Acqua Alta, Umbrellas and Wellies….

I know it’s not Saturday but here’s an extra post ….

I have long wanted to experience the famous Venetian Acqua Alta; when the lowest parts of Venice are flooded and  I had my chance on Sunday 6th November. I had been checking out some Venetian websites before I arrived in the city to see if there was any chance to see it on this 5 day trip and it seemed as though there would be one the day after I arrived. ( and as it turned out on each day after)

You certainly know when one is expected because a very loud siren sounds throughout the city ( at 7 a.m on the days I was there !) warning the population, who duly put on their wellington boots and carry on as normal.

I’m told the men who take away Venice’s rubbish are also tasked with putting in place the temporary raised wooden walkways which are essential to keep the pedestrian traffic flowing freely through this gorgeous city..

After putting up the boardwalks the bin men  carried on with rubbish collection as normal or nearly as normal..

I had mixed feelings about the Acqua Alta because the flooding can be very serious for the people who live and work in the city, particularly when the water is very high. For tourists it is an extraordinary experience which brings out the childlike wonderment and sense of fun in many people, myself most definitely included.

Some people loved it

but others didn’t seem quite so sure.

and I had certainly never seen a canoe in the middle of St Mark’s Square before 🙂


It seems everyone in Venice owns at least one pair of wellington boots and they can be quite a fashion item; coming in every imaginable colour and design. Thigh high waders are worn by some, others wear bright colours or jazzy patterns. Some are stylish with lace-ups or cut outs.

( Click on any of the photos on this page for a closer look.)

Which ones are your favourites? Do tell…

These are mine -a pair that are see through with rubber soles that fit over your own shoes for those who wouldn’t be seen dead in Wellies !! ( take a closer look)

Of course there were those who improvised…..

….but quickly found this wasn’t such a good idea

I loved the expression on his face as his plastic bags filled up with water.


Venetians also carry umbrellas; some tiny and some so big you imagine the owner is intending to have a party underneath ! This phenomenon is new to me as I’ve previously only visited during spring and autumn months and never seen rain in Venice before, but of course it’s essential to carry an umbrella because Venetians have to walk so much to get to wherever they need to be.

Like the wellies the umbrellas came in many colours, some people looked elegant but others rather silly, especially those who had fallen victim to the hard sell and were carrying umbrellas with Venetian scenes on them. Ugh, soooo tacky. The pink one with sheep and the pink cow were definitely NOT my favourites !!

I found it quite funny to watch the opening of umbrellas en masse as, antlike, Venetians scurried across the boardwalk tutting if tourists stood still to take photos and blocked their way.

So much so that this girl got off the boardwalk to take her photos.

It’s not only the people who are kept dry, some owners cover up their dogs as well…poor things ! It just doesn’t look right to me !

This woman was evidently taking no chances and was well prepared to keep everything dry with colourful wellies, umbrella and a coat for her dog !!

Ah! Venice always full of surprises and just as lovely in the rain.

Saturday girl signing off for now… watch out for the 1498th episode, coming soon…Ciao, Ciao !!

20 comments on “Acqua Alta, Umbrellas and Wellies….

  1. Rachael says:

    Thanks for the link to this post. I hadn’t seen it as I am a relative newbie and this was well before my time on WP. I have been to Venice 5 times now but my trip this year was my first experience of Aqua Alta. what fun!

  2. […] have travelled with me to Venice, Sorrento, Ireland, Cumbria and Scotland. ( Gosh that many places ! […]

  3. […] and wellies!!  The most used search terms have centred around those and have led to this post Aqua Alta, Umbrellas and Wellies   Here’s a bit of a list of the search terms used and the number of times it’s been […]

  4. ~mimo~ says:

    Great collection of photos! So glad you posted the link, I really enjoyed reading this!

    • hellenjc says:

      I’m so glad yo enjoyed the post Mimo.. I got quite obsessional about it when I was there… you know what it’s like when you’ve got a project in your head!

  5. […] – You can see my other posts about Venice here Departures and Arrivals and here Acqua Alta ,Umbrellas and Wellies  Rate this: Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailDiggRedditStumbleUponPrintLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the […]

  6. Jill says:

    I love this story! I by-passed Venice on my last trip to Italy, but I think I might have to make a special trip just to see this!

    • hellenjc says:

      Of course it’s not there all the time Jill, only in Winter and even then the weather and tide conditions have to be right. ( of course it’s very disruptive for the Venetians and can cause lots of damage to property ) There are websites where it will tell you if Acqua Alta is due.

  7. Awesome! I’ve been in Venice during Summer time but this is just so cool! Thanks for sharing it at my blog 😉

  8. This is hilarious! I had no idea. I love the picture of the man looking at the water like he doesn’t know quite what to do – brilliant post!

  9. jillbenik says:

    I love the pictures! Clever!!!

  10. Tessa says:

    If you want to keep an expensive camera dry and take photos – wear a cape – not sexy, but you can put your head inside and peak out underneath to take the pic and then keep the camera covered without having to put it back in a bag

  11. Britta-Karin Engberg says:

    Lovely picures. The umbrella series really put me in a good mood. Thanks for that!

  12. Tessa says:

    Never seen the aqua alta but have seen Venice in the rain. Talking of not being seen dead in wellies I would be seen dead in yours – call those wellies ? I used to have big red roses on mine, and the current ones – two pairs – are a blue pair with pink circles and a muted pair covered in pastel roses – for gardening of course ! And as for dissing animals on umbrellas – mine has pink and white cats !! Good thing you’re going to London and me to Amsterdam !!!!!!!!! Enjoy Ireland. Tessa

  13. scillagrace says:

    I once did a wetland hike in knee high boots which didn’t suffice. The sloggy feeling on my feet was kind of fun for a while, but I wouldn’t like it in the city. How about thigh-high pirate boots? Also, I’d ditch the umbrella to keep my hands free to take pictures! Thanks for sharing these!

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