High waters swept over Venice today, leaving St Mark’s Square and other famous locations awash and forcing tourists and residents to don rubber boots and use elevated walkways.
About 80% of the city was under water by this afternoon, said Leonardo Cossutta of the city office monitoring tides. St Mark’s Square, the heart of the city and one of its lowest points, was covered by at least 16ins of water.
Some tourists took off their shoes and rolled up their trousers to walk around, residents wore wellingtons and at least one canoed in the square.
City officials put out raised wooden walkways, but in some places the water rose above their level, the ANSA news agency said.
Cossutta said that Venice’s boat public transportation suspended service for about one hour and some shops called to report water damage as a result of the flooding.
Venice is prone to periodic flooding. The government has approved a plan to install mobile barriers on the Adriatic seabed near the entrance to the Venetian lagoon to protect the city when threatened by high tides.