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Venice has kicked off Carnival season with more flooding than usual.

High tides have flooded Venice, leading Venetians and tourists to don waterproofs and wellies and use wooden walkways to cross St Mark’s Square and other areas under water.

In other parts of the city, knee-high water forced visitors to wade carefully through the streets.

Despite the high water, thousands of tourists are expected to visit the city during this festive season. This year, there will reportedly be more security throughout the city.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

The Italian city, which sits on a cluster of small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges, is experiencing higher than average water levels.

Flooding is common at this time of year and today’s peak of 55 inches (140 cm) is below the record of 63 inches.

Venice suffered its worst “acqua alta” on November 4, 1966, when it was submerged by 160 cm (63 in) of water amid catastrophic flooding throughout Italy.

Carnival of Venice ends with the beginning of Lent on Shrove Tuesday, February 17. The pre-Lent party that traces its roots back to 1162 and attracts tourists from around the world.

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