A man and woman swim in flooded Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square) in Venice, Italy
photo: AP/luigi costantini

Just about the time Hurricane Sandy was wreaking havoc on the United States’ east coast, heavy rains and high tides brought some of the worst flooding to Venice, Italy in years — almost 5 feet of water. Because the “acqua alta”, or high water, is a common yearly occurrance in Venice — and because Venice is essentially a rather temperate floating city as it is — sensualist Venetians have improvised numerous many pleasurable strategies for dealing with it. Imagine being able to swim in the Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square)…or just hang out, “taking the waters”…

People sit at a table in a flooded Piazza San Marco in Venice

…A stop at a cafe is essential, no matter what…

A waiter serves coffee to tourists in his flooded bar in Venice
photo: andrea pattaro/AFP/getty images

People have coffee in a flooded shop in Venice
photo: marco sabadin/AFP/getty images

…We admire their makeshift solutions like these raised pathways…

 People walk on raised pathways set up near the flooded Piazza San Marco in Venice
photo: olivier morin/AFP/getty images

…and these curiously-stylish improvised purple garbage bag “boots”…

Tourists walk on raised platforms near Piazza San Marco in Venice
photo: reuters/manuel silvestri

If only Sandy could have been that much fun.

Check out more pictures at The Atlantic.

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