Saving Venice

By | Category: Travel destinations

Storm Alex hasn’t only brought localised flooding and lakes of rain to the United Kingdom.

In future here should be less, if not any, flooding

It has also hit south eastern France and Northern Italy as well.

But from the storm one bright spot has emerged.

After countless years of work and more than fifty since the Venice in peril organisation was set up to try and protect the architecture and treasures of the Italian city, barriers were in place to fend off the incoming waves.

Seventy-eight barriers (not unlike the Thames barriers in London) were raised from the seabed to staunch the flow of the waters. And unlike King Canute in the oft-told tale, the waters obeyed and Venice was not flooded.

St Mark’s Square remained walkable unlike the previous day when the barriers were not raised and water was underfoot in the square.

The engineering achievement appears to be successful much to the relief of the local council, the residents and tourists whose chances of wet feet have diminished.

Since the viscous, widespread flooding of the 1960’s, engineers have been coming up with schemes and politicians have been fiddling whilst Venice floods a couple of times a year although on only a few occasions had it been really dire.

The barriers were nine to ten years behind schedule and thus not in place for the flooding last year which was the worst for many years.

But now there is hope that the barriers will suffice and restoration work might last longer than – as happened previously – the next big flooding.

Tourists and visitors should be able to plan their visits reasonably secure in the knowledge that they will be able to visit museums and attractions without having to face last- minute closures. Local officials should not have to face allocating money for preserving the same things again and again.

The rest of us will have more confidence that the Venice that has attracted tens of millions of us to visit will be around a bit longer.

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