1. they’re so cool. that’s all i can think. look at them enjoying even and especially this moment!

  2. Worth noting that all of the people swimming in the photos (as well as those looking so happy in the cafe) are tourists, not Venetians. Venetians know that acqua alta is full of trash and bacteria (this is the same water that’s been sweeping through garbage dumps), not to mention cold and smelly, not to mention you don’t know what’s on the ground if you put your foot down (broken glass, for example). Yes, Venetians take it in stride, but swimming in it is, unfortunately, the kind of dumb thing that only those on vacation would do, not those who live there.

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  4. I went to Venice last month and I love it! And then I saw this photos, but looks super cool the way they handle that!

  5. Great post :) I know Venice and it really is amazing the way they handle this things!

  6. wow…everyone looks pretty chill. I’m planning a trip to Venice next year, I will make sure I bring my rain boots!!

  7. Now that is resilience! So funny!

  8. Luckily when I visited Venice on my honeymoon last September it was not flooded – this does NOT look fun for locals and tourists alike! I agree with the other commenters, that water is probably so disgusting…

    Strive to Thrive,

  9. Awesome pictures. I don’t get my husband to read blogs but I often leave some of your posts up for him to look at. Thanks for another one to share!

  10. Hi Jo – We were on a weekend break in Venice when it happened. Acutally the locals were taking it very well – there was a lot of good humour going round and the shopkeepers were taking it in their stride. Some photos here: http://www.quirkytravel.com/cities/acqua-alta-venice/

    It was indeed cold and I do agree that these people were slightly mad going for a swim. Apparently Katharine Hepburn ended up with runny eyes for the rest of her life after catching an infection having been pushed into a Venetian canal for a scene in a film.

    And the orienteers were indeed dogged.

  11. I can’t believe people are swimming in that water- I would thin it’s kind of dirty!! Yuck!

  12. We live in a super flood prone neighborhood (Sandy related images here: http://croquetncocktails.blogspot.com/2012/10/monday-update-sandy-packs-mean-punch.html) and I just get the heebie-jeebies when people play, splash, swim in the water. Poop, people, poop. Poop is in the water… Anyway, I think going to a cafe in your wellies is absolutely necessary. After all, desperate times call for caffeine and pastries!!! Just don’t swim in that stuff!!

  13. This is so creepy to me! Especially the last photo! The type-A part of me keeps wondering things like, how do they keep from getting electrocuted or what happens to all the wood under the counters and stuff. Crazy!

  14. That’s so crazy! I saw one of the pictures of people in the lounge chairs somewhere else, CNN I think, and was super confused (mostly because I didn’t click to read the full story). I can’t imagine just going about my life in a flood like that! I guess that’s a place where you really need to invest in a good pair of rain boots.


    Kristina does the Internets

  15. These people seem to be having fun but I can’t even imagine how icky that water must be.

    It must happen a lot for people to just act like everything is business as usual though.

  16. Ick- no! Too much water! Makes me shiver just looking at it…. :)

  17. The Venetians are not taking it in stride. The people in these photos are clearly not locals. The flood that devastated parts of northern Italy is no laughing matter. I find it odd that you can post a “happy” post about flooding so soon after hurricane Sandy. Just because Venice is a tourist town, and this may seem amusing or even a fantasy to some, does not mean that the areas just outside Venice are as delighted. This is a flood, not a Disneyride. Optimism is wonderful, but realism is as well.

  18. Now that’s making the best of a bad situation.

  19. I was there on sunday because of the architecure biennale and the worst thing was that an orienteering competition took place that morning, so everyone was running everywhere in the flood, splashing all around!

  20. This gives new meaning to “life as usual.” WOW!

  21. oh my! I heard this on the news…here in the Philippines, flood water is really a threat. i hope it’s different there. Thought it’s a good thing seeing people embracing the situation.

  22. After dealing with the flooding in Hoboken after Hurricane Sandy, I can’t imagine. Kudos to them for making something positive out of flooding!

  23. On my way there in two days! Hope it has receded by then

  24. Ha! My immediate response was EWWWWW! Swimming in flood waters (with a questionable plumbing system) is crazy! Getting an espresso, maybe I could handle that.

  25. As a Venetian I assure you we HATE floods.
    The people in the pictures are TOURISTS.
    It sucks when you have to run your daily errands in the city centre and the water reaches above your knees… also because in Venice the only means of transport is your own feet really.
    And that water is lagoon water, dirtied by careless tourists who basically use it as if it was just a massive waste bin. So no, it’s not clean. Yes, it kind of stinks. Your feet kinda go numb no matter how many layers of socks you can wear inside your rain and fisher boots. Yes, it does damage buildings. But after almost 2000 years we sort of came to terms with what we can and what we cannot do about it…

    But I understand it must be quite a sight for a foreigner :)

    Giulia @Giules.
    new post on http://giulesss.blogspot.com

  26. Oh wow! Looks like everyone’s having a great time! I would love to go back to Venice – but maybe will wait til the waters subside. :)

  27. oh my gosh! i love that everyone remains optimistic – put on some rain boots and off they go! :)

  28. they are used to it by now, but it looks impressive anyway

  29. I am pretty certain they just dump their sewer into the sea.

  30. Joanna, I agree with Sara S’s comment above. These pictures are in pretty poor taste given the devastation that has befallen NY and NJ.

    • h. says...

      Because readers should only care about NY/NJ?
      If she’d posted this following any other major flood in the last few years, you wouldnt’ve batted an eyelid. I was caught in some very bad floods in Australia last year, but I wouldn’t have thought to whinge if a local blogger had posted these at the time. I would’ve appreciated the distraction, and the ability of venezians to make the most of a bad situation.
      She didn’t make the flood happen, she’s sharing pictures which are being shared the world over.
      Venice is flooding too, other people are coping with the will of the weather too. I personally think it’s interesting to see these pictures.

  31. My parents just visited Venice last month, and my mom sent me these pictures and remarked how lucky they were to have been there before the flooding. I’m surprised the floods haven’t gotten more press, but I guess they’re a fairly regular occurrence.

  32. That’s actually not funny or amazing at all… It’s sad because it causes lots of damages. And it’s quite dirty!!

  33. I’ve been to Venice twice, and it’s my most favorite place on Earth…but the canals are dirty and yuck to the people sitting in the water!!!

  34. I live near Venice and I can tell you those people are for sure tourists, infact for people who live in Venice floods are really a fuss, it happens quite often.
    My brother (he runs this hotel there: http://www.capozzoinn.com/it/) goes crazy during floods days, he has so much to do and so many guests to help with their needs..

  35. You realize raw sewage is deposited directly into the water in this area of Venice?

  36. Wow! Those scenes are unreal. Very cool, but I could not imagine wading around in the Hudson or East River Waters in the same way.

  37. Wow – what troopers. Makes me nervous for the future if the City though.

  38. yikes, i don’t know about swimming in that water but with the proper gear, i wouldn’t mind grabbing an espresso or two.

    • That’s all I can think too, the air is only about 10C – 12C there (low 50F) this time of year.

  39. So crazy… I keep thinking of the sanitation too!

    but I guess when it is that common and not so destructive (why is that, anyone know?)… the show must go on. i remember seeing photos of people drinking wine at patios under water like it was no big thing. pretty awesome, but i’d be sick thinking, scratch that obsessing over everything floating around in those murky waters…ewwwww!

  40. Does it not damage the buildings??

  41. When I went to Venice in 2004, I had no idea that I was arriving during flooding season. (I was backpacking, and didn’t do much research beyond “where next? Should we read that section in ‘let’s go europe?’) A woman on the train was wearing knee-high boots and asked if we’d brought ours. Nope. But they did have catwalks and planks set up all through the flooded area to help other tourists like me who didn’t bring boots.

  42. Italians are so classy! I love it when people roll with things like that.

  43. When I went to the Architecture Biennale di Venezia two years ago, Venice was flooded too. There where tables outside, so you could walk through Venice, useing the tables like a catwalk. The flood changed every day. One day there was flood in the hotel lobby in the morning and in the afternoon San Marco was dry. It was crazy and amazing, and the tables looked very comical, after the flood was gone.

  44. this is fun, but I honestly question the timing of your post given that parts of the NYC area was just recently under water, and has suffered so much damage. Not fun for us, especially those who had houses literally float away. I’m surprised at this post.

    • Typical American narcissistic comment.

  45. thats pretty cool and looks fun.. i am sure its not always though!

  46. Those people who are swimming are nuts. It is SO unsanitary. European streets are not clean.

    • I would argue that no street is really clean… no matter the continent

    • my thoughts exactly :)

  47. That picture of the waiter in the rain boots reminds me of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Jeremy Fisher, “The water was all slippy sloppy in the larder and in the back passage” (or something like that)

  48. I spent a summer in Italy and was in Venice when it flooded like that. It was the most fun, carefree experience I have ever had. It was thrilling to run through the streets splashing water everywhere. Thank you for reminding me of that happy time!

  49. That’s crazy & hilarious how people are just like nonchalant about it.


  50. So many smiling faces!

  51. So cool. Rainboots are a must there I guess.

  52. i say “ew” to that one too! i went to hoboken after sandy’s flooding and it SMELLED. i guess if it’s mostly ocean water it would be different than flooding due to sewers overflowing…

    i heard of several apartments near my house that had overflowing sinks and toilets and that’s how their garden level apartment flooded! talk about disgusting!!

    and how do they know they aren’t going to get electricuted in that mess!? seems odd that the power is still on, no?

    gives me the heebie jeebies, too!

  53. I have never seen anything like this! Wow!

  54. I’ve been in Venice before when it was flooded like that and it’s definitely a crazy sight. What I don’t get is why with the amount of pigeon poop in Piazza San Marco ANYONE would strip down and go swimming! I scrubbed my feet until they were red after wading through those nasty waters. Yuck.

  55. i love their spirit!

  56. I “lived” there for a few weeks two winters ago and it flooded every morning. for me, there was nothing more exciting than going to breakfast in a bar where everyone acted completely normal. i had my boots and everything :)
    they are building this mechanism to stop “l’acqua alta” (i understand why, it’s not very hygienic etc), so i feel like i veneziani are enjoying it now more than ever because they know these might be the last years. how would you feel if they took away from you something you’ve always had (and always been annoyed by)? i think we’ll all miss it.

  57. wow, i was just there in september and our gondolier told us they get flooding several times a year and they have play alarms so people can run home and move their furniture to safety, but it was hard to imagine. now i know! thanks so much for sharing!

  58. Nothing gives me the heebie-jeebies worse than watching people swim in flood waters. After working in a city pool and finding all the gross things that get into an actual controlled and chlorinated pool I can only imagine what’s in that water.

    • when I was in Venice we took a gondola ride and I was petrified of falling into the water because we saw rats swimming past us at one point. There is no way I would be swimming in there!