Venice was hit Sunday by a record third exceptional tide during the same week while other parts of Italy had to face a series of weather problems, ranging from rain-swollen rivers to winds violent passing through an avalanche out of season.
Most of Venice's shops and museums were closed in the most affected area of St. Mark's Square, but tourists wore rubber boots or even waders to see and see the show.
Most were disappointed when the authorities closed the historic square while the winds were blowing in the rising waters. The doors of the famous St. Mark's Basilica were well closed to the public. Authorities took precautions – piling sandbags in windows overlooking the canal – to prevent salt-laden water from entering the crypt again.
The tides office in Venice said that the maximum tide of 1.5 meters struck just after 13 hours. local time, but a weather front off the coast prevented winds from the southern Adriatic Sea from pushing the tide to the expected level of 1.6 meters. In the early evening, the level was less than one meter.
Nevertheless, it was the third time since the 1.87 meter flood on Tuesday night – the worst in 53 years – that the water level in Venice had exceeded 1.5 meters. Since records began in 1872, this level has never been reached, even twice in one year and even less three times in a week.
While the Venetians were a bit relieved, days of heavy rain and snow elsewhere in Italy swelled the rivers to alarming levels, triggered an avalanche in the Alps and witnessed spectacular rescues of people unable to flee the rising waters .
In Venice, many shop owners located in the upscale area around St. Mark completely emptied their stores, while others placed their goods as high as possible and relied on automatic pumping systems to maintain Water from a distance. In a luxury shop, employees used water vacuums and large mops to prevent the brackish water lagging.
The mayor of Venice has estimated the damage caused by the floods to several hundred million euros and the Italian authorities have proclaimed the state of emergency in the region. They say that Venice is sinking in the mud and is facing rising sea levels due to climate change.
Luca D'Acunto and his girlfriend Giovanna Maglietta watched the rising waters of a bridge wondering how to reach their neighboring hotel with their colorful but inadequate rubber boots.
Watch: A resident of Venice always on the impact of floods
"We had made the reservation this week before the floods and we had already paid, so we came," said Acunto, a 28-year-old resident of Naples. "Instead of a romantic trip, we will have an adventurous one."
Most museums have been closed by precaution, but the Correr Museum, which overlooks St. Mark's Square and explores the art and history of Venice, has remained open. Tourists enjoyed a Venetian Spritz – a colorful appetizer with an Italian bitter and Prosecco – over the water.
According to officials, 280 civil protection volunteers have been deployed to assist as needed. Young Venetian volunteers wearing rubber boots also showed up at key venues, including the city's Conservatory of Music, to help preserve invaluable salt water manuscripts.
Floods have raised new debates over the City of Moses flood defense project, an underwater barrier system riddled with corruption that is still not operational after more than 16 years of construction and funding public of at least 5 billion euros (7.3 billion Canadian dollars). It was supposed to work in 2011.
Snow, rain in other parts of Italy
Floods also hit other parts of Italy on Sunday.
In Pisa, famous for its leaning tower, workers have plastered the road along the Arno River which, according to authorities, have reached the highest level in that city and in another Tuscan town, Florence, since 1992.
"I ask citizens to go home and stay there," Pisa Mayor Michele Conti said in a public television call. He added that bridges would be closed as a precaution in case Arno invaded its shores. The offices and shops of Pisa were ordered closed until Monday noon.
The Arno has also invaded the heart of the historic city of Florence, reaching a level close to the Uffizi Galleries, described as the highest in the last twenty or so years. In 24 hours, 6.66 centimeters of rain fell on Florence, which was swept by winds reaching 76 km / h.
The gardens of Boboli, a popular tourist attraction in Florence, were closed for fear of falling trees. Near the Tuscan town of Cecina, 500 people were evacuated when a local river swelled up to the top of its shores.
Elsewhere in Tuscany, 2,000 people were evacuated to Grosseto, with the Ombrone River growing dangerously high. Firefighters near Grosseto saved a man from a tree while floodwater surrounded him.
In the countryside near Bologna, in north-central Emilia-Romagna, a senior couple was rescued by a helicopter when the Idice River overflowed.
In the mountainous region of South Tyrol, in Italy, or in South Tyrol, a snow storm in mid-autumn caused power outages and blocked roads in several Alpine valleys. The mayor of Val Martello, Georg Altstaetter, told public television that an avalanche had damaged two houses but had caused no injuries. Other houses were evacuated as a precaution in the city, which had remained without electricity.
The governor of the region asked people to stay at home so that the teams could clean the snowy roads.
A windstorm in the area of Rome during one night toppled many trees, two of which fell on cars, seriously injuring a motorist.
Some politicians have lamented that the drama on the high tide of Venice eclipses the needs of other regions.
In Matera, a once poor southern city that experienced a revival through tourism, heavy rains sent mudflows through its streets last week, destroying shops and lodging.
"There are no minor league regions," said Luigi Di Maio, a populist who heads the 5-star movement, the main government party.