In the past century, the waters surrounding Venice went from being the city's unique 'sacred wall' to a menace threatening its very existence. In her short story Don't Look Now, Daphne du Maurier evoked a possible future:
The experts are right, he thought. Venice is sinking. The whole city is slowly dying. One day the tourists will travel here by boat to peer down into the waters, and they will see pillars and columns and marble far, far beneath them, slime and mud uncovering for brief moments a lost underworld of stone.
After the disastrous flood of 1966 that gave those words an aura of prophecy, the powers that be in Venice decided it was high time to see if there was a way to keep the high water out.
Images by Dimitry B., Magistrato alle Acque/Consorzio Venezia Nuova