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Venice Canal Condition

Anyone currently in Venice who can see what the canals and smaller canals look like? US newspapers indicate the smaller canals are drying or dried up.


Posted by
3539 posts

US newspaper haven't grasped the concept of tides, yet.

Spoiler: since the lagoon flows into the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean is not dry, smaller canals were dried because of the moon and the high pressure, not because of the climate change and the drought.

Edit: webcam linked above!

Posted by
94 posts

We will be in Venice next week. I emailed our B and B hosts asking about conditions, particularly to/from the airport & train station. They said that public transportation is not affected and there was no change to their directions for us to their place, which is near St Mark's.

Posted by
14529 posts

No worries. We are in Venice now, and we walked all over the city yesterday. The canals, including all the side canals we crossed on our walks, are all full. There was water splashing into the sidewalks in some places, especially along the Zattere.

Posted by
2055 posts

It’s Venice!!!! One of the most unique places in the entire world. It’s going to be fabulous, whether the canals are low or high. I leave next week for my first trip to Italy and I’m most excited to see Venice. Enjoy your trip and don’t give a second thought to the canals.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you CJ for posting and asking the question I have had as well! We will be there 3/20 for our VFR tour and was going to enjoy all aspects regardless--but happy to hear that was temporary due to the pressure and tides!

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you for your responses to my Venice canal condition. Good to know it's fake news or possiblly just inaccurate news.

New Question: What app would you recommend to use for walking around Venice? I've been 4 times before and have never used an app.

Thanks for your help!


Posted by
14529 posts

Skip the app and use a map! That is what I do. We have spent more than 6 weeks in Venice over the past 20 years, and I have learned my way around by using a map. On this most recent trip ( we just left Venice yesterday) I combined my paper maps with screen shots of the route suggested by the map app on my iPad (not Google maps—-I do not like the way that app plots the route). Sometimes I know a better route (maybe less crowded) than what the app suggests.

Venice is more crowded than we expected right now, especially on weekends and holidays. The streets and campos are full of people walking around staring at their phones to navigate, and missing all the sights and ambiance. And several times we came across people who had no idea where they were, or how to get to their AirBnB, because they placed all their trust in the app.

One example was the group of 4 young American women we saw struggling to get their their large spinner bags over a bridge near the Accademia, full of dismay. Two of them, one on top of the bridge and one who had already crossed, were looking at their phones and disagreeing about which way they should go. We asked if we could help. They explained that they took a water taxi as suggested by the owner of the AirBnB, but the taxi had to let them off at a different dock than planned because the water in the Giudecca Canal was too rough for disembarking. (the water was also very high and splashing onto the sidewalks). They had a print out of the original directions to the place (which was actually nearby) but could not figure out where they were on that printed map, and the phone maps were confusing. ( I looked at their phones and the one that was taking them the wrong way was using Google maps).

I saw that if they turned right after the bridge and walked the Fondamenta da Bragadin along the little side canal, they would reach the Zattere, a wide sidewalk along the Giudecca, which would take them right to the place marked on the map. And the good news is the Zattere has ramps over all the bridges along that section, so no more struggling to carry their luggage over the 3 bridges they had to cross.

I will say that if you want to use a mapping app, the one by Apple that comes on an iPhone or iPad is the one I like. Use it on satellite view so the canals and callers are more clear. It will find your destination by the actual address, or the place name if it has one. Not that Venetian addresses are peculiar, and seem to be understood only by Venetians (and the Apple map function). They do not use the street names at all. Each sestriere numbers the houses and shops in sequence, up one side of the calle and down the other. So an address will say, for example, Dorsoduro 1051, or San Marco 1839. I made up the San Marco address, but the other one is real—-the address of Views on Venice, the rental company we used. Try that on the map function you want to use and see if it works. It should show the location on Campo di la Cartità, near the Accademia Bridge.

Of course it you are heading to a known site with a name, such as Rialto Bridge or Piazza San Marco, just use the place name.

One thing I would highly recommend is to make a reservation to go on the rooftop terrace at Fondaco dei Tedeschi, an upscale department store near the Rialto Bridge.

I made our reservation over a month in advance. We went at 5 pm and it was lovely. You only get 15 minutes, so don’t be late for your reservation. We saw two young women arrive late for their time slot, and while they were allowed onto the terrace, they had to leave after only 3 minutes. They made quite a fuss about that, but the security guard enforced the rule.