A woman walks on Piazza San Marco during floods on December 1, 2008 in Venice. Venice hoteliers are urging tourists to enjoy the tourist mecca despite chronic flooding, offering free rubber boots for guests to slosh around the Renaissance city.
Venice hoteliers are urging tourists to enjoy the tourist mecca despite chronic flooding, offering free rubber boots for guests to slosh around the Renaissance city.
"Venetian hoteliers and Mayor Massimo Cacciari reassure tourists who want to come in Venice: Don't worry, there is no danger: high water is a phenomenon that quickly disappears," says an industry website, www.veneziasi.it.
A special 190 euros (250 dollar) a night package includes "free use of rubber boots to walk during the high water," along with a map showing where special platforms are erected along the canal city's streets during the flooding.
Venice has been under water for nearly two weeks, reaching a 22-year high on December 1 at 1.56 meters (5 feet, 2 inches). Thursday and Friday are expected to see highs of up to 1.30 meters.
The lagoon city was flooded 50 times between 1993 and 2002, but by far the worst incident was on November 4, 1966, when it was submerged by 1.94 metres of water amid catastrophic flooding throughout Italy.
Every new flood revives debate over an elaborate project to place hinged panels at the inlets leading into the lagoon.
Cacciari is among critics of the so-called Moses Project, which was launched in 2003 and is not expected to reach completion until 2012.
Under the scheme, 78 steel panels will lie on the seabed until activated when high tide is more than 1.1 metres above normal.
Compressed air will then force the panels to rise up on their hinges, forming a slanting barrier to the incoming tide from the Adriatic Sea.
Another approach under consideration is to raise the city's buildings.
Under Operation "Rialto", piston-supported poles would be placed beneath each structure and gradually lift buildings by up to a metre.
威尼斯的大水已经持续近两周，本月1日的水位达到22年来最高水平，为1.56米（5 英尺2 英寸），本周四和周五预计将达1.3米。