"Acqua Alta" in Venice--WHEN?

Jul 18th, 2001, 05:42 PM
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"Acqua Alta" in Venice--WHEN?

Anybody know when Venice's infamous high tide season starts, when you have to have boots to slosh around the city? (I know most hotels provide them for their guests, but still . . . !)

I'm going to be there in early November and am hoping it's normally not that early.

Jul 18th, 2001, 06:12 PM
Book Chick
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Oh, Logan....
"Acqua Alta" can begin as early as October & last as late as (although it's extremely unusual) April. There is no telling what will happen at the beginning of this November, as it is really all dependent upon the wind that comes up from the south, whipping the water from the Adriatic into Venice.

Not all hotels do furnish the galoshes/boots, so you might want to check with yours, & if not, you may want to consider bringing "Totes" or something with you. The price of purchasing them during "Acqua Alta" is astronomical & many tourists resort to using plastic bags.

This problem in Venice is probably not going away any time soon. Global warming is making it worse & the proposed "Moses Project" to built hydrolic gates which would close off 3 waterways during "Acqua Alta" has been scrapped, as it was recently deemed fiscally & environmentally unfeasible.

Am I saying "don't go"? Not at all! One of the greatest things about Venice that you will note almost immediately is that a lot of the great paintings are placed up HIGH on the wall. These folks have lived through centuries of flooding & have taken a lot of precautions. There have even been wooden walkways erected so you can enter San Marco relatively "dry". (The Piazza San Marco is at the lowest topographic point in Venice & therefore is usually the first part of the city to flood.)
Happy Travels,
Jul 18th, 2001, 06:21 PM
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Thanks for info, B.C.

Being an aficionado of the detective novels of American/Venezian Donna Leon, all set in Venice, I know of the perils of Acqua Alta. In fact one of her best novels is called ACQUA ALTA. This will be my 3rd trip to Venice but my first to flirt with A.A. Will keep fingers crossed and hope it stays away. (By the way, I wonder if she ever calls herself Book Chick online. Hmmmm.)

I may be among the first (but bet not the last) to attempt a self-guided Detective Brunetti tour. (Forget the masterpieces . . . take me to the Questura, please.)
Jul 18th, 2001, 06:52 PM
Book Chick
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I'm the only Book Chick I've ever seen online, although there are several Bookbabes, I think they're so numerous, they're actually numbered now.

Actually my e-moniker comes from my occupation, as I work for a large book retailer....
Happy Trails in Venice,
Jul 18th, 2001, 08:59 PM
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Nice to meet a fellow Donna Leon fan, Logan! I clicked on your post because my first thought was not of high water, but of a possible Brunetti tour. What fun that would be!
Jul 19th, 2001, 06:21 PM
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Finally! I knew there had to be somebody besides me nutty over Dottore Brunetti. I've taken to ordering her books from amazon.uk instead of amazon.com because for some reason they're published in paperback almost a year earlier in the U.k. And they have great covers. Have you read the latest, called SEA OF TROUBLES? I'm waiting for the paperback.
Jul 19th, 2001, 07:20 PM
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Check out the "Venice Word" website (http://www.veniceword.com/weather.html) --- they post current weather conditions and will keep you apprised of potential for 'high water'.

No one can predict exactly when it'll happen as they are several factors which contribute to an 'acqua alta'. I was in Venice this past October for 3 days (10/24 - 10/26). At that time, weather was cloudy & cool; actually quite comfortable for all the walking around that one does in Venice. Several days after I left, the first acqua alta hit Venice (yes, it was early November). And believe that it ended up being one of the more significant episodes.

I recently saw a TV show (believe it was on PBS station) in which they talked about problems with water & Venice. Unfortunately it's gotten dramatically worse during the latter part of the 20th century. That being said, that need not dampen your spirits --- after all it is Venice & one of the world's unique cities.
Jul 19th, 2001, 07:53 PM
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Me too!! I get all her books in the UK when I visit there, because I love the UK covers and prefer to read the paperbacks. It's a favorite little ritual of mine to go get my Donna Leon book at Hatchards in London whenever I go there.

I'm reading "Friends in High Places," which I just bought over there. I too am waiting for the paperback of "Sea of Troubles," and will get it from UK Amazon.

I always get totally lost in Dr. Brunetti's world. Do you know anything about Leon herself? I've always wondered what her nationality is -- I assume she writes originally in English, but in Austria I saw her books in German, without a translator credited, so now I'm not sure.

Trivia question: Do you know why they changed the name of "A Venetian Reckoning" in the States? I could nevr figure that out.

(We may be a bit far off off the travel topic -- you can email me directly if you like.)
Jul 19th, 2001, 08:18 PM
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I was in Venice several years ago mid October and Acqua Alta was upon us. The raised walkways were in place when we got there--it's like walking the plank, with just enough room to squeeze by in both directions. Mostly this was necessary only in the the low lying areas, definitely Piazza San Marco was a small lake. Boots are really not necessary if your stick to the planks, though many intrepid souls sloshing around in their boots, mostly locals I thought with places to go, things to do. The water didn't actually deter us in any way.
I, too, am a big fan of the Leon novels and think it would be great fun to look for Brunetti landmarks. While reading one of the books I actually got out my Venice map and located some of the referenced sites, shouldn't be that hard to locate the building where Guido and Paola live! This is as good a reason as any to wander the street of that wonderful city!
Jul 19th, 2001, 09:29 PM
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Thank you for that wonderful description. Makes me almost want it to happen when I visit Venice....
Jul 20th, 2001, 05:21 AM
richard j vicek
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Good mornilng,, Logan was in Venice
last November beleive it was the 6th\
and the water started to flood in mid
afternoon in the Pza S. Marco, it continued to rise till approx 8pm, held
its own and started to receed around
10. Water was six inches deep in the
Lobby of the Saturnia and ristorantes
were closed/ The ristorante La Caravella
however did serve a most excellant dinner to its patrons, on high ground
with the waiters in hip boots. A very
positive thoughts to remember/
Richard of LaGrange Park, Il..
Jul 20th, 2001, 05:48 AM
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Hello from yet another Donna Leon fan--if anyone actually develops a Brunetti itinerary, please please please post it here! BTW, Leon's bio is on the hardcover books (or was). What I can remember of it is that she's American and early on, taught English at the Navy base in Naples. Thanks for the tip on getting her novels in paperback from Amazon uk.
Nov 9th, 2001, 02:53 PM
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to the top for new inquirer...
Nov 10th, 2001, 01:11 AM
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Aha, more Brunetti fans! We had great fun finding the questura and think we have worked out where the Brunettis' flat is. I've read that the books are only translated into German and there are many German fans.
They are not translated into Italian because Donna Leon wants to live a quiet anonymous life in Venice.
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