Throughout November 2019, Venice has been inundated with the city's worst floods in half a century. Photographs and videos spread across the world showing the city’s iconic St Mark’s Square underwater, with a 2-meter-high surge threatening irreparable damage to historic sites such as Saint Mark’s Basilica. While the city has been battling rising water levels since the 5th century, the recent floods, set against the context of climate change, have spurred debate about how coastal cities are vulnerable to rising sea levels, and how the damage can be mitigated against. Venice has become accustomed to periodic flooding, described in local folklore as “acqua alta” (high water). While the city can experience flooding almost 60 times per year in the autumn and winter months, recent decades have seen a notable increase in the severity and regularity of floods. The afore-mentioned St Mark’s Basilica, for example, has flooded six times in 1,200 years. Four of those floods have been in the last 20 years.
View moreView full description