Long before Canaletto immortalized it, Venice was already sinking. For the last thousand years, the city has been steadily succumbing to the water that fills its canals at a rate of around 7 centimeters every century.
(click picture for a beautiful image of Credit Suisse campaign)
More recently, though, it’s the risk of flooding that poses the biggest danger to Venice future. Two years ago, half of the centro storico (including St. Mark’s Square) swam under 1.3 meters of floodwater. The worst acqua alta on record, in 1966, submerged the city by a full 2 meters.
Until now. Thanks to the family-owned Italian company Maccaferri and their environmental engineering feat MO.S.E. (Modulo Sperimentale Ellectromeccanico), Venice will be no longer at the mercy of the sea. MO.S.E. is a system of gates installed on the seabed that can rise up on their hinges, forming a protective barrier against the sea when high tides are expected.
It’s a complex, customized solution that took two years and large investments to install, but it will ensure Venice beauty priceless survival for the years to come. Credit Suisse provided Maccaferri the "peace of mind" needed to concentrate on their groundbreaking (and flood-stopping) project.