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The Venice Lagoon is an enclosed bay of Adriatic Sea, located in northern Italy, in which Venice city is situated. Its name in the Venetian and Italian languages, Laguna Veneta (which is cognate of Latin lacus, "lake") provided the international name for a shallow, enclosed embayment of salt water, a lagoon.
Venetian Lagoon stretches from River Sile in the north to Brenta in the south, and has a surface area of 550 km2 (212 ml2). It is about 8% land, including Venice and plenty of smaller islands. Around 11% is covered by open water, canal, as the dredged channels' network are called, while about 80% consists of tidal shallows, salt marshes and mud flats. The lagoon is the biggest wetland in Mediterranean Basin.
MOSE - Venice flood barrier project
MOSE project is designed to protect Venice and Venetian Lagoon from flooding caused by high tides (up to 3 m / 10 ft). The integrated system consists of rows of large mobile gates at 3 inlets (Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia) through which Adriatic Sea water enters and leaves the Venetian Lagoon.
These gates are able to temporarily isolate the lagoon from the sea during high tides as they open and close separately thus controlling the water flow.
In the Mose system's control centre is in Venice’s Arsenal, where 9 people constantly monitor the lagoon's conditions. The monitoring staff's training started in 2011 by simulating real-time flood defence operations. During that period was also collected data about water levels, waves, water pressure, fresh river flood.
- Flooding due high tides mires Venice during winter months. During high tide forecasts, sirens all over the city sound a warning, and real-time information is provided (online and via mobile phones). Other measures are setting up temporary elevated platforms in city parts with heavy pedestrian traffic.
- High tides usually last 2 1/2 hours.
- Venice's flood of November 4 1966, saw water leavels reaching up to 194 cm (6 ft). This was the end of the agriculture in the lagoon and also resulted in the death of the majority of its plants. Previously, the lagoon was a winemaking region.
- The Mose barrier concept was first proposed in 1988.
- The consortium Venezia Nuova was contracted by Italy's Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.
- Construction works (simultaneously at all 3 lagoon inlets) started in 2003.
- The project also included other anti-flood measures - coastal reinforcement, raising quaysides, lagoon's improvement.
- The project was 85% completed in 2014. In 2016, the gates arrived and were inserted into their concrete foundations.
- The project's total cost is EUR 5,4 billion (GBP 3,9 billion). Completion is scheduled sometime between 2018-2020.
- Construction works on the MOSE system were slowed due to investigations into corruption, with allegations of bribery and illegal political parties financing. The investigation resulted in 35 arrests (in June 2014). Among the arrested was the Consorzio Venezia Nuova's former president, who was accused of diverting funds to Venice's mayor for financing his campaign for office in 2010.
- Construction works included pre-building concrete foundations (23,000 tons each), then lowering them into the lagoon. Gates have spares (for each inlet), which allows to be removed every 5 years (for maintenance) without interrupting the barrier's service. All hinges on the gates are equipped with a waterproof camera that permits removal operations to be accurately monitored and controlled.
- The commercial harbor is impacted each time the gates are lifted. The amount of electricity used for the operations is also considerable.
- Venice City was established in the 7th century as a cluster of all 124 island settlements.
Venice Islands cruise terminal
The largest Venetian Lagoon Islands or archipelagos by area (excluding the coastal barrier beaches and coastal reclaimed land) include Venice Island (5.17 km2), Sant Erasmo Island (3.26 km2) and Murano Island (1.17 km2).
Originally many of the Venice Lagoon Islands were marshy, but a programme of drainage made them inhabitable. Many of the smaller isles are entirely artificial. Some areas around the seaport of Mestre are reclaimed islands. The remaining are essentially dunes, including the ones of the coastal strip (Treporti, Pellestrina and Lido).
Venice Islands tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Burano Island - brightly painted houses, San Martino church, Lacemaking Museum
- Murano islands (glassmaking)
- Torcello Island - Santa Maria Assunta cathedral (founded 639 AD), Santa Fosca church, Museum (housed in two 14th century palaces (Archivio and Consiglio), Attila’s Throne (ancient stone chair), Ponte del Diavolo (Devil's Bridge)
Port Venice Islands cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Venice Islands, Italy. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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