Work continued this week on demolishing the ground floor public areas of The Gritti Palace, in particular the Grand Canal side section that incorporated Restaurant Club del Doge, and the area immediately behind which comprised the Sala Specchi and Salone Gritti meeting and event venues, to allow for the realisation of the protective concrete basin.
Based on the study coordinated and developed by the Venice Plan Ingegneria Company, the walls of the concrete protective basin will have a thickness of 10 to 15 centimetres, and a height of between 150 and 190 cm to allow for the “floating” phenomenon of the basin due to waterpressure from the sea.
The project proposal foresees a waterproofing FPO system in sectors to permit repair by injections in the basin structure per sector. The doors and windows will be the weakest point in the protection system.
In order to allow the city’s population to better prepare for “acqua alta”, 48 hour tidal forecasts are made available on a daily basis by the city authorities and may be checked online at the Venice Municipality Official Website. The population is also alerted by acoustic signals and with text messages if there is a sea level forecast of +110 cm on the mareographic zero.
The phenonomen of “acqua alta” is more likely to occur during the Autumn and Winter months. Despite the damage it may cause and obvious inconvenience to all, taken in stride it is also a charming time to visit Venice – the beauty of the city’s monuments are reflected in the flood waters, locals don their rubber boots and go about their day to day activities, and children love playing in the water. The city is well prepared for the flooding with elevated platforms set up along the main pedestrian routes to allow passage to most parts of Venice.
May I take the occasion to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.