Tide and high water in Venice


What is high water in Venice? why does it happen? What are the factors of this phenomenon?
Is Venice completely submerged by high water? can I go to Venice with high water? Is Venice closed with high water? In which months this phenomenon is more frequent?

In this article you will find all the answers to your questions.

First of all, the main factors that lead to high water are:
– the wind (in particular the sirocco wind blowing from south to north of the Mediterranean Sea)
– the weather conditions (low pressure area in the north Mediterranean and high pressure in the south)
movements of the moon and the consequent tides

The tides are quite cyclical and are repeated every 6 hours. The Venetians say “6 ore a cresse e 6 ore a caea”; translation “for 6 hours the tide rises and for 6 hours it goes down”.
So, for 6 hours the sea level, and consequently the level of the Venice lagoon, will grow to the maximum quote, then fall down for another 6 hours until reaching the minimum quote. After reaching the minimum quote it will start to rise again in order to reach maximum quote and so on. The level (expressed in centimeters) of the maximum or minimum quote depends on the other 2 factors mentioned previously (wind and weather conditions).

The months when the phenomenon is more frequent, are: November, December, January and February (winter time)

Click here to get updated forecasts on the tide and the high water of Venice.
You will see a chart that I will explain you in a few steps below.
Here is an example of a chart that you could find (click on the image to enlarge it):

Here is the simple explanation:
– Purple circle = time and date of the forecast
– Orange circle = tidal quote in centimeters
– Rossi circles = days following the day of the forecast
– Yellow circle = time 
– Blue Line = tide (as you see it grow up and get down every 6 hours)
– Green circle = expected tide, that is exactly what we need

So we deduce that at 11:00 on February 6, 2019 the tide (and therefore the level of the Venice lagoon) will reach the 70 cm altitude, while at 17:40 it will be -20 cm

Do not be afraid when you hear about 60 or 70 centimeters because in reality we are not talking about the real water height but just about the sea level. The different areas of Venice have different quote.
Below you will find the quotes of the 3 main areas of Venice and the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello:
– San Marco square, 80 cm (the lowest part of Venice)
– Rialto Bridge 105 cm
– Venice Santa Lucia train station 135 cm
– Murano island 100 cm
– Burano island 100 cm
– Torcello Island 100 cm

So, referring to the example of 06 February 2019, there will be no high water in Venice because the maximum quote is 70 cm; 10 cm less than the lowest part of Venice (San Marco square).

Below you will find 3 exemplary vignettes

There are, there have been and there will be, exceptional tides with quote even above 140/150 cm. We remember that:
– 60% of the city is flooded with a 140 cm tide
– with a tide about 130 cm the 46% of the city is flooded
– 12% of the city floods with a tide about 110 cm
– with a tide about 100 cm just the 5% of the city is flooded (in particular San Marco square)

In the case of high water, Venice is not closedElevated walkways are arranged in the lower areas so you can walk around Venice without getting wet.
Click here to view the updated map of the elevated walkways.

You can also buy or bring your boots and walk around Venice without any limitations.
Venice is unique for this too. There is no other place in the world where you can walk on a flooded island (at least in part) and steeped in history.
I remind you that if the tide is more than 140 cm you will need boots that reach the knees. You can also buy boots directly in Venice but for sure they will be more expensive.

Pay attention at the water buses too. In the case of an exceptional high tide, they could be suspended or could change their course.
Click here to view the official Venice vaporetti website in the “News” section.

For any other informations you can fill out the form that you will find at the end of this page. I will aswer you as soon as possible. Venice 4 all and all 4 Venice.


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