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On Tuesday 13 November, “acqua alta” (high water) invaded Venice

22 November 2019

Venice is the gem of the upper Adriatic and as such is admired and loved by the whole world. It is literally built on the sea, which not only makes it special, but also delicate and fragile.

Over the centuries, it has coexisted with this unique characteristic, taking advantage of everything that could make it the grand Serenissima and, at the same time, trying to foresee the “challenges” brought by the sea.

Today Venice seems to have suffered a blow that knocked it down, but not out.

The change in the climate and the works to protect the lagoon, which have been going on for more than 16 years, have meant that on 13 November 2019 Venice suffered the second worst flooding in its history.

At 10:50pm last Tuesday, the sirocco winds, combined with the predicted thunderstorm and high tide, saw Venice reach a high water level of 187 cm, causing 80% of the city to flood. A real tragedy for all the inhabitants and shop owners who had to face a critical situation in the middle of the night.

The ground floors of the houses and shops were completely flooded and everything that could not be raised was lost: household appliances, equipment, items on display and personal memories. The brackish water spared nothing and even with the falling of the tide, it was not enough to dry everything and fix the situation. The water was not only salty, but was also mixed with the city’s sewerage system, so everything had to be carefully cleaned and disinfected.

Last week’s “tragedy,” which also hit our Atelier and Rolex and Panerai boutiques, made us think. For years, we have been working for our Venice, trying to give it honour and make it more beautiful in the eyes of those who come to admire it. Today we ask ourselves who is looking after its fragility and what more can we do to ensure a long life for our Venice.

Our wish today for the city and for ourselves is to get back up again after this hard blow, and together with all those people who immediately came to our aid, to make our beloved Venice shine again.


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