In many privately owned houses, the occupants have given up on the ground floor and only live on the upper floors.
This is raising fears among inhabitants that they won't be able to save their city after all.
That's because the ground on which Venice stands is sinking and the water is rising. 'The Purest Expression of Our Capabilities' Does this herald the end of an historically unique experiment by daring settlers?
But it hasn't quite reached acqua alta, the high-water mark, yet. About four times every winter, well before this happens, the sirens wail.
Venetians living in endangered areas then attempt to make their front doors as watertight as possible using sheet metal.
On this, he placed a foundation of stone, reeds and willow rods.
Around the outside of this, he then rammed thick wooden piles made of elm or oak into the ground, laying oak planks on top.
That's perfectly normal, and happens a dozen times a year.
But it's happening increasingly often, and gradually even the stoical Venetians are starting to get concerned.
The town grew, but as an appalled medieval chronicler wrote, the people didn't have a church.
So it was providential, at least according to this chronicler, that fire broke out at Antinopo's house "by God's will," quickly setting 24 other houses alight.
Greek Immigrant Found Way to Build on Boggy Land When the hordes moved on, the Veneti returned to dry land.