Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stivali da pioggia a Venezia*

*Rain boots in Venice. I've never seen so many people wearing rain boots and hip boots 
with as much elegance and style as the Venetians. 

We were just in Venice to catch the last week of the Biennale 2013. It was a huge, rich sensory experience of art, beauty, delicious food, warm people and truly fabulous shopping. We did our best to soak it up. We also soaked up some of the Adriatic Sea. On the first morning, as we were leaving our hotel, the desk clerk informed us that high tide would be at 11 am that day and that we would need rain boots. He asked what our shoe sizes were and handed us our boots, each pair folded into a flat plastic pouch. We took the boots with us but we were a little skeptical that we would really need them.

Our first stop was Pasticceria E. Rosa Salva for cappucino and morning treats. We were there for about an hour and as we tried to leave, we stepped out onto what just a little earlier a dry walkway. Now the cobblestone were under several inches of water and rising. Back we went into the pasticceria for another espresso and to put on the boots from our hotel.

As we sat there, struggling to lace, tie and strap our "boots" on, the locals came in and were all wearing hip boots. They looked so dashing, I had to take photos.

My friends Christof and Judith are modeling the two types of boots worn by tourists. The blue ones are sold by street vendors. The clear plastic version is what the hotel gave us. They both did the job, but certainly not as stylishly as what the Venetians wore.

Judith and I noticed a shoe store just a few doors down from the pasticerria. The charming owner, Dittura Gianni, fitted us for real rain boots. Judith opted for the classic dark green waders.

And I traded my clear plastic freebie boots for these actually-made-in-Italy shiny black rubber ones. Only 45 euros and I felt much more stylish and that I could splash through the Venetian streets with confidence.

And just so you can see just why boots are needed, 
here's Christof and hubby Matt at high noon at high tide. 

Even newlyweds wear them.

High tide bride and groom. 

And I learned that a small glass or two of Vecchia Romagna also helps at high tide. 


  1. Oh, I now want to visit Venice. Thank you for this fun post!

  2. I had no idea about their periodic water influxes at high tide, and a need for such boots. Yes, you're very fashionable there, like those Italianos! I only visited Venice once as a kid, and it was too much water for me just like Amsterdam was. But your scenes and viewpoint make it look better...thanks!

  3. I'd heard stories about the high water in Venice, but I didn't fully comprehend it until I saw it myself. At 7:30 our first morning, we woke to a siren blast and then several ghostly tones that could be heard throughout the city. At first we thought it was a sound art piece as part of the Biennale, but later learned it was a signal to alert everyone to the coming flood. The Venetians seem to handle it with great aplomb. Thanks for commenting!