Venice is the capitol of northern Italy's Veneto region. It is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals - including the Grand Canal thoroughfare - lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The islands are linked by over 400 bridges.
The Central square is Piazza San Marco or Saint Mark's Square. It contains Saint Mark's Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics. The other important structure is the Campanile bell tower that has been there as long as the Basilica. This square was the pulse of the Serenissima Republic in the heyday of Venice's glory as a seafaring republic. It is one of the most beautiful and most photographed squares in all of Europe. We went inside the beautiful Basilica but could not take pictures.
Subsidence is occurring here in Venice right now!! Subsidence is the gradual lowering of the surface of Venice. Venice is sinking!!! We're going to hear a lecture on it tonight. If they've figured out how to stop it, I'll let you know.
Subsidence had led to the seasonal Acqua alta when much of the city's surface is occasionally covered at high tide. Well, we are here at this very special time!!!! And there's more!!! Not only does the water in the canals rise and fall with the tide of the Adriatic Sea, there's been a full moon which increases the rise and fall. There is also a big storm moving through this part of the country, bringing with it a lot of rain and wind. So the forces of nature have all built up here so that the water in all of the canals has risen up over its banks and flooded the city. Our tour guide was nice enough to get us all water boots to keep our feet dry as we walk the streets of the city. You'll see the pictures of the boots, all very colorful; and of us trudging through the water filled alleys. We were instructed to walk carefully so as not to make a wake that would make a wave of water attack someone walking nearby.
We had the most delightful pizza today for lunch!! You'll see a picture of us sitting in the flood water enjoying lunch. Life goes on!!
And because of this flooding, boats can't get under most of the bridges so no gondola rides!
And we won't be able to visit one of the nearby islands tomorrow. In fact, the water is so high that our Grand Circle Cruise boat, the Artemus, can't dock anywhere near Venice. We'll be bussed out tomorrow to meet our boat south in Reevena.