Friday 15 November 2019 by James Backhouse

Venetian gondoliers now offering romantic boat tours of Venice’s historic rooftops


venice flooding

With floodwaters in Venice now at their highest for fifty years, gondoliers are making the best of the situation by taking tourists on roof-level tours among the historic and picturesque spires, chimneys, and TV aerials of the historic city.

Despite ongoing warnings from environmentalists, local entrepreneurs have been quick to adapt to the new market conditions.

“It’s-a not so bad,” explained veteran gondolier Simone Williamo.

“Now we can offer tourists a view of Venice that they’ve never seen before. Normally you would need a helicopter to see the city from above, but now you can just look over the side of the gondola and see the fish playing in St Mark’s square.

“Sure, the basilica has some amazing golden mosaics inside, but now we can take tourists on a magical tour of the basilica’s roof tiles.

“Some days we used to have trouble drumming up business, but now they have a choice between buying a ride from us, or spending all day treading water. And when the tour is over we can drop them off at their hotel. In fact, if they leave their window open we can sail them right into their room.”

Another gondolier agreed that the flooding is good for business.

They told us, “A rising tide lifts all boats, eh? Heh, heh.

“Oh, I hope to God my home and contents insurance is going to cover this.”

Amid speculation that the latest floods are due to climate change, environmental experts say they have detected a correlation between cities built at sea-level in lagoons and cities which get wet from time to time.

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