Sometimes people who have lessons scheduled with us write to ask if they need to cancel their Venice trip due to the high tides. This is because they (logically) equate a tidal flood with the flooding of a river or other body of water, when it often takes days or longer for water to recede. We would never recommend cancelling, and we’ll tell you why.
First of all, Venice experiences tidal flooding, and it is seasonal. That is to say, even when the sea is blown into the lagoon during a storm by southern scirocco winds causing what we refer to as acqua alta, the water will recede with the tide, within hours. The circumstances that combined to cause the recent October 29th tide (see photo at right)—an exceptionally high seasonal tide combined with extraordinarily strong southerly winds and rain—occur only about once every 10 years; even that had completely abated by morning. Whether exaggerated or not, acqua alta is not a regular occurrence, and once again it is still a tide.
So, feel free to check the tide forecasts, but understand that anything under 110 cm is unlikely to pose a logistical problem in terms of getting to out meeting point or taking your lesson. Higher than that and we can just reschedule your lesson to a better time. You might have to duck when we row under the bridges though!
photo credit Nan McElroy