Italy 19: – Venice – Acqua alta

We arrived during Acqua Alta season and discovered first hand what that means.  I’m not going to go into detail here, but Google it.  You’ll be fascinated!  In fact, if you want to see something really neat, go to and search for the following number:  52720715.  (You will find the search function in the top right hand corner.  You do not have to join Vimeo to watch the video.)  We were actually in St. Mark’s Square on the day this was filmed… I watched to see if we were in any of the clips but didn’t spot us.

From outside our downstairs bedroom window you could see the water completely covering the sidewalks.  This posed a problem on our first morning in Venice as this was the only day we had a timed, pre-purchased event we needed to get to.


We stood at the door for a full minute before I got the nerve to step into the water.  Once I took that first step, the rest of the family followed without hesitation.  If only we had taken rain boots with us…_JEN4689

I was leading the pack and turned around to capture the boys’ expressions._JEN4694


On the way to the vaporetto stop.
What we saw when we got to the canal where our vaporetto stop was located:_JEN4702


After walking the five minutes to the main canal the water was even deeper.  If you look on the left side of the image below you’ll see a white bus stop with two yellow stripes.  That was our vaporetto (waterbus) stop.  _JEN4707

I took this picture from inside the vaporetto stop, just after we were told that the waters were so high that the vaporetti can’t fit under the bridges, so we were going to have to walk to St. Mark’s Square.  On a normal day it would take thirty minutes… in two feet of water it took over an hour.

We walked to the bridge you can see and walked across it, toward St. Mark’s Square.  Do you see the cart in the center of the picture? It’s raised to keep packages dry during delivery.


_JEN4716 Top two images below show the raised platforms that the city and some stores put up to allow pedestrians to stay out of the water.

In the bottom image you can see people kayaking thorough the sidewalks!Matt's iphone

IMG_0941The water was up to the seat bottoms of the chairs in St. Mark’s Square.  Not a relaxing place to sit, for sure!IMG_0946 Walking along the platforms, almost at our destination.  Doges Palace, Secret Itineraries Tour.  Fabulous tour!IMG_0945 IMG_0944 IMG_0943 IMG_0951 View from inside the Bridge of Sighs.IMG_0950Me inside the Bridge of Sighs.  I had looked so forward to this particular stop on our 17-day trip that a few feet of water was not going to stop us!

This collage of pictures was not taken on the same day, but it was of another day Acqua Alta hit.  It was as we were leaving Venice and we really needed to get on the road heading toward Switzerland.  We had to haul all of our luggage to the nearest working vaporetto stop, ours was not in service due to the high waters.  We managed to find a route around the flooded areas of Venice because we had done some exploring on the in-between days.  While we were forced to walk longer than we wanted to, at least we were dry.

Notice my strong son, Carson, carrying Parker…Starred Photos9

What I think we’re doing today:

I’m fairly certain my boys will be playing with all sorts of new toys they got from our traditional Christmas Eve-eve family get-together with my side of the family.  Last night was such a treat… reminiscent of old times but with three new babies running around… we’ll, two were running around, one was being passed around as the pretty baby doll that she is!  I absolutely loved watching Brooke play with the bigs as if they’ve been buds forever… Parker and Mason play together better than any set of toddlers I’ve ever seen.  In six hours of play, mostly semi-supervised (meaning, we were in the next room with the door between us open), we only had to get involved in one minor incident between the two.  Incredible!

This is off topic, but too adorable to ignore… Parker calls my brother, “Jungle Josh.”  That’s his version of, “Uncle Josh.”

I’m really excited to meet a few new cousins who were born while we were away.  Thrilled to see Parker meet these new family members and we all look forward to visiting with Matt’s side of our family!  At the same time we grieve with them as they lost a very dear grandfather this week who had been battling illness for quite some time.  Our hearts are with the Wensils.

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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