Venice On 'Code Red' As The City Floods

Three quarters of Venice has been inundated with water as the city experiences its worst flooding since 2012.

Tourists and residents were barred from the lagoon city's famous St Mark's Square on Monday, after visitors were seen wading through nearly waist deep water.

Venice frequently experiences flooding when high winds push in water from the lagoon but this week's event was exceptional, with water levels rising to 160cm --exceeding the raised walkways typically erected during floods.

Town hall workers remove wooden boards. Image: Getty
Many tourists were still determined to see the sights. Image: Getty

The portable pedestrian bridges, known as "acqua alta", have been used in the past as a way of dealing with annual flooding but were this week removed due to the emergency.

Transport officials also closed the water-bus system except to the outer island.

But come hell or high water, the flood was not going to stand in the way of the city's 33rd marathon, which was run even in the aquatic conditions.

The Venice Marathon was held over the weekend despite parts of the route being flooded. Image: Getty

Veneto reginal governor Luca Zaia said flooding this week could potentially reach levels of the 1966 event which saw levels as high as six feet (182 centimetres).

Shop keepers had to act fast to save their goods from the rising waters. Image: Getty
Restaurant owners were impacted by the flood waters as it filled the city's laneways. Image: Getty

Nearly all of Italy has been hammered by bad weather over the past week, with high winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour toppling trees and closing schools. Falling trees killed passers-by in four incidents in Naples, Liguria and Lazio.