Hidden treasures

The first defence system against high water in Venice: the Murazzi

Historical Curiosities

The first defence system against high water in Venice: the Murazzi

These days we hear a lot about Venice's MOSE (Experimental Electromechanical Module), an impressive feat of engineering that is designed to protect Venice from the problem of flooding.

In reality this is not the first attempt to protect the lagoon city from the water, because in 1716 the island of Lido also created Murazzi, massive dams built with Istrian stone, designed by father Vincenzo Coronelli to defend the banks of the lagoon from sea erosion. They were built to replace the previous palade, which was built on stilts and filled with stones, but it did  not last very long.

The defence system is divided into three parts: one on the island of Lido, the second on the island of Pellestrina and a third in Sottomarina. In the area between Pellestrina and Ca' Roman, the Adriatic Sea and the Venice lagoon are practically only separated by this dam.

In 1825 the Murazzi were damaged by storms and on the 4th of November 1966 their failure was one of the causes of the exceptional high water that flooded the city of Venice. Recently a series of breakwaters were built perpendicular to the main dams for the purpose of creating low depth shores and beach stretches.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Treviso: The curious legends about the origin of Treviso Red Chicory

radicchio_CC.Mon CEil
Did you know that...

Did you know that, according to an ancient popular saying, red chicory (radicchio as it is known in Italy) seems to have been born as a...


Venice: Acqua Alta: when a normal phenomenon becomes tragic

Did you know that...

Did you know that ‘Acqua Alta’ is an expression of Venetian dialect used by its inhabitants to describe the high tides that occur p...


Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...


Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?

Figures of speech

It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...


Top posts

Venice: The red lights of St Mark’s Basilica in memory of the poor ‘fornareto’

Mysteries & Legends

If you find yourself wandering around St Mark’s Basilica in the evening, take a look at its southern façade ... you will notice two ...


Treviso: Why is Prosecco wine called precisely Prosecco?

Did you know that...

On 7 July 2019, Veneto and the whole of Italy toasted to the Prosecco Hills, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The World Heritage Commi...


Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....


Belluno: The mystery of the Pietrificatore from Sospirolo

Mysteries & Legends

Nestled inside the Dolomiti National Park, in the province of Belluno lies the small village of Sospirolo. A peculiar man was born here...