Monday, March 26, 2012
Image: Gondolas line the bank near Venice's grand canal
Venice appears to have more nicknames than street names. It’s known as the "Queen of the Adriatic," the "City of Water," "City of Masks," "City of Bridges," "The Floating City," and "City of Canals.
But is Venice destined to become "The Divers' Paradise" much faster than we thought? New research by U.S. scientists suggests it is sinking more than five times faster than experts in Venice believe.
Saying that the city is sinking is just about as obvious as saying that the wind will always blow in Chicago. It’s just a thing of nature. And there’s nothing anybody can do to stop it.
Advertise | AdChoices
While Venetians and tourists know that Venice's appeal is due to its undeniable beauty, with its Gothic and Byzantine palazzos appearing to float on the canals and lagoon, much of the city's allure comes from the fact that it appears to be disappearing.
So you don’t need a scientist to tell you that Venice is sinking. In fact, sometimes they tell you otherwise. Back in the 1980s Venetians rejoiced at the news that the city had finally stabilized. But, to use an Italian sailor’s jargon, that theory “loses water from all sides.”
It’s quite obvious to the naked eye (or rather, to the naked ankle when it floods) that parts of Venice are flooding more and more often. To tourists, walking in a flooded St. Mark’s Square might be a unique photo opportunity, but to Venetians it’s a sign of things to come