It is November 4th, 1966. The tide of the night before does not fall, or falls very little. A storm arrives pushed by the very strong sirocco winds and keeps on the water. The tide starts to rise again and eventually reaches a record height of 194 cm above sea level. Venice is on its knees. Power lines fall through, phones don’t work and most of the city is flooded. The Venetians who have activities are in water up to their waist, trying to save something, but most of them have lost everything on a night when nature has decided to show its worst side.
Venice does not know how to react, does not have the knowledge, does not have the technique to set against this event and suffers. But he gets up, suffers, works, suffers and is reborn, stronger than before.
Little more than 53 years have passed since that day, since that night and history repeats.
It is the evening of November 13th, 2019. The sirens ring to warn the Venetians that the expected tide will be 140 cm above sea level. The maximum peak should be around 11 pm. Unexpectedly at 10 pm they still ring and for safety we access the site of the tides. The very strong wind, this time of bora and the consequent sea storm pushes the water with violence towards Venice and the islands. They ring again at 10.30 pm and then at 11.00 pm to warn of a worsening of the tide level and dramatically the forecast rises 10 cm at a time until a tidal peak of 190 cm is foreseen.
Many of the Venetians alerted waiting for a maximum peak of 150 cm and with the bulkheads raised to protect activities have gone home. The water arrives, crosses the watertight bulkheads of the shops and laboratories and reaches 187 cm at 23.45. Those who are not present or have no space to further raise the equipment or goods have extremely heavy damages. Venice is on its knees again, like 53 years ago.
The next morning is a sad morning. People who count the damages, who see what has been saved, who cry and are desperate because nothing can be saved. There are also those who joke, because the Venetian is also like that, he tries to take it this way, even if he has lost everything. It is a bitter joke, because this time something could really had been done to keep this city battered by water and tourists, both wild at times, sheltered.
But again Venice will get up, suffer, work, suffer and eventually be reborn, perhaps with the hope that, after the umpteenth high water, after promises and false good intentions, finally something will finally be done for this wounded lion who still roars like no others.
This window display is dedicated to remembering that day of 53 years ago and not forgetting November 13, 2019.