Not many people know that becoming a licensed gondola rider, or gondolièr is actually quite hard. These narrow boats have been used for over 10 centuries to navigate across the channels because of their slender shape, but they can only be led by skilled oarsmen, who need to go through intense training and pass a final exam. Hundreds of young men apply every year, but only 3 to 4 people manage to get the license!
High tide is a thing
When you hear the sound of sirens in Venice, it usually means that Acqua Alta is coming. For us venitians ‘alta’ (high water) is when it reaches 140-160 cm above sea level. It means lots of streets are flooded by 10 to 40 centimeters of water.. The high tide is a common phenomenon here, the level of water in the channels rises above the pavement and floods the streets. High tide is mainly caused by past excavations in the lagoon and by the winds. You just need to wear a pair of rubber boots and enjoy this new side of Venice!
Did you know that Venice is sinking at the rate of 1-2 millimeters a year? Sea-level rise isn’t the only thing that has Venice’s famous canals rising ever-so-slightly every year: the city is also subsiding due to water pumping and to the passage of cruise ships, that cause the destruction of the lagoon seabed.
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