What You need to know about Acqua Alta (High Water) in Venice
The acqua alta or high water is a peculiar weather phenomenon tourists in Venice should know about.
It is the effect of high tides, a strong wind from the south and the movement of sea waters. The
Acqua Alta is one of the things that happen when there are extremely high tides, and the water flows
onto the streets of Venice. Because of the city's position as an Island connected by canals, the
Acqua Alta is almost inevitable during Winter. While this might seem strange to you, it is not
strange to the city of Venice, and there is a way the city prepares itself for situations like this.
The regular Acqua Alta, when the water rises to about 110 cm and covers 14% of the city, only happens
about four times a year. The stronger high water, when the water reaches 140 cm, only happens once
in four years. Interestingly, high water lasts for only a few hours, although it can sometimes take
longer, depending on the neighborhood.
Usually, when there's to be high water, it is forecasted so that the city and its inhabitants can
plan accordingly. The city has passarelle, which are elevated walkways. They keep you out of the
worst part of the flooding. The country also has Mose, which consists of rows of mobile gates to
cut off the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic during high tides. Mose does not work all the time
in cases where the weather forecasts are wrong. However, it does a lot in preventing the Acqua Alta.
Should you worry about the Acqua Alta? No. Usually, you can get boots by the roadsides when this
happens, and they are also sometimes boats for easier transportation.