Tag Archives: Aqua Alta

Pioggia, ombrelli e stivali di gomma

I don’t think there is a better city to be caught in a downpour or even a light drizzle for that matter. It can be pretty frustrating rushing to a lecture dodging tourists’ umbrellas for fear of losing an eye or two. However, Venice in the mist and rain is beautifully romantic. The whole city glistens. Between October and December Venice experiences some its wettest days. Wellies become a wardrobe staple, giving protection from the high waters and a little satisfaction as you can splash in the water, unrestricted by the elevated boards.

The rain was worth braving to visit the Santa Maria della Salute on 21 November. A temporary bridge is constructed every year, allowing church goers to cross the Grand Canal.

Wet Venetians make there way to the Santa Maria della Salute on 21 November to celebrate Festa della Salute.

We all agreed it was madness to sit in a gondola in the rain, but I guess if you’ve only got a day and you’re happy to get a little wet to experience this unique experience, then fair enough! Look closely and you can see that the raincoat clad gondelier is Giorgia Boscola, the first female of her profession.

Wading through the aqua alta; getting a little wet is very much part of Venetian life. Planks allow much of the high water to be avoided. However, wellies or stivali di gomma are always a wise fashion choice!

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Venetian Life

Venice has long been associated with the imposing Saint Mark’s Square and the bustling Rialto Bridge. Studying and living in Venice provides the opportunity to see another side of Venice. Venice is very much a living city, which  flourishes in its unusual environment. Canals remain vital to the Venetian life, not just acting as a tourist attraction. Food delivery, refuse collection, taxis, police, ambulances, hearses and buses all get about on the canals.

The Canale di Cannaregio is one of the main canals of Venice, along which delivery boats make their way into the city.

Food shopping at the Rialto market, picking up fresh vegetables and an amazing array of fish is good fun. However, after lectures and a stint in a library, you will inevitably run out of time to hit a market everyday. Billa and the COOP are the two most common supermarkets in Venice and can be found all over the city. Not known for its supermarkets, they are often small and hidden away. It is worth working out where your nearest one is for a bit of convenience. Be warned, the cashiers can get upset if you don’t have exact change!

“Gondole! Gondole!” Is a call that often confronts tourists as they make their way around Venice. In reality, the boats that you will come across most in Venice are locals’ smaller boats and delivery boats, as well as vaporetti, transporting Venetians and tourists a like. 

Boats collecting rubbish do their job, rain or shine, high tide or low tide. Below is the rubbish collection boat going about its regular business during a particularly high tide. Bin collectors wear special aqua alta wellies.

Local Venetians sell wellies to unsuspecting tourists and commuters during an unusually high aqua alta, along the Strada Nova.
Little dogs are an intrinsic part of the Venetian way of life. With only a small number of parks and open space at a high premium, the picollo pooch is certainly the favourite amongst Venetians. During my studies, I did notice a Great Dane with his owner, every now and then. So I guess there are anomalies to this rule.
In true student style we hung our washing up inside the apartment. If you’re lucky though, you will have somewhere outside to hang your washing in true Venetian style.
Venice is most fun when you escape the main tourists trails. Step down a couple of little side streets and often you are by yourself. Venice is really quite a quiet city and it really is an amazing place to explore!

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