Italy

Venice floods threaten the city's historical sites

Tourists walking around a flooded Venice
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty Images

Historical sites, valuable art and architectural treasures found in Venice are at risk of structural damage from the sea salt in the waters that submerged the city, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The flooding will leave behind salt crystals that corrode the brickwork of centuries-old churches and palaces, per Reuters. City leaders told Reuters, global warming has directly contributed to increasing sea levels that pushed massive amounts of water toward and into the city.

Highest tide in 50 years floods Venice

People walk on a footbridge across a flooded street in Venice.
People walk on a footbridge across a flooded street in Venice. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images

Venice's mayor declared a state of emergency and closed all schools after the highest high tide in more than 50 years hit the city on Tuesday night, according to the New York Times.

What's happening: Sea water rose to around six feet before 11 p.m. on Tuesday, and at least one person has died as a result. Famous tourist locations, like St. Mark’s Square and the crypt of St. Mark’s Basilica, were flooded by more than three feet on Wednesday.