Venice canals almost run dry just two months after flooding

Just weeks after serious flooding caused widespread damage, the famous canals of Venice have been left almost completely dry due to exceptionally low tides.

Two months ago the high tide in Venice peaked at 187cm (6.14ft), leaving around 70% of the lagoon city centre under salt water.

The flooding left the water level at its highest in more than 50 years and there was a race against time to prevent precious artworks being lost.

But at high tide on Saturday the city was a very different sight, with its famous gondolas and boats almost beached at the bottom of canals.

Hotel bookings in the city reportedly dropped by 40% following November's flooding, the worst since 1966, which left visitors wading through water.

The city, which is built on a collection of 118 small islands, is navigated by canals and more than 400 bridges.

It has a population of just over 260,000 people but millions of tourists visit every year.

The survival of Venice is a challenge which has provoked debate among the city's residents for many years.

Lsat summer, Sky's then-Europe correspondent Mark Stone said: "This is a story of chronic mismanagement and a crumbling city of failed engineering projects and huge environmental challenges.

"It's more than that, though. Encapsulated on one lagoon city are so many of the challenges we are all facing."

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