Why do people in Venice row boats standing up?
The history of Veneto-style rowing is associated with the specific characteristics of the lagoon and the "use of flat bottomed boats without keel, which are light weight and can be steered by a single oarsman ... Rowing a boat with two crossed oars - called "alla Valesana" - was and still is practiced in the shoals and in the fishing valleys, however, this style of rowing is not possible in the narrow waterways in Venice with the heavy boat traffic. The oarsmen developed a special one-oared rowing technique in order to do away with the rudder, which was aided by their development of asymmetrical boats.A bit of exotica: even abroad many folks have fallen in love with this type of boating and gondolas are used in Holland, Germany, the United States and even China
Does it flood every time it rains in Venice?
Rain and flooding are not strictly related to each other. Acqua alta is nothing but a rather hefty high tide, such as often to flood, in some periods of the year, especially in October, November and December, the lower points of many fondamente (streets bordering canals), calli (streets), and campi (squares). Only very seldom are wide parts of the city flooded. This contrasts with a misunderstanding common among those who do not personally know the matter and are lead to think that acqua alta means water reaching to one's navel. It isn't obviously so: for instance, when "+100 cm acqua alta is mentioned, that meter only represents the increase in comparison with the average sea level (the average sea level conventionally accepted is the 1897 one measured at the Punta della Salute). At this level, only a very small number of city points get flooded.
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