Posted in Around the World

20/11/2018 High Water in Venice.

Venice sinks from when it was born because the sandy soils with time are compacted and are settled. The phenomenon is called subsidence. The subsidence became very fast in the twentieth century when the industrial center of Marghera began to extract rivers of productive waters from the underground aquifers. If the old photos dated back a century ago show a proud Venice, high on the water, today it is a city sitting on the water’s surface.
At the phenomenon of subsidence has been combined with excavation in the lagoon and above all will add up the raising of level of the seas, which will be made more dramatic and fast when the warming of the climate will melt the polar ice.
The lagoon of Venice is a shallow sea of ​​brackish water divided by the sea by a two islands long and narrow, Pellestrina and Lido, and joined to the sea by three natural channels, Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia, called in italian “bocche di porto” (literally mouths of the harbour) mainly oriented towards south east.
Every six hours the tide grows and every six hours it goes down. When the sun and moon add up their astronomical effect with the contribution of rains and the scirocco wind (its prevailing directions being south and south-east) that swells the Adriatic against the lagoon, in Venice the water rises up to flood St. Mark’s Square (70 centimeters, the lowest point of the city).
On November 4, 1966, there was the most devastating of the “perfect storms” in which all the disastrous effects were concentrated, and the water level reached 194 centimeters, with incalculable damages.
Precise scientific parameters define the phenomenon of high water, and exceptional tidal events can be categorized as:
– intense when the measured sea level is between 80 cm and 109 cm above the standard sea level (which was defined by averaging the measurements of sea level during the year 1897)
– very intense when the measured sea level is between 110 cm and 139 cm above the standard
– exceptional high waters when the measured sea level reaches or exceeds 140 cm above the standard.


Posted in Abandoned Places

|URBEX|Villa Mocenigo-Mainardi

This is one of the most luxurious and important villas of Abano Terme, which hosted various famous personalities such as the playwright and writer Carlo Goldoni (who wrote “I Bagni d’Abano” here), the poet, philosopher and writer Giacomo Leopardi and the writer, adventurer and poet Giacomo Casanova. The zone was very popular among illustrious personages, and also Ugo Foscolo stayed in these parts, precisely in Villa Renier.
The Moceningo-Mainardi villa is located on the outskirts of Abano, in the “Guazzi” district and dates back to the early 18th century. It was built by the Mocenigo family, Venetian patricians who chose Abano as one of their favorite places. The villa hosted illustrious guests including and the residence gate is in wrought iron and is embellished by two Bonazza’s sculptures. With the collapse of the Serenissima Republic of Venice (treaty of Campoformio-1797), Villa Mocenigo became the property of the Trieste family, of Jewish origin, while the historical owners left Abano definitively. In 1938, the family Sacerdoti (new owners and Jews too) sold all their possessions, including villa, after having created a remarkable collection center for drying tobacco in the years when its cultivation was very popular in the Paduan countryside.
The Villa’s decline started with the Second World War when the Fascists penetrated the villa, destroying, among other things, the library that contained documents, reports, prints, rental contracts and sale, also related to the Mocenigo and, of consequence, to the history of Abano Terme. The coup de grace, then, was given in 1945 by the bombing of a train loaded with ammunition, which stopped nearby and whose explosion caused considerable damage for a radius of several kilometers. A patrimony of such high historical value seemed irreparably lost, and instead in 1968 the commissioner Leonildo Mainardi bought the villa and the attached factories starting a carefully reconstruction and modernization works. Despite this, at present, Villa Mocenigo-Mainardi is reduced to a state of almost ruin.

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