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Old September 2nd, 2013, 02:03 PM   #21
kaspis
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How many parks are in the historical centre?
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 07:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCs77 View Post
Hi, Cool thread.

First question: Do you live in the Historical Center? If yes, how is to live there? (because Venice is a rather unconventional city)

Second Question: We all now that Venice has developed a strong tourism industry that has become a very important part of the economy. With that, generally speaking, what do they do the people that live in the historical center for living? Most of them work in things related to tourism? Or is it that they commute to terra firma to work in other things not tourism related? Or do they work in the historical center, but not in things related to tourism, what other economic activities there are in the historic center other than tourism? (all this generally speaking, or approximate percentages, like about X% of the people commute outside the city Centre)

First and second questions are somehow related, it is about the daily live of the people living in the historical centre.
Hi! Thank you for your question I'm from Venice and my house is quite close to St Mark's square. But I live in Milan during the year, because I study there, and I come back to Venice 1 or 2 weekends a month. In summer I usually leave Milan around the 15 of July and go back 2 months later, because University is closed and Milan becomes a burning hell of fire with no sea and very few people

Most of the jobs for Venetians are tourism-related. Many people work in restaurants, bars, hotels, ice-cream shops... Some people work at the cruise ship port as receptionists, or as touristic guides.

Then we have other touristic-related jobs such as taxi-drivers, 400 Gondoliers and people who carry your bags around the city. There are also some seasonal jobs still related to touristic events, such as Venice Film Festival or Biennale Art and Architecture exposition. Many Venetians get a revenue from renting houses or transforming them into Bed and Breakfasts.

A smaller percentage of jobs aren't closely related to tourism, and they're the normal jobs you can find in any city: school/university teacher, public transport driver, post office clerk, public offices employees, doctors, policemen, and so on...

A few people still work in industries in Marghera, or at the freight port. There's also a considerable part of people working in construction and historical conservation industry.

Unfortunately we also have a lot of unlicensed sellers, street artists and performers and beggars. This is quite of a problem because they usually sell shit, such as roses, small balloons filled with flour or counterfeit handbags. They're often working with illegal international organisations, and when police pursuit them they run away, often hitting people walking in the street.

If you come to Venice, please don't buy anything from street sellers if they don't have a stable exposition (which can't be readily packed in order to run away). And please don't buy any "romantic locks" by street sellers! People think it's romantic to buy a lock, write the couple's initials, lock it to a bridge and throw the keys in the water. I think it's destroying the bottom of the canals, filled with metal keys. They're everywhere, in any bridge of the city, it's like an invasion! I heard Paris has the same problem

As far as commuting is concerned, it's mainly with direction Venice. A lot tourists rent a house or hotel room in the mainland because it's cheaper, and commute to the city. There are many students commuting to Venice from the surrounding cities, and a lot of Venetians who kept their work in Venice but moved to Mestre because of cheaper housing. Some institutions are in Venice, such as City Hall , Regional Council and Provincial Council, Tribunal etcetera, so many workers commute for that reason.

A few Venetians work in the mainland because some services have unfortunately moved to Mestre, such as the main post office and some parts of the hospital. I'll be speaking about the hospital soon

Photographic part:

1) Cruise ships are a big concern to the city's safety. They'll be doing something to take them away from city centre, especially after Giglio island accident in Toscana, where 32 people died because of a horrible manoeuvre which was done to "say hello" to people in the island and travelling too close to land.

Ships are huge, and they travel very close to the city. A spill of petrol would be fatal to the city.

image hosted on flickr

Rome - Venice -St Mark's Square Cruise Ship Passing By di tmadagency, su Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Cruise Ship di TC's Landscapes, su Flickr

2) Too many locks in the city!! Some residents have organised some "cutting days", where they go around and cut the locks, selling tons of scrap metal to recycling.

image hosted on flickr

Locked in Venice di Fujimiya Aya, su Flickr
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 01:26 PM   #23
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Great thread indeed.
I’ve got some questions concerning housing issues. What is the condition of houses in the historical center of Venice in terms of modern living standards? I mean, water supply, sewage, heating, electricity, internet and so on – how about it? Are they comfortable enough or do they lack some quality of living as a price that dwellers pay for the benefit of residing in the heart of such a glorious city?
How often are these houses being renovated? And to what extent? I believe there are must have been some restrictions due to historic value. Or do these restrictions (if they do exist) mostly cover the exteriors of the building and you are more or less free to renovate them completely inside just keeping facades intact? Are there any old houses in Venice (say, built before Napoleon's invasion) which kept some interesting authentic interiors (museums and other public buildings aside)?
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 03:44 PM   #24
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Thank you for your questions I'll first answer the question about parks, and later the one about houses and living standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaspis View Post
How many parks are in the historical centre?
Like all Italian historical centres, Venice has very few public parks. They're a relatively recent feature, because the idea of public park was introduced in the 19th century when Venetian Republic had just ended, and had very little unbuilt space.

There are 5 parks in the city centre, and I'll show them here:

1) The most famous Venetian park is Biennale gardens, created by Napoleone on reclaimed marshland. There's a small public area with a playground, but most of the area is occupied by the famous Biennale Contemporary Art and Architecture exposition.
Biennale features many exposition buildings, each one designed by a different famous architect: these are two examples.
Google Maps link: http://goo.gl/maps/7c2F6

Nordic Pavillon, Sverre Fehn

image hosted on flickr

Biennale_2 di NRG Smith Photography, su Flickr

Finland Pavillon, Alvar Aalto

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Venice Biennale Pavilion - Finland 2 di Chimay Bleue, su Flickr

2) Papadopoli gardens are located next to Piazzale Roma, the bus and parking terminal of the city. They were part of Santa Croce convent, which was demolished in 1810 following Napoleon's suppression of many Catholic groups around the city. After suppression, they were bought by rich family Papadopoli and later they became of public property.

The gardens were reduced in size and split in two separate parts during fascism (around 1930) by the excavation and opening of Rio Novo, a new waterway which connects directly St Mark's square and Piazzale Roma, largely reducing the travel time (although it's no more used by public transport).

The gardens feature a monument, a small tropical garden, a kindergarten and a few neoclassical statues at the entrance, one of which fell during the last earthquake and got broken. It's the only damage Venice has received by the earthquake.

The gardens are currently in need of renovation, since they're quite dirty especially in the area next to Piazzale Roma.
Google maps link: http://goo.gl/maps/n8hmz

image hosted on flickr

A little park! di ClarissaWAM, su Flickr

The statue on the left doesn't exist anymore

image hosted on flickr

Giardini Papadopoli di Gwenaël Piaser, su Flickr

This is the kindergarten

image hosted on flickr

VENEZIA - Giardino Papadopoli_07 di robertasoriano, su Flickr

This is the last part of Rio Novo

image hosted on flickr

VENEZIA - Giardino Papadopoli_11 di robertasoriano, su Flickr

3) Still from Napoleonic times, Giardini Reali were built after demolition of wheat silos. They're the most central green area, and they're located just behind St Mark's square. They're used as a pic-nic area, and they're in need of a renovation. Google maps link: http://goo.gl/maps/G4L9x

Here's an un-embeddable picture http://flic.kr/p/bmGR4H

image hosted on flickr

Venezia di spitze71, su Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Venice - Park - Royal Gardens - Rio dei Giardinetti di ell brown, su Flickr

4) Sant'elena, the "tail" of Venice, was built on reclaimed land at the beginning of the 20th century, with eclectic and historicist style. The area closest to the water features a lot of trees and sports areas such as a basketball court and the football stadium. It's very close to Biennale gardens, and they could be considered like a single park.
Google maps link: http://goo.gl/maps/Iuwva

image hosted on flickr

Place of Surrender di Anna Che, su Flickr

Historicist buildings on the background

image hosted on flickr

[Venice] ... Sant Elena & Castello 05 di Michael Tremel, su Flickr

5) The last and least famous green area is Parco Savorgnan: I could only find a few uninteresting pictures such as these two, which don't show much of the actual park area. It features a children playground.
Google maps link: http://goo.gl/maps/rtkeA

Unembeddable picture: http://flic.kr/p/aA6rYk

image hosted on flickr

Parco Savorgnan, Venice di René Seindal, su Flickr

Finally, a large park area is under construction, with EU funds, in Certosa island. The island was previously abandoned and partly used with boatyards.
Unfortunately, last tornado removed many trees and damaged the newborn area, which is being restored.
Google maps link: http://goo.gl/maps/5ERBU
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 04:19 PM   #25
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nice thread....
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 06:45 PM   #26
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Another question from me: Have there ever been any large development schemes or any other projects being proposed for Venice that never happened?

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Old September 3rd, 2013, 07:15 PM   #27
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It is a great idea of thread for a well-known city by its touristic side but not by its inhabitants

My questions :

- Is the control of the tide in the lagoon efficient ? I've heard about objections on it, what kind of environmental consequences do you think the MOSE project will have ?

- The most pessimistic theories condemn Venice at more or less long term (small increase in sea level, siltation, pressing of the city in sediments, too much traffic), what do the Venetians think about it ?

- What is your top 10 venetian palaces ? I saw a few on wikipedia but you may know it better
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 07:38 PM   #28
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Great thread Jasper and very interesting to read your in-depth answers to questions.

You mention the Parco Papadopoli, which I remember reading was established by a Greek benefactor as the name indicates. Like all great cities Venice was a cosmopolitan city of trade and culture throughout its history, Can you tell me more about the historic Greek community in Venice? I remember visiting their church and area and found their monuments and stories fascinating. Are Venetians aware of their historic presence and contributions?
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 09:50 PM   #29
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I was in Venice in 2011, in September. It was very crowded with tourists, and I didn't enjoyed my stay there.

So, my question will be: Are you (I mean the citizens of the old part of Venice) tired of all those tourists and noise around? Did you wished to be empty and quiet at least one day?
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 10:48 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman_P View Post
Great thread indeed.
I’ve got some questions concerning housing issues. What is the condition of houses in the historical center of Venice in terms of modern living standards? I mean, water supply, sewage, heating, electricity, internet and so on – how about it? Are they comfortable enough or do they lack some quality of living as a price that dwellers pay for the benefit of residing in the heart of such a glorious city?
How often are these houses being renovated? And to what extent? I believe there are must have been some restrictions due to historic value. Or do these restrictions (if they do exist) mostly cover the exteriors of the building and you are more or less free to renovate them completely inside just keeping facades intact? Are there any old houses in Venice (say, built before Napoleon's invasion) which kept some interesting authentic interiors (museums and other public buildings aside)?
Hi! Thank you all for your questions! I'll be answering every one of them in my free time, following the order in which they were asked

There are two different regulations for historical buildings in Venice:
- There's a "general listing" which applies to all Venetian Lagoon: you need to ask for permission to the "Commissione per la Salvaguardia" (Commission for the safeguard [of Venice historical heritage, something like that]). This permission is required for any external modification, including every building at the border of the lagoon. This permission is required for landscape reasons, and because every specifically listed building needs to have some suitable surroundings.
- There's a "specific listing" for many buildings of historical value which need to be at least 50 years old. My house is probably at least 500 years old (with many modifications throughout history) but it's not specifically listed because it's a normal house, without particular historical significance. The Train Station was built in 1952 but it's listed because it's unique.

Generally speaking, in Venice you can't demolish or change the exterior shape of any building. It is allowed only in exceptional cases, such as dismissed industrial areas, port, hospital...
When renovating your house, you receive some prescriptions by Salvaguardia, who tell you what materials and techniques you need to use for the exterior. No concrete in historical houses, except if it's the only reasonable way to solve a problem.
They also tell you which colour you need to use for the facade, and nearly everything is regulated. E.g.: no white PVC windows!

If your house is specifically listed, you have more restrictions also applying to the interior disposition of rooms. But you pay less taxes, in order to compensate for the larger regilations.

The interior is quite up to the owner: we definitely have electricity, drinking water (the best in Italy), gas and internet. They're "Italian standard", which means that we use gas for almost everything (heating, hot water and cooking) and little electricity (Italian average households have only 3 kW electrical power, 5 kW if using air conditioning). Italians tend to save a lot of energy, for example by line-drying clothes.

The average Venetian house is small (60-100 square metres). My house was renovated in 1990 and it's 85 square meters in size, for 4 people.

The city is sensible to sustainability and disability issues, although little can be done about it. No solar panels, but they give you 55% of the expenses if you upgrade to double or triple layer windows. You can't thermically isolate your house, unless you sacrifice some space to thicken the walls from inside with polystirene.

As far as disability is concerned, Salvaguardia tries to help you as far as possible. They try to be less strict with historical preservation regulations if you need to make your house accessible.
- If you renovate your apartment, you must make it "visitable" by a disabled: no steps from the door at your floor to the living room and toilet.
- If you renovate the staircase, you must do one of the following, listed from the most to the least preferrable:
1) Build an elevator. Houses with elevator aren't common, but it can be built more often than how someone might think.
2) Build a "stairs helper". It's a device at the border of the stairs where you put your wheelchair, and it brings you to your floor.
3) Build a track on the roof of the staircase, with chains hanging: you fasten the chains to your wheelchair, and it raises you and your chair, making you float until you reach your floor.

There's still no solution to the hundreds of bridges around the city, but some parts of the city are accessible using public transport. E.g.: the entire island of Giudecca is linked to its three waterbus stops without having to climb any bridge. With waterbus you can get to the south bank of the city, go to another waterbus stop (still no bridges) and take another waterbus which brings you to any other destination within the city!

For 1 month a year, they put some wooden ramps to Venetian bridges to allow Venice Marathon, but also in order to make the city accessible to disabled tourists.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 09:12 PM   #31
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Unrealized mega-projects, and one which will be realized

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galro View Post
Another question from me: Have there ever been any large development schemes or any other projects being proposed for Venice that never happened?
Hi!
The most famous cancelled project is called Metropolitana Sublagunare (under-the-lagoon subway). It should have been a metro line running from the airport to northern Venice, with proposed extensions to other parts of the city.

The project was cancelled because it was definitely impossible to realize, due to Venice soil being extremely fragile. Digging under Venice would probably have moved a lot of buildings' foundations, creating irreparable damage.
The subway was also economically unsubstainable, and would have needed concrete emergency exits all around the lagoon, with a terrible impact on the landscape.

Here's the project (including proposed extensions)


www.subways.net

And here's a proposed emergency exit

[IMG]http://i34.************/2sakvb9.jpg[/IMG]

There was another similar proposal during fascism (if my memory is good, it was published around 1928). It implied demolition of an entire row of houses and buildings, excavation of a tram tunnel and new buildings on top of it.
The engineers had also found a hypothetical line carrying "only houses which aren't of particular historical interest". It remained just a proposal.

The other unrealized project was the further expansion of the industrial area in Marghera, which we have already talked about a few posts ago. The reclaimed land stood abandoned, and now it's re-naturalized. On a part of that area, an experimental sewage treatment plant was created: it uses grass, plants and algae to remove pollutants from the water.


Then we've had many fantasy proposals for Venice:
- Filling the Grand Canal with water and building a highway over it
- Surrounding Venice with concrete walls (I can't remember what was the purpose... I guess it was just English humour )
- The artist and poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who founded the Futuristic Movement in 1908, hated Venice and wanted to completely destroy it. He thought it was too linked to its past, and wished to turn it into a huge industrial area. He wanted to remove everything which reminded of its romantic past, including canals, Gondolas and everything else. On 8 July 1910 he went on top of the Clock Tower and threw thousands of leaflets with his crazy and provocative ideas for Venice.

I'll try to find a translation for his speech


A mega-project which is actually going to be realized is an off-shore port.
It will be an artificial island, located about 14 km away from the lagoon, in the middle of the sea. This port will transfer containers from huge transport ships to smaller ships, which will travel to the land terminal inside the lagoon in Marghera.
Crude oil will also be unloaded in the off-shore port, and will be sent to land via an underwater oil-pipeline, in order to prevent oil-tankers from traveling inside the lagoon like nowadays.
Venice Port will be one of the few ports in Italy which will be able to receive the largest container ships available at the moment.

This project was approved yesterday, now it's awaiting money: 2,500 million euro

Here's the position of the off-shore port, and a rendering. The route indicated with an arrow is currently used by container ships and oil-tankers to get to Marghera.




https://www.port.venice.it/it/porto-...rendering.html
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Old September 5th, 2013, 06:37 PM   #32
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Has the water level in veniece ever gone dramatically low that you could see the fundations of the buildings or other stuff??
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Old September 9th, 2013, 06:45 AM   #33
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Venice Lagoon - Early hydraulic works

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avemano View Post
It is a great idea of thread for a well-known city by its touristic side but not by its inhabitants

My questions :

- Is the control of the tide in the lagoon efficient ? I've heard about objections on it, what kind of environmental consequences do you think the MOSE project will have ?

- The most pessimistic theories condemn Venice at more or less long term (small increase in sea level, siltation, pressing of the city in sediments, too much traffic), what do the Venetians think about it ?
Hi!

This is a very complex question, and I'll split my answer in a few parts, some of which aren't closely linked to the question itself.

It gives me the opportunity to talk about Venice Lagoon and how it's made, so I'll be able to explain how the water level works.



A lagoon is a water area which is separated by the rest of the sea by a few long and thin islands, called lido (plural: lidi), leaving some small entrances for the water to go in and out.
There are 2 such islands in Venice (Lido di Venezia and Pellestrina) and 3 water entrances, called Bocche di porto ("harbour mouths").

A lagoon is also an unstable equilibrium between two opposite forces:
- Rivers, which bring debris into the water and eventually fill it with ground, closing the sea entrances and making the lagoon become "dead".
- The sea, which erodes the lidi and makes the water become deep, transforming the lagoon in a simple sea gulf or bay.

Venetians have already acted on these two forces, to prevent the lagoon from becoming dead or part of the sea:

- They've diverted most of the rivers out of the lagoon: Brenta was diverted south to Chioggia, whereas Sile and Piave were diverted north, near Jesolo. This was done between 1361 and 1683.
- They've hardly reinforced the lidi, by building the Murazzi (rough walls), dating back to the 18th century. These are two large coastal dams, made of Istrian stone, which prevent the sea from removing land from the islands. Murazzi cover 5 out of 11 km of sea coastline in Lido, and the entire coastline in Pellestrina. The remaining coastline features a very wide sand beach, therefore it doesn't need protection.

Murazzi are very popular with Venetians during summertime, for barbecues and to find an uncrowded beach. I took this picture at sunset



And this is the enormous Lido beach... In summer before a storm, and at wintertime!!

image hosted on flickr

Sempre temporale di Chiara Lalli, su Flickr


image hosted on flickr

Lido di Venezia 17.12.10 - tormenta © Luca Ferrari (4) di www.ilreporter.com, su Flickr


All these early works on the lagoon changed it and made the lagoon permanent, no more under an unstable equilibrium. On the next post I'll speak about high tides in Venice.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 08:25 AM   #34
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Venetian Lagoon - Tides

The phenomenon of high tides in Venice is caused by three independent natural factors, which sometimes sum up and make the tide go higher than usual:
- Astronomical tide: two maximum-minimum cycles a day. It means that the water level rises for 6 hours, reaches its highest peak, and then decreases for 6 hours until reaching its lower peak. This effect is determined by solar and lunar gravitational attraction on the earth.
- Meteorological effect: the hot wind Scirocco, blowing from south-east, acts on the Adriatic Sea and moves a large quantity of water to the top of it, due to its rectangular elongated shape. Also Bora, the cold wind blowing from north-east, can blow water inside the lagoon, even if its effect is smaller because it blows on the shorter side of the rectangle.
- Seiche: a sudden change in the air pressure (e.g.: due to a change of weather) generates a wave through the entire Adriatic Sea. This wave has a period of 22 hours, which is slightly off-phase with the astronomical tide (24 hours period): they may have a delayed overlap, and cause high tide a few days after the bad weather.


A few other effects, mainly caused by humans, have caused the average sea level to rise by 23 cm over the level which was measured in 1897 (26 cm, following other sources). The 1-century-old measure is still used as a relative zero level in Venice, in order to define the tide. The change has been brought about by both subsidence and eustatism, as explained below.

- Subsidence: it's the lowering of the city ground. It's a natural phenomenon, but was largely increased by the digging of Artesian wells. Such wells were used to extract water from the underground, for industrial purpose, but they lowered the underground pressure, leading to a downward movement of the entire city. Such practice was banned in the 60s, after discovering its negative effects.
Subsidence accounts for 16 cm change in sea level, of which 3 cm are natural and 13 cm were caused by groundwater exploitation which was stopped.

- Eustatism: it's the worldwide rise in water level, due to global warming and melting of the ice. It accounts for a 9 cm rise in the sea level in Venice.

There's also a 2 cm upward movement of the city ground, which was caused by elastical reaction of soil.


The increase in sea level has made floodings much more prevalent, but there are other reasons which worsened the problem. It's hard to define how relevant each one of the following is, but I'll list them anyway.

- Digging of 37 m deep Crude oil canal, which brings oil tankers from the sea to the indiustrial area. This has accelerated the inflow of water during high tides, which now reach faster their maximum and possibly a higher maximum.
- Reclaiming land for the industrial area and enclosure of peripheral lagoon areas into Valli da pesca (fish farms) with no water exchange with the rest of the lagoon. This has greatly reduced the expansion areas for water overflow, which now remains inside the lagoon.
- Building of several areas around the lagoon, such as the bridges to the mainland, which may have affected water circulation inside the lagoon.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 09:51 AM   #35
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Venice Lagoon - High tides and lifestyle

The city height is quite uneven: the lowest part is St Mark's square, which is 80 cm over the 1897 sea level.
This table shows the percentage of flooded areas of the city at different tide levels.



High tides usually happen in autumn, whereas they're extremely rare in summer. The most afflicted month is November, followed by December and October. This table shows the distribution of higher than 110 cm tides, from 1872 to 2012.



A high tide usually lasts only 3-4 hours, and can happen up to twice a day with 12 hours distance between the two episodes.

High tides (higher than 110 cm) happen an average 4 times a year. But we have some years with nearly no episodes, and some others when it happens all the time throughout Autumn.

Exceptionally high tides (more than 140 cm) happen about once every 4 years.
The highest tide ever recorded was 194 cm, on November 4, 1966. It happened together with major floodings all over Italy (notably Florence) and made a lot of people move away from their homes at the ground floor. Nowadays ground floors are mainly used for shops and warehouses. All the other high tides were at least 30 cm lower.

All the major streets were raised to 120 cm in recent years. When impossible or too expensive, they usually bring some elevated wooden tables to allow people to walk around without wetting their feet.

They sound an alarm through the city 3 hours before the high-tide peak, with a different note according to the height of the tide. This new system has replaced the previous mono-note sound, which was very similar to a war alarm! I remember terrorized tourists wondering why everybody else was so calm despite the alarm
There's also a free SMS service which always tells you high-tide forecasts.

During high tides, a person must become creative: I've often found people (and sometimes myself ) trying the following funny solutions to avoid wetting their feet:
- Putting plastic shopping bags around your feet, when you've forgotten your boots at home
- Find someone with boots, and have him pick you up on his shoulders for the flooded part of the street
- Walking in the very middle of the street which is usually a little higher, on the tip of your feet, and jumping the flooded parts
- Grabbing and climbing the doors and windows, and moving horizontally like if you were Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, in order to get past the flooded part of the street
- People, especially tourists, directly removing their shoes and socks, walking with bare feet in the water (which can be quite cold!)

Here are some pictures of high-tide. When MOSE will be completed (I'll talk about it in the next post), I'll be missing this funny phenomenon, even though it brings damage to the buildings and walls of the city.

- This is a very famous St Mark's square sight with high tide. I'd say it's approximately 120-130 cm high. You can see the very crowded elevated wooden tables, called passerelle

image hosted on flickr

acqua alta a Venezia di P13R0M30, su Flickr

- A large jellyfish flioating in the streets!



- These guys must be freezing!!



- Can you distinguish the street from the canal? I can't!! Once I almost fell inside a canal, thinking it was a street I stopped half a meter before the edge...



- Scuba-diving in St Mark's



- This guy is driving a remote-control boat in St Mark's square



- Tow-in surfer in St Mark's square

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Old September 9th, 2013, 06:12 PM   #36
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But how does the wave affect old buildings' first level? Like St. Mark's Basilica?
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Old September 9th, 2013, 08:32 PM   #37
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Here I'll finally speak about MOSE

MOSE acronym stands for MOdulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, Experimental Electromechanical Module... I think it's a really shitty and meaningless name, which was only chosen because it sounds like Moses and the byblical event of dividing the Red Sea.

By the way, the project is under construction at the three harbor mouths which allow water to enter the lagoon. It consists of 78 hollow mobile gates (metal boxes), which are secured to the bottom of the sea on one angle.
These gates are usually filled with water, but before high tide they will be filled with air, thus causing the unsecured side to rise and buoy, creating a nearly-vertical barrier from water entrance. When the event is finished, water is allowed to re-enter the hollow gate, therefore bringing it back to the bottom of the sea.
This project also features an artificial island in the middle of San Nicolò harbor mouth (the largest one), in order to split it in two smaller and better controllable waterways. Every harbor mouth will also feature a lock, in order to allow traffic of larger ships (Malamocco mouth) and fishing or emergency smaller boats (San Nicolò and Chioggia harbor mouth).
Works are at 75% completion, and will be ended in 2016.

A smaller Mose-like stucture, named "baby-MOSE", is already working in the other centre which lies in the Venetian Lagoon, the beautiful Venetian-like fishermen city of Chioggia. This structure will prevent the city from higher than 130 cm tides, and is thought to work together with MOSE.

Here are a few pics showing the works, and MOSE structure. I'll speak about the controversies in the next and last post on the subject

- The location of the three harbor mouths, and Venice and Chioggia cities:



- This is the mechanism of MOSE



- Aerial view of the artificial island in San Nicolo inlet (http://www.salve.it)



- This picture shows programmed work in Chioggia inlet, with the new small harbour for fishing ships (which are extremely common in Chioggia)

[IMG]image hosted on flickr
bocca di venicemos, su Flickr[/IMG]

- This is an aerial view of Malamocco harbour mouth, the one with the locks for bigger ships.



- This is one of the 78 hollow gates, lying at the bottom of the sea



- This is a bonus picture, even if it's not closely related It's a beautiful aerial view of Pellestrina island, with Murazzi and the beach on the right.

image hosted on flickr

La nuova spiaggia di Pellestrina di venicemos, su Flickr

I didn't want to flood the forum with too many pictures, but you can find all the three project schemes and the three aerial views of the harbour mouths on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOSE_Project
San Nicolò project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:04a_lido_progetto.jpg
Malamocco project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:04...o_progetto.jpg
Chioggia project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:04...a_progetto.jpg

San Nicolò aerial: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:01_bocca_di_lido.jpg
Malamocco aerial: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:06..._malamocco.jpg
Chioggia aerial: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:07...i_chioggia.jpg
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Old September 16th, 2013, 06:24 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avemano View Post
- Is the control of the tide in the lagoon efficient ? I've heard about objections on it, what kind of environmental consequences do you think the MOSE project will have ?
Sorry for being late
This is the last post on the topic of high tide and MOSE, and I'll speak about the long-lasting controversies sparked by the project.

Environmental controversies


I don't think there'll be major adverse consequences from Mose construction. The main concern was some sort of disturbance to the Natural Park area of Ca' Roman and its birds, at the end of Pellestrina island. The case was escalated to the National and European Courts, and it looks like it's been resolved with some compensation works.

Inefficacy

According to a researcher (Pirazzoli), MOSE would become useless if the water level went more than 30 cm up, as expected due to global warming. The Intergovernamental Panel of Climate Change forecasts a +50 cm variation of water level in the next 100 years.

In such case, MOSE should be removed and replaced with some permanent dams.

Moreover, MOSE will be used only for higher than 110 cm tides. Therefore it wouldn't be effective for lower tides which still cause some disturbance.

Political controversies

These are definitely the worst of all.

In my opinion, Venetians were largely opposite to MOSE construction, because of the following political reasons:
1) Reason: Venetians weren't consulted at all, and MOSE construction was imposed by the national government
Result: dozens of demonstrations have completely been ignored, and MOSE was built without any kind of discussion with citizens.

2) Reason: There's been a widespread corruption in many major big works which have been brought about in Italy, during last years.
Result: at the moment, 14 people have been arrested and more than 100 people are under investigation for corruption, "collusive tendering", irregular contracts and counterfeit invoices in a big investigation about MOSE.
The 14 arrests include the president of Consorzio Venezia Nuova, Giovanni Mazzacurati (the assembly which is directing MOSE works) and the director of Mantovani S.p.A., Piergiorgio Baita (the major firm working on MOSE, I'll speak about it later).

3) Reason: MOSE was one of the "Big works" which were promised by criminal former president Berlusconi in 2001 in a TV show, together with some other promises which were summarized in a "Contract with the Italians" and were largely unattended.
Therefore, the link with Berlusconi has meant "link with corruption and waste of money" to Venetians, who have always traditionally voted for left-wing.
Result: Berlusconi is going to get 1 year of house arrests, for a 300 million € tax fraud (unrelated to MOSE).

4) Reason: It was a common notion that cheaper and already-in-use alternatives to MOSE (such as dams similar to the ones in the Netherlands) weren't thoroughly considered before deciding for MOSE.
Result: here's an extract of an article written in 2009, resuming a warning by the Corte dei Conti (it's a tribunal which revises public expenses).

Quote:
"It's illegal that the testers of the works are paid by the contractors"
[...]
among the main gaps reported by the magistrate, for example, the spiraling costs of the work - 1.5 billion € according to the preliminary project, then 4.2 billion € and today 5.6 billion €. But the underestimation of costs, not reporting the money for the testers' salary, the presence of "a non-graduated member" and many retired people among the testers. And finally the "market distortion" and the lack of serious studies on alternatives.
http://mattinopadova.gelocal.it/regi...2009-1.7429384

I don't know if the alternatives to MOSE were better or worse. I only know that they weren't even considered.

5) Reason: The major firm involved with MOSE construction is called Mantovani S.p.A.. Even the stones knew that Mantovani had a terrible reputation for being corrupt.
Result: Mantovani, which is linked to the homophobic Catholic integralist group Comunione e Liberazione (CL), is also working for Milan EXPO 2015. Their president, Piergiorgio Baita, was arrested for fraudulent bidding. There are so many irregularities that I'm not even going to make a resume out of it.

The investigation is ongoing, and a few days ago the vice-president of Bologna police was arrested for giving secret information to Baita. He even allegedly lent his police paddle and blinking light to Baita, so that he could pretend to be a policeman and intimidate Veneto Strade (a street works contractor) into hiring Mantovani for some works, in order to avoid a police investigation.

http://corrieredelveneto.corriere.it...89999396.shtml

At the moment, MOSE is 75% completed. Unfortunately our justice is so slow that it arrives when it's already too late and the damage has been carried out completely. We can't know if MOSE was the best solution, but we sure know it was the best solution for Baita, Mazzacurati and a lot of people who gained a lot of money out of it and hid our money in some "fiscal paradise".

I know I've been very political, but I think it's important that you also know the dark side of my city.
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Old September 16th, 2013, 06:51 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skymantle View Post
Great thread Jasper and very interesting to read your in-depth answers to questions.

You mention the Parco Papadopoli, which I remember reading was established by a Greek benefactor as the name indicates. Like all great cities Venice was a cosmopolitan city of trade and culture throughout its history, Can you tell me more about the historic Greek community in Venice? I remember visiting their church and area and found their monuments and stories fascinating. Are Venetians aware of their historic presence and contributions?
Hi!

I hadn't noticed that Papadopoli is a Greek name. As I listen to the word now, it definitely sounds like an Italianization of the surname Papadopoulos

The Venetian Orthodox Greek community was founded in 1498 even though Greek merchants were already present in Venice since the 12th century. There were about 4000 Greeks in the 16th century, when they received the permission to build St George of the Greeks Church, with its very leaning bell tower.

The Greek community was largely damaged by Napoleon after 1797 (the end of Venetian Republic), when he secularized a lot of religious institutes. At the end of World War II there were only 30 remaining Greeks in Venice.

Nowadays the Ellenic Byzantine and post-Byzantine Studies Institute is the only such organization out of Greece.

I can personally say that most Venetians know there's a "Greek area" in Venice (also featuring the "Bridge of the Greeks") but, for instance, I haven't visited it yet. I think I'll visit the Ellenic Institute as soon as I have a spare day

I couldn't find information on Papadopoli, because the internet is flooded with advertisement for the omonymous high-budget hotel
N.B.: The Ellenic Institute with the church are very far away from Papadopoli Gardens, they're quite close to St Mark's square (and also my elementary school )

- San Giorgio dei Greci church (St George of the Greeks) with the extremely leaning tower, as seen from the Greeks' Bridge

image hosted on flickr

San Giorgio dei Greci with campanile- Venice di michaelsaiger, su Flickr

- Greeks' Bridge, with the Institute's entrance (the gate at the right of the bridge)
image hosted on flickr

Ponte dei Greci di Joanpix, su Flickr

- Here you can see how the tower is leaning!

image hosted on flickr

San Giorgio dei Greci Campanile - San Giorgio dei Greci di michaelsaiger, su Flickr
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Old September 17th, 2013, 06:07 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skopje/Скопје View Post
I was in Venice in 2011, in September. It was very crowded with tourists, and I didn't enjoyed my stay there.

So, my question will be: Are you (I mean the citizens of the old part of Venice) tired of all those tourists and noise around? Did you wished to be empty and quiet at least one day?
Hi! Thank you for your question

I'm sorry for your unpleasant experience. How long did you stay in Venice? Was it a one-day-trip?
I always advise people against one-day-visits to the city. I've never spoken with anybody who visited Venice for one day and enjoyed it.

Moreover, September is the second most crowded period of the year because of Venice Film Festival and Biennale. The most crowded period is Carnival (2-3 weeks in February) and the third most crowded time is the beginning of Summer when Biennale opens.

As a Venetian, moving around the city at daytime can be quite a pain in the ass. However, there's a strange phenomenon where some streets are extremely crowded and some others are desert, even with thousands of tourists. So we're used to choose the uncrowded (and usually tighter) streets in order to move faster. Here's a few examples:

- Crowded Ponte della Guerra ("War bridge")

image hosted on flickr

Campo della Guerra di twomonths, su Flickr

- This bridge is parallel and definitely larger, but nobody (except me ) uses it

image hosted on flickr

Venezia : Istituto San Giuseppe di Pantchoa, su Flickr

This is Campo Sant'Aponal (Saint Apollinaris Square) and there are three parallel streets going to the train station (the middle one is clearly visible and crowded, the right one is at the corner and the the left one is shown in this unembeddable picture http://flic.kr/p/8WMB4W). The street in the middle is the tightest and most crowded, probably because of the indications above. Nobody uses the other two parallel streets, except Venetians!

image hosted on flickr

09.133- Campo San Aponal. Prop Rialto. Venezia. Italia. 20-6-2010 di Joanjo Aguar Matoses, su Flickr

As for the crowd, it magically disappears in the evening. Unfortunately Venice has a very poor nightlife, despite its touristic appeal. We have only one very small disco and people spend their evenings in a few squares, sitting on the ground or at a bar and drinking alcohol
The situation gets better in summer, when they organize a few parties on the beach at Lido.

So night is the time when you have the city for yourself! You can walk around anywhere with no fear because the city is definitely safe.


The most crowded period of the year is by far Carnival, especially the days from Thursday (Giovedì grasso, Jeudi gras) to Tuesday (Martedì grasso, Mardi Gras). Last year, Venice had an estimated 329.000 visitors at that time.

During Carnival, traffic policemen are required in order to smoothen walking traffic in the hardest areas. They create some one-way walking roads and try to make people walk faster.
Sometimes this is not enough: I remember being stuck for 40 minutes in a real "traffic jam" of people when I was coming home from school a few years ago!!

Even during Carnival, you can find some uncrowded streets running parallel to traffic jams. However, you can't avoid going through some very crowded places (e.g.: there are only 4 bridges that cross the Grand Canal).

The least crowded times of the year are November (because of the bad weather) and January (it's exactly between Christmas and Carnival, and a lot of Venetians go on holiday skiing on the nearby mountains).
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