The increase in flooding in Venice is due to the combined effects of land subsidence causing the city to sink, and climate change causing the global sea level to rise. Whenever water breaks through the stone damp-courses that protect most Venetian buildings, it seeps into the porous brickwork. All over Venice, walls are dissolving. Foundations are being scoured out by quick-flowing tides and the effects of wakes from large cruise ships. Is Venice to be the next lost Atlantis?
The owner of the home where I stayed last time I was in Venice said, “make sure you’re back by nine, otherwise you’ll get wet feet”. Early in the morning I could see people brushing away the water from inside the ground-floor rooms of their homes. This constant threat of flooding combined with a declining population, floods of tourists, water pollution and congestion makes for an unhappy mix.