Heavy rain and strong winds prevented a high tide from dropping in Venice's canals Oct 29.
GV PAN DOWN..Belfry to flooded square.
GV Flooded square.
SV Two women walk in floodwater.
SV Two men walk in floodwater.
GV ELEVATED..from building to pedestrians along emergency board walk.
SV Pedestrians along board walk.
GV ELEVATED..Mass of chairs and tables in floodwater.
SV. PAN..Youths give others ride on their backs.
SV Youths with passengers on backs arrive at steps of building.
MV Women passengers seated on 'raft' move along.
SLV Priest moves across flood water on trolley.
SV Boatload of people.
SV Boat arrives at steps of building-passengers disembark.
GV Gondolas bob in floodwater.
MV PAN..Pigeons at waters edge.
SV Two men sit at cafe table surrounded by floodwater.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Heavy rain and strong winds prevented a high tide from dropping in Venice's canals Oct 29. This time the high tide was the highest in many years. As the water was unable to flow back into the Adriatic it spilled over San Marco Square into shop and restaurant basements.
The heavy rain and strong winds struck most of Northern Italy causing seven deaths in floods and extensive damage. As reports of flooding increased Venice - the city on water - took the news calmly.
Water over San Marco Square is an annual event at this time of the year. The people take the water as it comes, wait with humour for the wind to drop. They know the water on which many of them earn their living will never rise to a level sufficient to inundate upstairs city life.
The major pastime is to avoid taking a foot bath too many. They travel along elevated board walks, cast a glance at the unconcerned pigeons, ride on the backs of boys for a lira or two or float to work on makeshift rafts.