Acqua Alta 2019 Appeal

Basilica di San Marco November 2019 © Jennifer Dinsmore
Church of San Donato, Murano © Jennifer Dinsmore
Giudecca canal on the evening of 12 November 2019 © Jennifer Dinsmore

Acqua Alta 2019 Appeal

The worst recorded flood since 1966 occurred late on the night of 12 November 2019. 80% of the city was flooded, with St Mark’s Basilica inundated to a height of 1.10cm. Very strong winds in the lagoon worsened the damage and caused devastation in Pellestrina and along the coast. Further high tides and flooding followed over the next weeks. The safety of everyone affected was the first priority.

On 15 November Venice in Peril launched the Acqua Alta 2019 Appeal.  Everyone dedicated to the city’s survival stated their determination to continue the conservation work started nearly 50 years ago, recognising the debt the world owes Venice. Contributions of all sizes came in from Friends of Venice in Peril Fund and other donors and supporters. The Italian Embassy in London hosted a Venetian gala evening and the Gladwell & Patterson Gallery raised funds through its ‘Secrets of Venice’ exhibition. Proceeds from a Friends’ viewing of the unparalleled Palladio drawings at RIBA Drawings Collection at the V & A also went to the Appeal.

Over £150,000 was raised and has since been allocated to three projects.

Read about them by clicking on these links:

San Nicolò dei Mendicoli

Palladio’s Tablino and spiral staircase

St George’s Anglican Church windows

Project location

How the money will be spent

  • Funds raised after the floods of late 2019 had topped £150,000 by March 2020.
  • Three projects were swiftly identified, although the CoVid-pandemic caused delays. 
  • 1. San Nicolò dei Mendicoli, a parish church with which Venice in Peril has been associated since the 1970s. Funds to be spent on a new set of channels and pumps to protect the sanctuary which, with progressively worse flooding has become badly affected since the last intervention.  New light door barriers are also being installed.  The project will complete ahead of the 2021 Acqua Alta season.
  • 2. The floors and walls of Palladio’s Tablino and spiral staircase hall at the Accademia Galleries. This project will bring the added advantage of opening up a new view of Palladio’s spectacular oval staircase.
  • 3. St George’s Anglican church. The storms caused damage to the handsome windows in the organ gallery and these are being repaired in Spring 2021 along with the Horatio Brown stained glass window which had also suffered.

Project Sites