We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Life in Venice - Aqua Alta on November 1

Yesterday at about 9am we heard a loud siren. At the first blast, I knew right away what it was.. the signal that high water was coming. I listened for more... there were 3 additional blasts... 4 in all. From what I had read, that meant significantly high water.

Oh boy.... we'd been coming to Venice for 6 years now, and had never heard the sirens. How exciting!! We quickly made plans to go to St. Mark's Square to see what it would be like. Unfortunately, neither of us had anything we could wear on our feet that would handle water higher than in inch or two. I had snow boots, however, they had zippers up the side, and water would slosh right in, I thought. Our first mission was go out and find Wellingtons!

There's a little shop not far from our apartment that sells them, so Mike ran over. They were closed for All Saint's Day ( Nov 1). Next stop was Campo Santa Margharita to see if any shops there had boots. Mike came home with a pair of green Wellingtons, for 17 Euros, and the news that the calle between San Barnaba and Santa Margharita was flooded. Also, he suggested I get Wellingtons as well. We both got ready, grabbed our cameras, and headed to San Barnaba.

By the time I got to the boot shop, the women who run it had figured out they had a little bonanza going on and raised the prices to 25 Euros. There were no green Wellingtons left in my size, nor any black ones, so here is what I came away with. Now I was all ready!!! ( I love them, btw!)

Water was definitely up in San Barnaba, but we were anxious to see what was going on in St. Mark's Square. It's the lowest point in the city, so usually gets the highest water.
As we entered San Marco from the molo, the water was up over the edge of the canal. We couldn't wait to see what was going on just around the corner!

The duckboards were set up just as you enter St. Mark's and snaked around through the Piazza. Here the water was about 2 inches above my ankles. With boots on, I waded right in.

A little water doesn't stop anyone here...... there's always time to stop at one of the cafe's in the square to enjoy people watching!!!

And here's a couple who found a way to traverse the high water!

Mike's new Wellingtons getting their first workout!

In the center of the square, the water was much higher... about 8-10 inches! All of the street vendors were selling these plastic boots in assorted bright colors. Here's a blue family!!! What a sight! All over town we saw remnants of these boots in trash bins as the water began to receed.

And this man gets my award for most creative solution of the day... multi colored plastic bags duct taped around his ankles! Perfetto!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your marbled wellingtons are more expensive than 'ordinary'green or black ones. had the lady had the bonanza epiphany, she would have charged 50 euro.

btw, i love them, the marbled ones. lucky you.