Venice: bridges, buggies and high tides

Venice. The most romantic of cities … If you’re not trying to get around with two large suitcases and a double buggy during aqua alta – the seasonal high tides that turn St Mark’s square into a swimming pool and flood the streets and allies around the city. The high tides were already present the day we arrived on January 31 and peaked the day we headed out to Mazzorbo on February 6. During that time we had to move hotel four times and cross countless bridges with our cases and babies. We mainly chose to sit it out and wait for the tide to subside, while others who were travelling more lightly donned waders, wellies or bright plastic makeshift over-shoe-and-calf protection.
The buggy was a problem whether or not there was high water as Venice’s numerous canals means bridges with steps whichever direction you choose to go in. If you have two babies and two able-bodied adults I strongly suggest you leave the buggy at home in favour of two slings or baby carriers. I was able to do short journeys with the baby on my back and my daughter walking, which was much easier. Locals use wheelie shoppers for their kids to ride on, which are much lighter to lift up the steps of bridges.
Otherwise, like us, you just have to rely on the kindness of other tourists or locals to help you over the bridges.
Our journey to Mazzorbo was in the worst weather Venice had seen all year and our most difficult journey to date. We changed vaporetto at Murano Faro and the wind was so strong my husband was unable to walk, let alone pull a case. But the Venetians are kind and the boat waited until I could escort him on to it – good job they weren’t more concerned about their schedules as they would have zoomed off with two unaccompanied minors.
When we arrived at our destination, the tranquil Venissa, the area in front of their entrance was still flooded and we had to wade in with borrowed wellies, while two members of staff lifted our bags above their heads and posted them through a window.
This morning the lagoon was calm, the skies blue and the sun shining, so hopefully we’ll remain dry for the remainder of our stay.

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