Tourists Swim in Flooded Venice Square

Others wear bathing suits to underwater cafes

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 12, 2012 6:10 AM CST

(Newser) – Heavy rains yesterday raised the water level in Venice to its sixth-highest since record-keeping began in 1872: a high-tide mark of 59.06 inches, the AP reports. But as almost three-quarters of the city flooded and stores, houses, and historic buildings filled with water, tourists didn't let any of that get them down. Instead, some went swimming in iconic St. Mark's Square, Reuters reports. Others wore swimsuits and sat at underwater cafe tables. Heavy rains have also caused flooding in Tuscany, where 200 people were forced to evacuate. The mayor of one hard-hit area calls the damage "devastating."

A young man and a woman enjoy swimming in flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
A tourist crosses flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
A man enjoys swimming in flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
People sit at the table of a bar in a flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
A woman walks in high water ner the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
A woman and child play in a flooded St. Mark's Square, in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
A tourist sits outside a cafe in flooded St. Mark square as high tides reached 1.05 meters above sea level, partly flooding the city of Venice, Italy, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
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