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What is the high tide in Venice?

Acqua Alta takes place every year in Venice and today we will tell you all about this phenomenon.

The high tide in Venice
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What is the high tide in Venice?

Last year the phenomenon of Acqua Alta in Venice became news worldwide due to its intensity: 145 cm of water! The city was flooded and the water caused some damage to the owners of some establishments, not even the iconic St. Mark’s Basilica escaped! But after all, what is the high tide in Venice?  What is the city hall plan to minimize the impact of Acqua Alta in the city? How long does it last? To answer these and other questions, we made a special post for you with everything you need to know about this subject. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”

Introduction

Several restoration works will be necessary as the sea water mercilessly damaged some mosaics on the floor and several columns inside the Church. Some data say that the city, which receives about 20 million tourists every year, is being slowly and gradually taken in by sea water. It is estimated that the city “sinks” about 2 mm per year; in fact, what happens is that the tide is getting higher and one of the main reasons is the global climate change. Check out our Section on Climate in Italy!

Verified Fact

Acqua Alta in Venice seems to increase more and more over the years and, without mercy, dominates the city! Authorities and their teams have already installed several piles under different constructions around the city to avoid this problem, but over the years it has been proven that this attitude was not so effective.

Anyway, there are architects, engineers and authorities who study, every day, how to minimize the effects of the sea in Venice and, mainly, how to “save” and prevent Acqua Alta from damaging its priceless heritage. They try, perhaps not to block completely, since it is not known exactly when the tide will rise excessively, but contain as much water as possible in these places.

1) What is the high tide in Venice? UNDERSTAND THE PHENOMENON

Acqua Alta is nothing more than the rising tide. The phenomenon affects the city mainly in autumn and winter, when the combination of winds and the sea increases the volume of water in the region. The change in tide level that we can see in Venice combines two essential elements: the astronomical tide, which is directly related to moon / sun movement and weather conditions, such as low atmospheric pressure and very strong winds. When the elements ‘unite’, the Acqua Alta phenomenon occurs.

It is also common for the tide to be much lower than normal (it is rarer, but it happens!), making it difficult to move around through the water. As we have already mentioned, the climate has changed a lot over the last decades and, with this, there are two other phenomena that also affect the city, which are: eustatism (frequent sea level increase) and subsidence (soil decrease due to natural or man-made causes). As a result, the city ‘sinks’ mm by mm over the years.

2) What is the high tide in Venice? GET TO KNOW ABOUT THE ALTITUDE OF WATER

How is Acqua Alta characterized? The tide that exceeds 80 cm in Venice is already called Acqua Alta. With this altitude of the water, transport and moviment of tourists is already impaired, especially in the lower parts of the city, such as St Mark’s Square. When the tide exceeds 100 cm, 5% of the city is flooded and this begins to affect the routes of travel around the city (both by water and land).

With 110 cm of water, 12% of the city is affected and when the water reaches 140 cm, 60% of the city is filled with water, which is when the phenomenon is considered exceptional (in the worst sense of the word!). The record, in centimeters, of this phenomenon is 194 cm and happened in November 1966.

3) What is the high tide in Venice? UNDERSTAND THE DURATION OF THE PHENOMENON

Relatively little, but enough time, when the volume is large, to disrupt the lives of residents and tourists, flood historic buildings and establishments and cause many other inconveniences! Acqua Alta in Venice lasts approximately between 2 and 6 hours, and can also only last 10 minutes.

4) What is the high tide in Venice? GET TO KNOW THE PHENOMENON PERIOD

Acqua Alta in Venice usually takes place in the autumn-winter months, with more intensity between November and December. In this period, the phenomenon can happen every day, with little volume, or in a single day, with an exceptional tide of more than 140 cm. The biggest floods happen, generally, with intervals of 3 years between them; which does not mean that large volumes cannot dominate the city every year. In the figure below it is possible to check the water level according to the centimeters of the tide.

Attention

The level refers to the zero tide of Punta della Salute, which lies between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, considered the lowest point in the city, and was calculated in the early 20th century as an average sea level around Venice. Currently, the level is 26 cm higher than the reference level.

What is the high tide in Venice?

5) What is the high tide in Venice? PAY ATTENTION TO THE PRECAUTIONS OF CITY ADMINISTRATION

How does the city administration deal with Acqua Alta? When there is a forecast of Acqua Alta exceeding 110 cm, the city hall issues audible warnings to the population and sends SMS with information (whose data are the responsibility of Centro Previsioni e Segnalazioni Maree – CPMS – “Center for Forecast and Warnings of Tide”).

Platforms for Locomotion

Species of platforms are placed around the city for locomotion of passers-by and the owners of the establishments use species of barriers at the entrance of the stores, in order to work normally. Either way, it is always recommended to use galoshes, which can be purchased at various stores in the city and have very affordable prices.

Request Information

In very rare cases, the traffic of people is interrupted for safety reasons. If in doubt, if you are faced with the situation of Acqua Alta in Venice, you can request information at the hotel reception regarding mobility in the city, or to ask for suggestions on where to buy the appropriate shoes. As the Acqua Alta in Venice is simply the tide, the “runoff” does not exist, as the water does not come from any river, for example, that is: it is necessary to wait for the tide to go down. The city informs the situation of Acqua Alta, with CPMS data, through “colored” codes, as shown below.

To receive this information, the best option is to send an SMS from an Italian chip to 342 4141041.

6) What is the high tide in Venice? CITY ATTRACTIONS IN THIS PERIOD

What to do in the case of Acqua Alta in Venice? Continue the tour normally. As we already said, Venice is a city that is already used to Acqua Alta, so (with the exception of exceptional cases), life in the city does not stop! The establishments operate normally, as well as the sights. Also read our Special Post on What to do in Venice when it rains?

7) What is the high tide in Venice? EXCEPTIONAL CASES

Yes, there are “exceptions” and exceptional cases, and once every three years it may happen that the authorities do not allow circulation through the city, but many warnings will be issued. Always be aware of the information.

Tip

  • Even if the water is not so high, ALWAYS use platforms when available! If they are not mounted, pay A LOT of attention to where you step so as not to step on the wrong side and get hurt, which can even cause a fall.

Are you going to stay in Venice? So you can get our exclusive hotel tips!

Here you will find great and free tips to not get fooled when choosing your hotel in Italy.

Plus: read our tips and advices about the Venice neighborhoods and where to stay! Here you will find the perfect hotel for you and for your needs, respecting you budget! Also: booking at booking.com, you will help us to keep our blog and for free! No fees, no click baits, no fake news!

Hotels I recommend in the San Marco area

San Marco is the most famous neighborhoods of Venice and, at some times of the year, it is difficult to walk around, because the city is crowded.

If you want to save money a great option is to stay in some B&B or rent an apartment; click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a good hotel, I have some options for hotels that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Do you like luxury accommodations? Are you on your honeymoon or celebrating something special? Then see some luxury accommodation options in the best area of Venice.

Hotels I recommend in Castello Area

Castello is the largest of all the “sestieri” (neighborhoods) and has an incredible waterside for good walks, in addition to being full of cafes, bars and shops. They are not cheap places to stay, but it facilitates access to the most famous tourist spots and, with that, saves on transportation, as it is possible to do everything on foot!

If you want to save, a great option is the B&B or an apartment, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices

If you prefer a good hotel, I have some options for hotels that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels I recommend in Cannaregio or Dorsoduro Area

If you want something calmer, choose Cannaregio or Dorsoduro; in the latter, the nightlife is particularly active, ideal for lovers of busy bars and places to have good drinks!

If you want to save a great option is the B&B or an apartment, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

If you prefer a good hotel, I have some options for hotels that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices

Hotels I recommend in the San Polo Area

San Polo is ideal if you want something comfortable, close to some sights, but more modest. I think this neighborhood is a great position so I recommend it a lot.

If you want to save a great option is the B&B or an apartment, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices

If you prefer a good hotel, I have some options for hotels that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Hotels I recommend in the Santa Croce Area

Santa Croce is home to the important bus station in Piazzale Roma, which makes it very easy to get off the beaten track, including going to Santa Lucia if you want to make a stopover.

If you want to save a great option is the B&B or an apartment, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices

If you prefer a good hotel, I have some options for hotels that I really like, click on the links below and get to know each one. If you like the suggestion, make your reservation and guarantee good prices;)

Don’t want to stay on the island? No problems! Search for Mestre, Campalto or Favaro Veneto, which are the mainland cities of Venice and offer excellent accommodation options. A little further from Piazzale Roma, about 20 minutes by water transport, they do not have magnificent views from the bedroom windows, but it is ideal for those who want to save on accommodation.

Tips

  • The tip to save A LOT is to book your hotel in advance.
  • As we also mentioned: beware of excess baggage! It is very complicated to get around with large volumes in Venice because of the bridges, stairs and narrow streets.

Watch this video and learn: What is the average cost of a day in Italy?

Subscribe to our channel and receive more videos with information and tips about Italy. Don’t forget to leave that Like;)

Conclusion

What is the high tide in Venice? Acqua Alta in Venice is unlikely to hinder your tour, but if you prefer not to go through this experience that, I confess, gets to be interesting, avoid traveling during autumn / winter.Oh, in March, when summer is ‘knocking on the door’, the phenomenon can also happen! ; )

If you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier ????

Did my post help you? If so, be sure to post your comment below, but if you still have questions just send me a message I will answer you as soon as possible!



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