Venice Rising: Aqua Granda, Pandemic, Rebirth


Venice Rising: AquaGranda, Pandemic, Rebirth edited by Kathleen Ann González

November 2019: A flood of historic proportions, followed by weeks of acqua alta inundating the city, damaging homes and businesses. 

Spring 2020: The Covid-19 virus, a pandemic not known in generations. Now it's time to dream, plan, collaborate, and recreate Venice.

Venice lover Rosemary Wilmot from London shared her idea for this anthology with Kathleen Ann González in California and Venice Rising was born.


Edited by Kathleen Ann González

The story ...

Venice, a city with 1200 years of tenacity and grace under her belt, is not new to struggle. From her earliest beginnings, she has endeavoured to wrestle an existence out of a lagoon that both protects and punishes her. In recent years, the wakes of cruise ships have battered her fragile stones as tourism and economic realities have driven local Venetians out of the city.

Then the aqua granda of 2019 flooded the calli and campi, nearly carrying Venetian fortitude away on its outgoing tides. A soggy, somber winter led way to a hopeful spring, when the pandemic lockdown appeared to strike the final blow.

Or did it? In April, as an elegant double rainbow arched its way over the marbled city, Venetians put on their masks and got to work, dreaming up a new Venice. Read their stories, letters, poems, posters, and conversations that ring in the vision of Venice’s rebirth.

Flood and pandemic

Spring 2020, when Venice was at her most serenely beautiful for a thousand years, there was no one there to see her - except Venetians. This book reveals how her reinvention started months earlier with the great flood of November 2019.

This timely, moving book tells the story of those extraordinary months, image by image, memory by memory, in the voices of the Venetians themselves.

Michelle Lovric, author of The Book of Human Skin, The Remedy, Carnevale. Read the full review.

Photo credits: © Rosemary Wilmot