Why there is high water in Venice? Check the tide of Venice

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Why there is high water in Venice? How to stay updated on the state of the high-tide in Venice

High water in Venice a phenomenon that every year affects the Venetian lagoon

Why there is high water in Venice? This is probably one of the questions I was asked most often during the discussion with tourists from all over the world. Definitely a phenomenon that fascinates and makes this city even more mysterious.

Acqua Alta a Venezia con ponte
High Tide in Venice – Bridge

The high water so named by the Venetians “Acqua Alta” is an event that takes place every year in the past during the winter months, then November, December, January, February, but in recent years is occurring even in some days in the summer. This process indicates all those spikes tide coming from the Adriatic Sea and then fill the lagoon, with major streams of water, thus making the water level throughout the lagoon rises. In fact, the high water is not present only in Venice but we can also find in Chioggia and other islands of the Venetian lagoon. The arrival of high water it can feel immediately, with strong south winds, so that stretch from north to south, preventing other airflows of moving water currents that also come from rivers that flow directly in the lagoon, this causes an increase in water and then port, to “wet” some areas of the islands are inhabited. Here is that this phenomenon is called “High Water”. This phenomenon, really interesting, which poses many questions to tourists on how to live in a world like that, it is now virtually run by the Venetians, since they can plan ahead before the water arrives in stores and homes limiting damage. The city of Venice is equipped with sirens that turn on immediately when the water level exceeds a certain threshold, usually three hours, the more times that the sirens sound, the higher the water level high. Today in 2015, the sirens are different from those installed in the past and use a sound less numerous and very different. Once I was even used those used during the war, which terrified all older people and brought back unpleasant memories to light, perhaps this is the reason for the change.

Acqua Alta a Venezia 4 Novembre 1966
High Water in Venice on November 4, 1966

What are the minimum and maximum high water?

We must say that when the high water no more than 80 cm can not even call it high water, because as i wrote before, are only created small “puddles of water” or watering holes in Piazza San Marco being the point lowest of Venice, while if the tide comes in over 110 cm, a normal level and not problematic, we can still talk about high water. The historical record of water in Venice was November 4, 1966 with over 194 cm, but that we can call a real flood, while usually the maximum that you can ultimately have in recent years are between 120-160 cm. The photo on the left, make you understand the dramatic situation during that day with a very cold south wind.

Where to check the High tide of Venice?

Stay up to date on the progress of High tide water in the Venetian lagoon, is always a good thing especially if you decide to visit Venice during the winter months. There are many free methods, which will make your experience while visiting the city better, as they say, “Prevention is better than cure“, then you’ll know in advance if you buy yourself some boots or not. I personally have installed on my smartphone IOS an app called the “hi! Tide Venice” very simple and intuitive but especially light, in a few instants will update the current tide and the forecast for the next two days (good thing anyway always update results). This application is also available for Android and is completely free. Otherwise you can use the official website of the center of Venice tides.

Where to buy boots for the high water?

Stivali acqua alta - Goldon
High Water Boots in Venice – Goldon

The high water does not always require the use of the boots, which is why we always recommend to monitor areas that are wet and that are no longer accessible on foot, you can always do it with the app that I have reported before. During the demonstration of this event, are placed in areas of more passage of “bridges” that allow wooden dwelling and tourists to walk on it and then reach the highest points of the city, without getting wet. However recommend the purchase of boots, not to have any kind of problem! Boots for the high water there are different types, the most used are the classic green rubber of medium size, then there are those long usually use by the fisherman (which obviously will not recommend), and then there are those best sellers because it is less expensive brand “goldon“, usually yellow.

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