Venice's need to rescue its future | DW Documentary

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  • Published on:  Monday, November 18, 2019
  • Built on small islands and mud banks, Venice is slowly sinking. More than ever before, the pearl of the Adriatic is under threat. Having recently been hit by its most severe floods and with a state of emergency declared, what is being done to combat this?

    Well over a thousand years ago the first wooden huts were built out on the middle of a lagoon off the coast of northern Italy. The archives tell us these were the homes of people fleeing barbarian invasions in the aftermath of the collapse of the Roman Empire. Later, with land in short supply, man-made areas were developed. But construction was far from easy; the bed of the lagoon consisted of sediment and mud, forming a foundation that was constantly moving. Yet Venetian architects managed to build the city’s palaces, towers, and cathedrals. Venice stands on a forest of wooden piles which anchor the buildings to the lagoon’s muddy bed. The buildings themselves are constructed in such a way that they can compensate for movement, even earth tremors, without suffering noticeable damage.
    But the water the Venetians built their city on is becoming more and more of a threat. Industrialization has played its part in disturbing the natural balance of the lagoon: The sea bed has subsided and the effect of the tides has changed, resulting in a water level in the city’s canals that is 24 centimeters higher than when they were first built.
    Added to that is the controversial presence in the lagoon of giant cruise ships: A source of income for the city, but also one that contributes to atmospheric pollution, as well as causing wake damage.


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  • Source:




     2 days ago

    Why cruise ships not being controlled ? Do not let them in.,, visiting City by small boats and small #of people. And control speed limits ,and big fines to violeters,why not?????

  • Darrell Lingman

    Darrell Lingman

     2 days ago

    Get the dutch in to helpsave Venice?

  • DomEvah


     3 days ago +1

    Amazing documentary, seems stupid to have motor boats and cruises. Takes away from the citys elegance and damages it too.

    It seems the council have approved a city tax for tourists last May, this seems like common sense and will see how that works out. I would be happy to pay a little extra.

    I went there in April only for the day myself, one of the most memorable moments of my life.

    Such a beautiful, enlightening city. We must defend it.

  • puciak89


     3 days ago

    this music is terrible

  • Kat Natural

    Kat Natural

     4 days ago

    I want those glasses frames at 5:07

  • Ron Holt

    Ron Holt

     4 days ago

    As it was with Atlantis, so it will be with Venice. All the King's horses and all the King's men won't be able to put Venice above water again.

  • Sang Kang

    Sang Kang

     4 days ago +1

    No trees were cut down in making this film only the city.

  • Triscia Francescka Jardine

    Triscia Francescka Jardine

     5 days ago

    Venice is stuffed. Face it. So is the arctic ice sheet, animal agriculture, Australia, and the human species..

  • Nurul Ansari

    Nurul Ansari

     5 days ago

    Well done DW,love to watch your documentary.

  • Zegik Niet

    Zegik Niet

     5 days ago +1

    interesting docu if you work in construction to

  • jim stark

    jim stark

     5 days ago

    1 Billion dollars generated for the Notre Dame in Paris, 5 Billion dollars also for Venice.

  • Iureca Alexandru

    Iureca Alexandru

     6 days ago

    If you look on google maps you’ll see lots of chunks of land or islands next to the historical city , that’s where they build the city that big island not on mud like they make it unterstand in this documentary , I think it’s just to make it look cool , heavy building Build on wood in a swamp ...

  • Bobon Meiknob

    Bobon Meiknob

     6 days ago

    Venice is a toilet

  • Bmw EM

    Bmw EM

     6 days ago

    do it the Italian way, if it's broken why fix it, LOL they have done this for 100s of years, the collosseum fell apart they left it,, the tower of Pisa got tilted they left it,etc etc. so what Venice sinks, just leave it, 100 years from now , stupid tourists will pay to dive under water and see the sunken city of Venice.

  • TheModer8ter


     6 days ago

    John 6:47 "verily, verily I say unto you, he that believes in me has everlasting life."-Jesus. Jesus the Messiah died for the remission of sin, including yours, was buried, and rose form the dead 3 days later. If you simply believe in this to save you, then you have everlasting life.

  • The Skelty

    The Skelty

     6 days ago

    what a pitty the past builders didn't predics 1 m of that Istrian stone wall for the stupid modern man. By the way Istra is today Croatia and Slovenia.

  • konasake Trinh

    konasake Trinh

     6 days ago

    Pretty soon the water will take over this city =))

  • The Skelty

    The Skelty

     6 days ago

    8.29. My ass northern Italian forest. Italia was non existent at that time! It was in large extent the wood from the Karst area (today Slovenia).

  • Katelyn Wokojance

    Katelyn Wokojance

     6 days ago

    Seems as though Venice is pretty dumb.

  • dario D

    dario D

     6 days ago

    their greatest asset turned against them