Water in Venice is so omnipresent that boats are the only means of transportation. As such, emergency vehicles and public workers, from ambulances to trash collectors, all must borrow the waterways. Small motor boats are available for those in a hurry, like taking a cab in a North American city.
For a leisurely sightseeing tour, hop on board a vaporetto, the equivalence of a floating bus. But the famously renowned gondola, the nautical ‘barouche’ for newlyweds of all ages, propelled by a gallant, pole playing gondolier, still remains the most popular means of transportation for tourists.
It was on November 4th, 1966 that a great flood called the acqua alta, submerged the city of Venice, placing it’s water level an astonishing 6 feet above sea level. Electrical and telephone lines were downed and Saint Marc’s Plaza was lost under four feet of water.
Restoration and architectural protection programs were immediately set-up by all levels of government to prevent Venice from falling into the sea. These programs, still very active today, will also ensure one of the world’s most beautiful cities, a long and prosperous future.
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