Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Venice Kiss-In greats the New Year Let us know if you participate!

VENICE, Italy, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Venice, Italy, is reinforcing its image as a city of romance by holding a mass "kiss-in" Wednesday night to welcome the new year.

City officials are hoping this year's kiss-in will surpass last year's version, in which an estimated 60,000 people locked lips at midnight to earn Venice an international prize for best New Year's event, ANSA, the Italian news agency, reported Monday.

Couples are expected to gather about 10 p.m. under the square's bell tower and practice their kissing before the main event at midnight when fireworks will light up the sky, ANSA reported.

The event in St. Mark's Square will be preceded with detailed lessons about how to perfect a kiss, the news agency said.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Last chance for olio nuovo - "new" olive oil

This is not a Venice post, but a warning that you have a chance to order olio nuovo or "new" olive oil. If you've never tasted just-crushed olive oil, you missed one of the world's best taste treats. Now that my order has been placed, I don't mind telling the rest of you to get your order into Casa de Case. Order your olive oil now! I've been ordering this olive oil for years--and I can't wait to try this year's crush.

Here's the best way to enjoy olio nuovo: bake or buy a good loaf of bread. Toast one or a dozen slices. Sprinkle a great sea salt on each slice. Drizzle olio nuovo on each slice. Enjoy with a strong cafe, blood orange juice, prosecco, or whatever you prefer for a morning beverage!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Acqua Alta Brings Hotel Bargins

High water. Hotel discounts. Free boots. Maybe you should get to Venice before the floods go down. This is from I took the photo during a November 2002 acqua alta.

Venice offers 'high- water package'

Free thigh boots, discounts after flood of cancellations
(ANSA) - Venice, December 2 - Venice hotels responded to a raft of flood-induced cancellations Tuesday by unveiling a 'high-water package' including discounts and a free pair of fishermen-style thigh boots.

''After all, tourists seem to like having their picture taken while wading around,'' said the head of the local hoteliers' association, Franco Maschiello.

Maschiello said his association had had ''1,000 cancellations today alone'' and took issue with the ''alarmist'' coverage of the high tide in the media, ''which appeared to give the impression the city was sinking''.

He pointed out that the acqua alta (high tide) - the fourth-highest in the city's history - had ''only reached its maximum point in certain zones''.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Perspective on Today's Floods

Today's acqua alta is second only to the November 1966 flood. Check out this YouTube video from 1966 to gain some perspective on the amount of destruction the high waters cause.

I have been distressed by some videos of tourists splashing in San Marco like it's a water park amusement. This is not a game. WE NEED TO SAVE VENICE NOW.

Deepest acqua alta in 22 years -- Mayor tells people to stay out

The story is from I took the photos in October 2002. The first is behind the Rialto stalls; the second is shows San Marco under water.
(ANSA) - Venice, December 1 - Venice was swamped Monday by one of the highest tides in its history.

St Mark's square was submerged under almost a metre of water and the rest of the historic centre was swimming too, with many pontoon bridges floating off to leave residents stranded in their homes.

The only Venetians getting about were those equipped with thigh-high boots of the kind fishermen wear.

Many elderly people had to be carried to safety, and the bottom floors of homes and shops started operating their bailout pumps.

City Mayor Massimo Cacciari advised local people to stay at home and anyone thinking of coming to Venice to ''think again''.

To cap things off, the city was hit by a transport strike which prompted Veneto Governor Giancarlo Galan to say sarcastically: ''I'd like to give them (the strikers) a medal for their sense of responsibility''.

Pushed by relentless winds, the sea level rose to 156 centimetres above normal - the highest 'acqua alta' (high water) since 1.58m in 1986 and 1.66m in December 1979.

The record 'acqua alta' was in the great flood of 1966, at 1.94m. Levels of 100-130 cm above sea level are fairly common in the lagoon city and Venice is well-equipped to cope with its rafts of pontoon walkways.

But anything much above 140cm risks swamping the city and washing the walkways away.

The high-water threat has been increasing in recent years as heavier rains have hit northern Italy, weather experts say.

Scientists have conceived various ways of warding off the waters since the catastrophic 1966 flood, and a system of moveable flood barriers called MOSE is being installed after years of polemics.

Experts say there are three main reasons for high water in the city: the rising floor in the lagoon caused by incoming silt; the undermining of the islands by the extraction of methane gas in the sea off Venice; and the overall increase in sea levels caused by global warming.