Another exceptional high tide swamped flood-hit Venice on Friday, prompting the mayor to order St Mark’s square closed after Italy declared a state of emergency for the UNESCO city.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro moved to shut the iconic square as the latest sea surge struck with strong storms and winds battering the region.
It reached a high of 1.54 meters (five feet) just before midday — lower than Tuesday’s peak but still dangerous.
“I’m forced to close the square to avoid health risks for citizens… a disaster,” Brugnaro said.
In the afternoon the square reopened as water levels receded and forecasts anticipated lower levels in coming days.
Churches, shops and homes in the city of canals have been inundated by unusually intense “acqua alta,” or high water, which on Tuesday hit their highest level in half a century.