Peace on Earth, More Goodwill to All

These days, holiday or no, we could certainly use more of both.

And Italy is by no means exempt. Recent news items certainly make you think about what should be better here, as well as what things are even worse elsewhere.
Even (or perhaps I should say "particularly"?) during a season which is supposed to be joyful, let's not forget the injustices of the past, and in the upcoming new year may we all work together to ameliorate those of the present, wherever we may be.

"Venice under Water" on "The Big Picture: News Stories in Photographs"

25 high-quality images of the recent "acqua alta" at Venice under water - The Big Picture -, including the one below which goes beyond the tourists and tourist sites to give you a slice of everyday Venetian life in the face of the flooding.

(posted using ShareThis)

Surfing, Anyone? (More Amazing Images of Venice Flooded)

The BBC has some great video of the second day of the high tides flooding Venice, including - believe it or not - a kite surfer in Piazza San Marco!

But my all-time favorite image so far is the very clever (and likely quite functional) shop window in which the mannequins are wearing the same cheapo plastic water booties sold to the tourists at newsstands! Enjoy!!

Record Flooding in Venice

Flooding in Venice today... A high tide that might have been greater than any since 1979 and the fourth worst in recorded history, over a meter and a half above sea level, submerged the vast majority of the city. What's more, the Nuova Venezia reports, although the tides have gone down some, the seas are still running high, over a meter above normal, so a good 15% of town remains flooded.

These pictures are from readers of La Repubblica newspaper and give you a bit of an idea what life in Venice is like during the worst high tides.

Plus is quickly building a huge collection of user-submitted videos...

Here's the flooding in historic Saint Mark's Square. As you can see, the tourists always seem to get a kick out of acqua alta, which happens often in Piazza San Marco even if almost never at these levels.

But now see how the average people have to cope...

How long can Venice last under these ever-worsening conditions? How soon before many more of us elsewhere in the world will have to face the same thing?? Check out PBS' site "The Sinking City of Venice" for more such food for thought, and in the meantime pray that the seas subside for the Venetians today.