Venice temps rising, as is the sea level

Predicted tide levels mean residents and visitors can expect acqua alta while preparing for Christmas in Venice.

A text message from Centro Marea this morning announced the predicted tide levels for the next several days. Though the worst will arrive, like Santa, in the wee hours of the night, it’s still something to be aware of as you wend your way through the city enjoying holiday cheer. Just don your Christmas boots and you should be fine:

  • Thu, Dec 23, 115 cm at 11:10 a.m.
  • Fri, Christmas Eve, 130 cm at 1 a.m.
  • Fri, Christmas Eve day, 110 cm at noon

…all to be accompanied by cloudy skies and steady rains. It seems the snowfall that the rest of Europe and Italy has been experiencing will be coming our way in liquid form, from above and below.

To get an idea of the effect high tides have on the city:

  • Normal tide is under 80 cm.
  • At 100 cm., 5% of the surface in the historic center is covered: minor interruption of normal activity
  • At 110 cm., marea sostenuta covering 14%: medium interruption.
  • At 120 cm., marea molto sostenuta covering 30% of the city’s surface: high level of interruption, code yellow
  • At 130 cm., marea molto sostenuta covering 45%: significant interruption, code orange
  • At 140 cm., marea eccezionale covering 55%: exceptional interruption, code red
  • At 150 cm., marea eccezionale covering 65% of the city surface
  • At 160 cm., marea eccezionale: over 70% of the city’s surface is covered — we are effectively at sea.

For tides of 110 cm or higher, sirens will sound 3-4 hours in advance. Anything over 140 cm is world news and people start showing up in costumes and body paint with motorized surfboards and the like trying to get their picture in somebody’s Daily News or as part of a viral Youtube video.

Should you bring boots? Nah. Just make sure your lodging has them ready for you. Worse case, you can pick up a pair here for about €15 and save yourself lots of luggage space.

Remember too, that it’s a tide, and the most significant interruptions will be for about four hours as it approaches is peak and then recedes once again.

For more info, see the English version of the Comune’s Instituzione Centro Provisioni e Segnalazioni Marea.

A Free, Christmas E-book from Dream of Italy

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Just in time for the holidays, Kathy McCabe at Dream of Italy has put together Christmas in Italy: Traditions, Travel Tips and Recipes, an e-book free for the downloading. Says Kathy, “This 35-page guide… includes all of our back content on spending the holidays in Italy as well as plenty of new articles on how to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Italian-style, whether you are traveling or staying home.” She included an article I did for her on the holidays here in Venice, but there’s much more.

To receive your free, downloadable e-book, all she asks is that you subscribe to the Italian Dreams mailing list. Your download link will appear in your confirmation e-mail.

Buone Feste!