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Venice – A Floating City
Venice is slowly sinking and this is why
Venice, the land of water, gondolas, and lovers is slowly sinking. Built on wooden piles in a Venetian Lagoon, a group of 117 small islands surrounded by water and connected by more than 400 bridges between two large rivers. A maze of infinite canals, colorful buildings, and historical cathedrals. Visitors often return time after time to experience a city like no other in the world. Even though tourists now outnumber the local residents, an excursion off the beaten path will leave you with an array of memories. With no cars allowed, you can feel free to walk to your hearts content.
On your list should be a visit to Veneto, one of Italy’s most beautiful wine growing areas, producing world-class wines and among the most expensive red wines in the world. While strolling the seemingly endless paved alleys and quaint neighborhoods, you can stop at any number of outdoor cafés to sip on some of the best wines in the world, enjoy local cuisine, and enjoy people watching. The view in any direction will inspire your adventurous side or conjure up images of long ago writers seated exactly where you are longing for the right words to describe its beauty.
Venice is also known for its immense architectural elements, artistic flair, and musical heritage. It is listed on the World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It is the birthplace of Marco Polo, Casanova, and other cultural icons. In Venice monuments, exhibitions, museums and concert halls bare their names.
Even with all its charm and uniqueness, Venice has a distinctive challenge. Venice is slowly sinking. This has been confirmed by scientists and environmental experts alike, but Venetians could have as easily told us that. This isn’t new, but the degree to which it is sinking is becoming more concerning and historically significant. While the dredging of the waterways and building of wells certainly did not help, Venice and its people are resilient and tourists are flocking there more than ever, to the tune of 16.5 million a year.
Why Venice is Sinking
Scientists are blaming global climate fluctuations and environmental changes for the phenomenon of the sinking landmass. The recorded incidents of extreme high tides (acqua alta) have steadily increased over the years with accompanying strong storms. The rate that the water level is rising is debatable but no one disputes the facts. It has been said that Venice is living on borrowed time, and has been for centuries.
However, the ingenious people of Venice have a plan. MOSE (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico). A system of over 70 massive gates on the ocean floor. Much like a huge inflatable balloon, they fill with air and rise to create a temporary wall blocking the massive waters from entering the city. Ensuring that the beauty and charm of Venice will remain. It should definitely be on your bucket list of places to visit.
The gondolas still carry couples down the canals, the area still offer unique shopping experiences, the museums still showcase some of the most fascinating artwork in the world, and Venice is still a site to see.
Here the Venice Gradual Sinking Rate