It is a temporary phenomenon and is not normally dangerours.
When the phenomenon of high water arises in Venice, you need to be more careful about getting organized and where you put your feet, below I’ll explain how to organize yourself for a visit to Venice with high water
If you are looking for the High tides center CLICK HERE
What is high water
It is an atmospheric phenomenon, which occurs during the year. There is high water when winds from south-south-east blow for a long time so the sea water is pushed with more force into the lagoon through the inlets. Tjis Inlets are called “Bocche di Porto” and they are openings along the strip of sand that separates the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea.
The tide level rises until it submerges the lower areas or the entire city.
High water has always been in Venice, it is part of its nature and of its life.
And in all these years, citizens and workers, have always armed themselves with boots, immersion pumps, bulkheads and patience. If you don’t know how “Venice works” and high water click here and everything will be clearer: https://www.veneziaunica.it/en/content/high-water
How to behave
You can go around the city, even on foot but you have to follow some basic rules: such as checking online the forecasts of the tide center and use suitable boots.
There are different versions of boots, we use the ones in rubber because they last for years, or in a material similar to nylon, washable, reusable and foldable.
Remember to rinse the outside of the boots with fresh water after returning home / to the hotel. They will last longer.
The Hotel is located near the Rialto Bridge. The Rialto area is one of the highest areas of the city and we are also located on the first floor of a Venetian house. High water therefore does not enter the hotel.
Be careful where you put your feet while walking in the water, stay away from the banks (you may not see the pedestrian limit and fall into the canal). Absolutely avoid walking barefoot in the water, it is not healthy at all, the water is not clean.
If you don’t know why it is better not to immerse yourself in the water of the canals, read here.
In case of strong wind often associated with more sustained high water, it is better to postpone the unnecessary exits and not to expose yourself in more exposed areas, such as Piazza San Marco or Zattere (area of the City)
Some areas of Venice are much lower than others (Venice does not have a standard height construction) and knee boots may not be enough, please be careful where you put your feet.
For the moment the Mo.se system is activated only with tides considered exceptional.
So with the high water of “every day” you need rubber / nylon boots to be able to move freely.
If you don’t know what the Mo.se system is, you can find it out by reading here: https://www.mosevenezia.eu/project/?lang=en
Is Venice all flooded and always?
No, Venice does not get flooded all the time and remember that rain does not directly affect high water. The city does not get flooded by rain, you can come to Venice when it is raining.
To better understand high water you need to know that Venice was built at about +100 cm above sea level, Piazza San Marco for example is one of the lowest points in the city at about + 60cm / + 70cm above sea level. +100cm of high water is not 1 meter of high water at floor level.
Each area of Venice has different heights, because Venice was built like this.
The city has an acoustic system, the acoustic sirens, which inform the citizens and tourists if the high water is higher than + 110cm
What happened in November 2019
In November 2019 there was an anomalous episode in which many atmospheric events (tide, wind, moon …) crossed creating an absolutely exceptional tide.
Nobody imagined or predicted it, it was an extraordinary event, an high water over 180cm high. No one in the city was ready for a tide over 160cm. No such thing had happened since 1966 and parents and grandparents have always told me about it with photos and stories.
The hotel is very lucky, it is located on the first floor of a house and has not suffered any damage.
This terrible event made everyone understand how fragile Venice is and how much it depends on its lagoon.
However, it has also shown that with the help, solidarity, strength and collaboration of everyone and the whole world, Venice can be reborn and resurrect quickly, even in adversity.
Ambra -Hotel San Salvador Team-