Venice’s famous Piazza San Marco is submerged in up to three feet of water overnight


Venice’s famous Piazza San Marco is submerged in up to three feet of water overnight after rare summer flooding

  • Rare summer flooding submerged Venice’s famed Piazza San Marco in up to 3ft of water on Sunday night
  • Italian city is often hit by so-called ‘acqua alta’ (high water) in autumn and winter which can be devastating
  • But last night’s event was less damaging, with couples dancing and children splashing in the shallows
  • Venice’s high water incidents are caused by a combination of factors exacerbated by climate change 

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Rare summer flooding submerged Venice’s famed Piazza San Marco in up to three feet of water overnight.

The lagoon city is often hit by so-called ‘acqua alta’ (high water) in autumn and winter, and devastating floods in November 2019 caused hundreds of millions of euros of damage.

Sunday night’s event was less damaging, however, and couples in the square danced to piano music almost knee deep in the water, while children splashed and paddled and tourists waded through, shoes in hand.

Venice’s high water incidents are caused by a combination of factors exacerbated by climate change – from rising sea levels and unusually high tides to land subsidence that has caused the ground level of the city to sink.

A long-delayed flood barrier was deployed for the first time last October, but it is only activated to block the most potentially damaging tides of more than 4 ft 3 inches and so did not enter into operation on Sunday.

Two little girls play with their mother in flooded Piazza San Marco after flash flooding last night brought the water-level up to 3ft in some parts of Venice, Italy

A young woman wades through the water with plastic wrapped around her boots

A couple kiss in the Piazza San Marco

A young woman wades through the water with plastic wrapped around her boots, left; while a couple kiss in the Piazza San Marco

A couple dance in the water-filled square outside a cafe while a little girl films them on a smartphone

A couple dance in the water-filled square outside a cafe while a little girl films them on a smartphone

The people walking and the ornate architecture of the Piazza San Marco are reflected in the water which was just started to accumulate in small puddles yesterday evening

The people walking and the ornate architecture of the Piazza San Marco are reflected in the water which was just started to accumulate in small puddles yesterday evening

The water level in the square rose to above ankle height as locals and tourists enjoyed a warm summer evening

The water level in the square rose to above ankle height as locals and tourists enjoyed a warm summer evening

People sit at a cafe despite the water level rising to ankle deep in the Piazza San Marco

People sit at a cafe despite the water level rising to ankle deep in the Piazza San Marco

A restaurant worker clears away tables and chairs in the ankle-deep water last night

A restaurant worker clears away tables and chairs in the ankle-deep water last night

Water comes out of the pavement in a flooded St. Mark's Square during an exceptional high water in Venice

Water comes out of the pavement in a flooded St. Mark’s Square during an exceptional high water in Venice

A woman in a red dress on a flooded St. Mark's Square on December 8, 2020, following following heavy rains and strong winds

A woman in a red dress on a flooded St. Mark’s Square on December 8, 2020, following following heavy rains and strong winds 

A view shows the Square in December last year when much more devastating floods hit the city

A view shows the Square in December last year when much more devastating floods hit the city

A person posing for a photo in the Piazza in December last year when the city experienced deadly flooding

A person posing for a photo in the Piazza in December last year when the city experienced deadly flooding 

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