it is that common and not so destructive (why is that, anyone know?)... the show must go on. i remember seeing photos of people drinking wine at patios under water like it was no big thing. pretty awesome, but i'd be sick thinking, scratch that obsessing over everything floating around in those murky waters...ewwwww!

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Isn't that water cold?!?!

wmbg. said...

yikes, i don't know about swimming in that water but with the proper gear, i wouldn't mind grabbing an espresso or two.

Lauren Ashley said...

Wow - what troopers. Makes me nervous for the future if the City though.

BluenoseGirl said...

That's all I can think too, the air is only about 10C - 12C there (low 50F) this time of year.

Jenny Rosenthal said...

Wow! Those scenes are unreal. Very cool, but I could not imagine wading around in the Hudson or East River Waters in the same way.

joana said...

my thoughts exactly :)

Amy said...

You realize raw sewage is deposited directly into the water in this area of Venice?

Brigette Olmos-Arreola said...

these pictures are great! makes me want to be italian

Cristina said...

I live near Venice and I can tell you those people are for sure tourists, infact for people who live in Venice floods are really a fuss, it happens quite often.
My brother (he runs this hotel there: http://www.capozzoinn.com/it/) goes crazy during floods days, he has so much to do and so many guests to help with their needs..

North East Chic! said...

I've been to Venice twice, and it's my most favorite place on Earth...but the canals are dirty and yuck to the people sitting in the water!!!

The Slow Pace said...

That's actually not funny or amazing at all... It's sad because it causes lots of damages. And it's quite dirty!!

Lisa said...

My parents just visited Venice last month, and my mom sent me these pictures and remarked how lucky they were to have been there before the flooding. I'm surprised the floods haven't gotten more press, but I guess they're a fairly regular occurrence.

Magic said...

Joanna, I agree with Sara S's comment above. These pictures are in pretty poor taste given the devastation that has befallen NY and NJ.

Cassy Workette said...

Looks like a normal day. There really is nothing wrong with it...

http://theworkette.blogspot.com/

Unknown said...

I am pretty certain they just dump their sewer into the sea.

MissLilly said...

they are used to it by now, but it looks impressive anyway

Shawnee said...

oh my gosh! i love that everyone remains optimistic - put on some rain boots and off they go! :)

fancyfunction said...

Oh wow! Looks like everyone's having a great time! I would love to go back to Venice - but maybe will wait til the waters subside. :)

Giulia Vettore said...

As a Venetian I assure you we HATE floods.
The people in the pictures are TOURISTS.
It sucks when you have to run your daily errands in the city centre and the water reaches above your knees... also because in Venice the only means of transport is your own feet really.
And that water is lagoon water, dirtied by careless tourists who basically use it as if it was just a massive waste bin. So no, it's not clean. Yes, it kind of stinks. Your feet kinda go numb no matter how many layers of socks you can wear inside your rain and fisher boots. Yes, it does damage buildings. But after almost 2000 years we sort of came to terms with what we can and what we cannot do about it...

But I understand it must be quite a sight for a foreigner :)

Giulia @Giules.
new post on http://giulesss.blogspot.com

melanie said...

Ha! My immediate response was EWWWWW! Swimming in flood waters (with a questionable plumbing system) is crazy! Getting an espresso, maybe I could handle that.

Megan said...

On my way there in two days! Hope it has receded by then

Koru Kate {Koru Wedding} said...

After dealing with the flooding in Hoboken after Hurricane Sandy, I can't imagine. Kudos to them for making something positive out of flooding!

unBELLElivable said...

oh my! I heard this on the news...here in the Philippines, flood water is really a threat. i hope it's different there. Thought it's a good thing seeing people embracing the situation.

themama23 said...

This gives new meaning to "life as usual." WOW!

Lolaroid said...

I was there on sunday because of the architecure biennale and the worst thing was that an orienteering competition took place that morning, so everyone was running everywhere in the flood, splashing all around!

trinaenriquez said...

Now that's making the best of a bad situation.

Elsa said...

The Venetians are not taking it in stride. The people in these photos are clearly not locals. The flood that devastated parts of northern Italy is no laughing matter. I find it odd that you can post a "happy" post about flooding so soon after hurricane Sandy. Just because Venice is a tourist town, and this may seem amusing or even a fantasy to some, does not mean that the areas just outside Venice are as delighted. This is a flood, not a Disneyride. Optimism is wonderful, but realism is as well.

Kate said...

Ick- no! Too much water! Makes me shiver just looking at it.... :)

Danielle said...

These people seem to be having fun but I can't even imagine how icky that water must be.

It must happen a lot for people to just act like everything is business as usual though.

Kristina said...

That's so crazy! I saw one of the pictures of people in the lounge chairs somewhere else, CNN I think, and was super confused (mostly because I didn't click to read the full story). I can't imagine just going about my life in a flood like that! I guess that's a place where you really need to invest in a good pair of rain boots.

Kristina

Kristina does the Internets

Lauren Knight said...

This is so creepy to me! Especially the last photo! The type-A part of me keeps wondering things like, how do they keep from getting electrocuted or what happens to all the wood under the counters and stuff. Crazy!

Amy said...

We live in a super flood prone neighborhood (Sandy related images here: http://croquetncocktails.blogspot.com/2012/10/monday-update-sandy-packs-mean-punch.html) and I just get the heebie-jeebies when people play, splash, swim in the water. Poop, people, poop. Poop is in the water... Anyway, I think going to a cafe in your wellies is absolutely necessary. After all, desperate times call for caffeine and pastries!!! Just don't swim in that stuff!!

igotsapoodle said...

I can't believe people are swimming in that water- I would thin it's kind of dirty!! Yuck!

Quirky Travel said...

Hi Jo - We were on a weekend break in Venice when it happened. Acutally the locals were taking it very well - there was a lot of good humour going round and the shopkeepers were taking it in their stride. Some photos here: http://www.quirkytravel.com/cities/acqua-alta-venice/

It was indeed cold and I do agree that these people were slightly mad going for a swim. Apparently Katharine Hepburn ended up with runny eyes for the rest of her life after catching an infection having been pushed into a Venetian canal for a scene in a film.

And the orienteers were indeed dogged.

madeleine said...

Awesome pictures. I don't get my husband to read blogs but I often leave some of your posts up for him to look at. Thanks for another one to share!

Thriving Wives said...

Luckily when I visited Venice on my honeymoon last September it was not flooded - this does NOT look fun for locals and tourists alike! I agree with the other commenters, that water is probably so disgusting...

Strive to Thrive,
Nic
www.Thriving-Wives.com

sweet harvest moon said...

Such crazy pictures!

Kat said...

when I was in Venice we took a gondola ride and I was petrified of falling into the water because we saw rats swimming past us at one point. There is no way I would be swimming in there!

JoKnows said...

Now that is resilience! So funny!

McKenzie said...

Wow this is so inspiring! They are so positive turning such an event into something that brings people together! I love it!

Http://currentlylovingblog.blogspot.com

Fai said...

wow...everyone looks pretty chill. I'm planning a trip to Venice next year, I will make sure I bring my rain boots!!

Louise said...

Great post :) I know Venice and it really is amazing the way they handle this things!

Ester Ramos said...

I went to Venice last month and I love it! And then I saw this photos, but looks super cool the way they handle that!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

Wow those pictures are crazy!!

happy paper place said...

I've always wanted to visit Venice...this makes me want to go even more! :)

http://www.happypaperplace.com/

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h. said...

Because readers should only care about NY/NJ?
If she'd posted this following any other major flood in the last few years, you wouldnt've batted an eyelid. I was caught in some very bad floods in Australia last year, but I wouldn't have thought to whinge if a local blogger had posted these at the time. I would've appreciated the distraction, and the ability of venezians to make the most of a bad situation.
She didn't make the flood happen, she's sharing pictures which are being shared the world over.
Venice is flooding too, other people are coping with the will of the weather too. I personally think it's interesting to see these pictures.

Debra Berryere said...

Typical American narcissistic comment.

A.E.R. said...

Worth noting that all of the people swimming in the photos (as well as those looking so happy in the cafe) are tourists, not Venetians. Venetians know that acqua alta is full of trash and bacteria (this is the same water that's been sweeping through garbage dumps), not to mention cold and smelly, not to mention you don't know what's on the ground if you put your foot down (broken glass, for example). Yes, Venetians take it in stride, but swimming in it is, unfortunately, the kind of dumb thing that only those on vacation would do, not those who live there.

craftandculture said...

they're so cool. that's all i can think. look at them enjoying even and especially this moment!

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