Venice typically doesn't get much snow, and we like it like that! Alot. No more shoveling, and certainly no more driving in winter snow storms for us. We were here on vacation about 4-5 years ago in March when a large snowstorm swooped in overnight dumping about 4 inches on the city. That, we were told then, was the most anyone had seen in 10 years. Well, we've just seen it again. Yesterday, starting early in the morning, a thick heavy snow started falling, and fell for several hours, leaving a lovely 4 inches of snow all over the city.
To make things more interesting, somewhere around 8 am we heard the Aqua Alta sirens.. level 2. That meant we would see between 6-8 inches of water on the streets. I had a few errands to run but didn't give too much thought to the water, thinking most of that would be in the St. Mark's area. It was VERY cold and windy here, and still snowing, so I bundled up, putting on my fleece lined snow boots. My first stop was going to be the pharmacy two canals over, not far from the Carmini church, over in Dorsoduro.
I left the house, and took my normal route to the pharmacy. I turned right, down the street, then left up and over the first bridge... ooops... there's a street full of water, not snow.
I have on snow boots which have zippers for closures. I'm in trouble, water will get in through those zippers. Thinking quickly, I reverse over the bridge and proceed down the street to the next bridge, which brings me to a street that is between two rows of houses, not along a canal. I should be safer here, at least less water. This plan worked nicely, I encountered no water, just snow. Not only was there snow, there was a snowman!!!!
Continuing down this street, I was water-free, until I got to the end ,where it intersects with the Fondamenta. Now I am screwed. There is water, water, water everywhere, in both directions, and I must turn right to reach the pharmacy. I didn't make two steps before I felt a little water seeping through the zipper of my boots. I was hoping the water wouldn't be that high. Hmmmm.. Water 1, Karen 0.
I thought maybe, just maybe, the other side of the street might have less water, and if I could get across there, I could walk to the end of the street, then cross back over to wind up at the pharmacy. I took a quick look across the canal..... no such luck. The water was even higher over on that side. See the woman with the yellow boots? At least she was smart and wore boots made for water, not snow.
I just bit the bullet. I walked down the rest of the street and into the pharmacy, knowing I would just have soaking wet feet. I completed my business after a nice little conversation with the pharmacist, then turned around and walked right back out into the water. And here is where I made mistake number two. Instead of giving up the notion of going anywhere else this morning and just reversing my route and head home, I decided to head to the Rialto, by way of Campo Santa Margharita.
I slogged through even deeper water, crossed over the bridge to the campo in front of the Carmini, and discovered the entire little campo was under water. My feet were completely wet by now, I just kept going. As I made the turn at the side of the church heading into Santa Margharita, I was hit be even higher water. This is unbelievable. If only I had worn my water boots, I would have been dry, but cold. Now I was wet and cold. Not a good combination at all.
I got to the middle of Campo Santa Margharita before I stopped, pulled out my cellulare and called Mike. He had gone out to take photos, most likely headed to St. Mark's Square. Well, well, well. He answered the phone, he was already back at home!!!! He hadn't gotten far out of the neighborhood himself and called it quits. I couldn't even convince him to come back out for a coffee at our favorite caffe. That made my decision for me. I headed home myself, but first stopped for a few minutes to chat with the woman at our favorite fish monger, who was busy selling fish, despite the bitter cold temperatures.
My route home from Campo Santa Margharita is a simple one, and fortunately, it was water-free. All snow the whole way back. As soon as I got in the apartment I pulled off the wet boots, soaking socks, and pants. I turned the boots as inside out as I could, and put them near the radiator. Today the insides are still not dry yet. Maybe tomorrow!
Lesson learned: No matter what, wear the high water boots.