First and foremost, we should understand what’s the high tide in Venice and when it happens: the phenomenon of Venice high tide usually happens from November to March: the water periodically floods low-lying islands, and, in these times, different areas of Venice are flooded, thus creating some inconvenience to residents but lot of fun and wonder to tourists.
The most affected parts by the Venice High tide is San Marco and Rialto areas because are the oldest and lowest ones of the city. The north (Cannaregio district) and the middle zone (San Polo District) are the less affected. We must underline that the Venice High tide takes only 6 hours as a normal tide and its strongness depends on the sirocco wind: more it blows and more the water level increases.
HOW CAN WE FORECAST?
You can visit the official website of Venice Municipality otherwise you can download the mobile app HI!TIDE that provides updated news about the tide levels warning you about riskiness.
In case of Venice High Tide, you will hear a very loud (and scary) bell ringing around the city for 1 minute. It warms that in one hour the tide starts increasing.
WHAT DO THE VENETIANS DO DURING THE VENICE HIGH TIDE?
Until the 130 cm they live the city as usual, working and following the routine. After that level, the situation start being problematic because the water enters also in the ground floor of most part of the districts of Venice and not only in Piazza San Marco or Rialto and the owners must avoid that the house or shop be flooded also inside. Many places are equipped with pumps that pushes the water outside.
Anyway, the city is completed organized and equipped to face High Tide Venice.
HOW VENICE FACES THE HIGH TIDE
Undoubtedly, the high tide is not the best thing when you visit the city: it creates troubles for who is in Venice for the first time and is not used to it. But the Venice municipality is perfectly organized to face the problems giving to citizens and tourists all the thing to live the city without problems.
The first thing that you will see, are the platforms put in Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge, squares and streets and to the main public boat stops. Here you can cross the flooded areas without problems. The platforms are helpful until 140 cm, after that it considered and emergency and the water go up the daises, but only 3 times in the last century the Venice high tide has gone over that level.
To go around the city without the problems, you should buy a pair of boats (buyable everywhere) at convenient price (from € 5 to € 10) and used it for the hours of the hide tide.
There are NOT any problems for the waterpipes and power in the apartments, house and hotel. Everything has been made to face the High Tide that it is a regular phenomenon of the city. All the public transportation as waterbus, taxi and gondola works normally and shops and restaurant are open regularly. So, the only thing to do is put on your boat and take stunning pictures of Venice under the water!
The last point but not the least, is that during the High Tide (at regular level so until 120/130 cm) only a part of Venice is flooded. Not all the city is “under the water”. The record was in 1966 with a level of 197 cm where almost the 100% of the island was flooded.