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You can't claim to have lived Venice to the full until you have been a "victim" of high water at least once. Over and above the difficulties that high tides pose for residents and tourists, it is quite an experience to see how the city is so accustomed to this phenomenon and how quickly rubber wellingtons and raised gangways appear along the main streets to keep daily routine in full swing.
High water generally occurs in winter and essentially reaches its peak in St. Mark's Square and the Rialto area – the lowest lying parts of the city.
As soon as the sirens are heard before the water begins to rise, people pull on rubber wellingtons and gondolas likely to pass beneath the lowest bridges change their course; some people take advantage of the chance to let their children play in the water flooding St. Mark's Square, where even the small coffee bar orchestras keep playing because, just like the rest of the city, it takes more than a little water to bring things to a halt!