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Venice And The Sea

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The Venetians have an old phrase to describe their city’s precarious relationship with the sea: sempre crolla ma non cade” (always collapsing but never falls.)

Many may remember reading or seeing photos of the city during the disastrous flood of 1966.   In 2009, there were 10 serious floods, a record in Venice. By November 2010 there had already been 10.  

In 1987, the Italian government commissioned the Consorzio, composed of some of Italy’s biggest construction and engineering firms to build movable gates attached to caissons, huge concrete structures each about the size of a 20-story building to stop the flooding, on the three inlets leading to the Venetian lagoon.   MOSE, Italian for Moses, is the name given to the project. Now  20 years later, The MOSE project is two-thirds done, but the controversy continues.  Many locals still think that MOSE is a joke.  Signs reading “NO MOSE” are still visible around town.  The city called “aqua alta” (high water) has a problem. 

If you lived in Venice, would you agree or disagree with the Venetian families that the gates are not needed.