The beauty and uniqueness of Venice, a cultural and natural asset of exceptional value are due not only to its immense cultural heritage but also to the natural ecosystem on which the city was built: the Venetian lagoon.
Learn more about this fragile environment, how it was created thousands of years ago, how the Republic of Venice adapted it for its purposes over the centuries, and which are the challenges Venice will have to face in the very next future.
Understand how Acqua Alta flooding has impacted Venice in the past and why they are threatening the city in the future, learn what is the Mo.SE., the controversial mobile flood barrier project and take action for preserving the future as a responsible and sustainable city's visitor.
Please note: This tour does not include hotel pick up and drop off service. This means that you will have to arrange your own transfers in order to reach the designated meeting point and start the tour. Meeting point: Fondamente Nove
We will jump over centuries to understand how the lagoon have been shaped by the Republic of Venice to its own purposes and survival, creating herculean barriers from the sea, deviating rivers while keeping a delicate balance between human intervention and natural events.
Discover how the Venetian lagoon is connected with the Adriatic Sea through three port inlets, allowing the exchange of waters to enter and exit from the Adriatic Sea at the rhythm of the tides.This cyclical movement performs an indispensable function for the balance of its ecosystem: high tide becomes a problem for Venice only when it exceeds the level of 80 cm, the limit beyond we can speak of "Acqua Alta" ("High water")
Understand the complicated mix of phenomena causing Acqua Alta and why some are predictable and others much less. You will discover why rain has nothing do to with it and how lunar phases and astronomical tides, strong winds low pressure plays a much bigger role.
You will get explained how is possible that with 80 cm tides your feet keep dry and why a tide of 140cm is impacting the city so hardly.
Get back to the 60s, when a tragedy renamed the "aqua granda" occurred due to an exceptional wave of bad weather hitting all of Italy. Back those days Venice experienced one of the most tragic days in its history, with the tide reaching the highest peak ever recorded in the history. We will understand how this event impacted the development of the city and life of its inhabitants in the following decades.
Venice experienced a similar situation on the evening in 2019, making clear that natural events are more and more linked with global climate changes and over tourism exploiting the city. We will understand more about what happened visiting some places heavily impacted back on those days.
We will also try to understand how commercial activities and cruise ships are impacting and playing a role in the fragility of the whole system, learning about the impact of Venice' s industrial port and getting in touch with an association fighting against the cruise ships crossing the lagoon.
We will get into details about Mo.S.E., an acronym for Electromechanical Experimental Model, a system of mobile dams designed to defend Venice and its lagoon from floodings. This project has been the hot topic for the last 30 years in town: with a planned completion date of 2014, in 2021 is still not yet finished and in fully operation, even if some test operations saved Venice from several flooding in fall and winter of 2020. We will understand if Mose will be the final solution or if it will be keep postponing solutions to underlying problems, in addition to diverting funds essential for the city maintenance.
Nature and interpretive guide & tour leader
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