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Feb
11

MISTAKEN MYTHS REGARDING HIGH TIDES OR « ACQUA ALTA » IN VENICE

2019 was definitely a record year for acqua alta  ( high tides).

There were 18 high tides in 2019 of which

  • 18 tides greater than or equal to 1mt10, 12 of which happened during the month of November, with the highest tide reaching 1mt86 on November 12th, thus becoming the second-highest after the one in 1966.
  • 6 tides greater than or equal to  1mt30 ;
  • 4 tides greater than or equal to 1mt40 during the week of November 11th ;
  • 3 tides greater than or equal to 1mt50 – something that hasn’t happened in 150 years!

Source data and photo:  RAI News

The tide of 1mt86 caused damages to boutiques, restaurants, ground-floor homes, libraries, museums, newspapers stands, to mention but a few.

News of these tides made headlines around the world, and readers’ imaginations went wild.  As a result, in December, many hotel reservations were canceled.   We’re talking about 18 days out of 365 – no need to panic!

Mistaken myths :

  • When it is stated that the tide reached 1mt86, it means it was 1mt86 above sea level and does NOT mean that there was 1mt86 of water in the streets!
  • The city is not « flooded » for days at a time!    When the tide reaches its peak, the water starts to recede and it takes about 2-3 hours for the streets to be clear of water.
  • Hotels are closed when there are exceptionally high tides – not true at all!    The pumps and steel waterproof panels placed in doorways to prevent the water from penetrating inside allow the hotels to remain totally functional at all times.

So, except for the « great » tide of 1mt86 on November 12th– one which, according to the City’s statistics,  can happen only once every 38 years,  life goes on as usual in Venice.

So don’t miss the opportunity to visit this incredible city –  Venice needs you!

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