Impact of Record-Breaking Floods in Venice

Impact of Record-Breaking Floods in Venice Impact of Record-Breaking Floods in Venice

November 18, 20191 min read

Over the last week, Venice, Italy, has been hit with historic flooding. On Sunday, Nov. 17, water levels topped 1.5 meters for the third time since last Tuesday’s 1.87-meter flood, which marked the worst in more than half a century.


Venice’s mayor declared a state of emergency and has estimated the flooding damage at hundreds of millions of euros. The flooding is putting some of Venice’s most historic architecture at risk and threatening some of the city’s cultural marvels and priceless artwork.


The situation has also renewed the debates around the underwater barrier system—the Moses flood defense project—that has been under construction for more than 16 years and is not yet operational despite 5 billion euros of public funding.


Luca Cottini, PhD, associate professor of Italian Studies at Villanova University, is a scholar of Italian culture. He discusses some of the issues currently facing Venice.


“The flooding in Venice makes visible once again not just the fragility of Italian beauty and the vulnerability of Italy’s geography, but also the inadequacy of Italian politics in the prevention and response to natural disasters,” said Cottini.


Cottini also addressed the city’s tourism and how tourists view the floods.


“The situation also illustrates the cynical nature of modern-day global tourism, observing high waters more as an attraction than a tragic event impacting invaluable monuments and the lives of many peoples,” added Cottini.


To speak with Cottini, email or call 610-519-5152.


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