As tourists frolic in Venice’s rising waters, locals fear for the city’s treasures

Earlier this week, for only the fifth recorded time in St. Mark’s nine-century history, the water reached the marble floor inside, submerging the area around the altar of the Madonna Nicopeia.

On Wednesday, the floor was dry but a yellow sign reading “Attention: Wet Pavement” stood ready by the entrance.

Outside, though, the water still filled St. Mark’s Square. As tourists climbed the steep steps to the basilica’s balcony, the Roman Catholic patriarch of Venice, Msgr. Francesco Moraglia, checked in on his church.

See also Museums are ready for the next natural disaster. Are you?Outside the church, traffic and road rage were in full display on the raised wooden walkways. An American woman elbowed a group of Chinese tourists who sought to cut the line.

On Thursday, high tides brought the water back all across the city, flooding the narrow streets up to people’s ankles and shins. The thumping sound of rolling luggage was replaced by the sandpaper scratching of the yellow, orange and blue plastic bags that tourists bought to cover their shoes and ankles.

> Read entire article As tourists frolic in Venice’s rising waters, locals fear for the city’s treasures | Jason Horowitz | New York Times

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