Cell phones will now tell Italians when the tide is high in Venice. The city government just launched a free text message alert system for the floods which frequently put La Serenissima under several feet of water.
Intended to assist waterlogged locals, the only real requirement for signing up is an Italian cell phone. These timely texts could save a lot of headaches for anyone traveling to the city, especially in the fall flood season, normally a great time to visit Venice since it’s less plagued by tourists.
These acqua alta alerts let users know up to 36 hours before floods hit, keeps them posted from three to six hours before storms and lets them know when things are clearing up and water is ebbing back into canals.
Given that there are far more cell phone subscriptions than Italians, it is one of those services whose time has long come.