Venice, the day after

The terrible high tide in Venice –  The 12th November 2019.

This morning Venice woke up after a nightmare.

During the night, at 10.50pm, in Venice the high tide reached 187cm on the sea level and the winds from the sea were blowing at 100km/h. 

Vaporetto crashed near San Marco's square, after the terrible high tide of the 12th November 2019

It’s the second worst high tide in the history of Venice, after on the 4th November 1966 it reached 194cm. Innumerable are damages all over the city, in the calli, in the squares, and on the mosaics of the San Marco’s Basilica. A vaporetto sank and another one is now lying on the “Fondamenta”, together with a taxi boat. Another taxi boat, pushed by the tide, crashed the windows and entered into the Hotel Danieli, very close to San Marco’s square, and it’s now lying on the street.

The Acqua Alta bookstore in Venice

Some friends of mine had their artisans’ shops destroyed by the water entering from the windows, and in the workshop of my friend Paolo, the oar maker, everything was floating. Overnight, at 4.30am Paolo was at his work place, trying to save what can be saved. Almost nothing.

In my beloved bookstore “Acqua alta” (ironically, “Acqua alta means “High tide”) most part of the books were irremediably damaged. 

At the boat stop “Giardini”, near the Biennale exhibition, I saw a young mother saying good bye to her children, who were fleeing in the countryside together with their grandparents, because their apartment, at the ground floor, was submerged, including furniture, beds and mattress. They don’t know when their home will be available again. Always close to the “Giardini” vaporetto stop, a wall facing the water was completely broken. 

Broken wall at the "Giardini" boat stop

Wandering around in the flooding narrow streets of Venice, for the first time in my life I felt like I was inside the Titanic while sinking.

Yesterday’s forecast said the tide would reach maximum 140cm, but suddenly the winds from the sea increased that level up to 187cm, so people were not prepared to it. And anyway with such a tide there is nothing we can do.

In 1966 the high tide reached 194cm above the sea level, but in the early evening, at 6.00pm. This time instead, it occurred during the night, at 10.50pm and everybody was already back home and could not reach their workplace again, in order to save something.

A terrible day for Venice.

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