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Venice Flooding Concern for Future Plans

My family and I will be traveling to Europe and staying in Venice from January 9-12, 2020. My mother is concerned about the current flooding impacting our stay.

Should we reconsider our stay and go elsewhere in Europe? If we decide to continue to Venice, what would be some places we could visit that won't be impacted by flooding?

We've already purchased some over-the-shoe boot covers but are considering purchasing waders.

Thank you.

Posted by
5450 posts

Just looked at a live webcam for San Marco. Dry as a bone. Venice floods sometimes. I wouldn't let it affect my plans as a major flood is very unusual. I definitely think that taking waders is way over the top.

Posted by
4574 posts

As mentioned, last month's occurence was out of the ordinary. Aqua alta is a way of life for Venetians and tourists cope as well. Full moon does affect it andnyou are there during full moon so expect a little water. Why not see what happens during December's full moon next week? Nov and Dec are typically the highest tides, so if this is month is more normal, then perhaps that eill put your mind at rest. As to buying hipwaders, the shops sell versions of these for tourists in Venice. I would wait until arrival before deciding.
I was there one rainy April and our apartment was a short block off St Marks. Thankfully apartment had rubber boots but it was never more than ankle deep and only relevant in our courtyard. They erect raised walkways on the main thoroughfares.
Be sure you have checked with your hotel about any damages and repairs from last month.

Posted by
15980 posts

There is no flooding currently in Venice. Copy/pasting my response to a recent, similar question:

There are lots of conversations about the recent/current situation in
Venice on the TripAdvisor Venice forum so maybe reference some of
those. Be cautious not to confuse flooding with normal, seasonal acqua
alta activity that can occur this time of year. What happened some
weeks ago was an unfortunate, extraordinary event; Venetians are well
prepared for normal tidal swampings. Those do not usually last very
long nor affect as many areas of Venice as were affected in
mid-November. Could a similar extraordinary event happen again in
January? No way to predict the weather in advance.

And this post on TA just today:

I am currently in Venice (annual trip). I am astounded and awe-struck
by how little evidence any visitor will find of the recent high tides.
Shops are open, restaurants and cafes are up and running, museums and
churches are open. In short Venice is absolutely back to normal.

That's not to say that there wasn't severe damage to some low-lying businesses which were particularly hard hit by the November storms/high tides but the majority are reported to be open and operating.

Some good acqua alta background info:

Posted by
533 posts

You can see the tide forecast for the next few days here:

To put those numbers in context: Only for tide levels above 80 cm does St. Mark's Square, the lowest point in the city, even begin to flood. Other parts of the city remain dry for tides up to 100-130 cm. So there is currently no flooding at all, and the only acqua alta in the immediate forecast is a very small, short one on Monday morning.

Posted by
7491 posts

Maybe you could point out to your mother that the tidal situation in Venice is not likely to improve within her lifetime. Perhaps, restrictions of tourist volume could occur during her lifetime. This is a one-of-a-kind city, and there is little merit to "putting off" a visit. I don't think anyone has ever been sorry they visited Venice for their first time.

Florence has had horrible floods. Even Dresden has had serious floods, but much less frequently. Americans regularly visit Galveston, TX! My part of New Jersey has periodic flooding; over the years, poorer people have been encouraged to buy property in flood zones. There are wildfires in very wealthy parts of California. Is her worry personal danger, or poor return on her tourism investment?

Please don't think I'm being critical of your mother. I'm talking about "worrying about the right thing."

Posted by
7649 posts

I guess my talking points would be...

  • High water occurs frequently, the people of Venice are prepared for it and handle it well.
  • The last event was much more severe, but largely no obvious lasting damage, as someone said, verify with your hotel.
  • Tell Mom that the high water is part of the charm of Venice, we probably remember our visit with high water better than the ones without. Just tell her it is good luck to be there with high water.

As for bringing boots, if you have something, maybe. I would not go out and buy some and lug them around just in case. With the raised walkways they put out, you can stay dry for the most part, and usually many areas are still dry. Worst case, get something there, or many hotels have "loaner" boots.

Posted by
158 posts

Although it would be more difficult logistically, wouldn't it be a unique travel experience? I would still go as planned and ask for local advice when you arrive, depending on conditions.

Posted by
1 posts

Venice is my favorite City in the World .No other place in the World like it, no cars, trucks or bikes, think walking or boats. Of coarse it would be great if the weather is good, but to miss it because of rain would be horrible and as others have mentioned Venetians are always ready for flooding plus you might enjoy a non crowed Venice. We have been there many times, twice in the rain which cleared up in one day with very little signs of flooding. A great way to see Venice like a millionaire is on a Viator 2 hour tour in a private water taxi which is limited to eight passengers for around $130. per person. The best we have ever taken, the boat has open and closed quarters, Four open in front with the captain and four open in the back, all these boats are historic master pieces which are beautiful. The tour includes water and land for a great experience. Make sure your hotel is on Venice Island or on the Grand Canal not Venice Mestre or Lido, Venice Mestre is on the main land, don't let travel agencies tell you any different. Always go on line and find the location of your Hotel to make sure.Hotels on the Grand Canal are expensive and rooms are small, most don't have views but the locations are the best to get the most out of you time in Venice. Consider not having to spend lots of time and money trying to see Venice from a bad location over being there, the cost could be about the same but the experience will be the best you can hope for. I know you have already traveled so hope this post helps future travelers and you have had a great vacation. VB