Italy’s floating city of Venice is looking like a shadow if its former self after being left with very little water.
Cold winter weather, low tides, and little rain has caused the city’s vital waterways to dry up.
The low tides were caused by the ‘super blue blood moon’ and has resulted in some of the water levels dropping by up to 23 inches in some cases.
Photographs taken this week show the Queen of the Adriatic as almost unrecognisable as the gondolas lay rest on the sediment.
This is the third year in a row that this strange phenomenon has struck Venice, MailOnline reports.
Two years ago water levels fell 28 inches below normal levels putting a stop to transport by gondola or water taxi for much of the day.
On the other hand, the city faces flooding several times a year when the ‘acqua alta’ phenomenon occurs, forcing residents and visitors to don high rubber boots and use raised walkways.
As expected for a city that’s slowly sinking, residents are finding living there increasingly difficult, and the population has shrunk a lot.
Tourism continues to grow, but the population is ever-shrinking, going from 175,000 to 55,000 since 1951.
Recently, Venice banned big cruise ships from its grand canal as they posed a conservation risk.
Under the new rule, large vessels will be diverted to a neighbouring industrial town, Marghera, The Guardian reports.
Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro said:
We want it to be clear to Unesco [the United Nations cultural agency] and the whole world that we have a solution.
This takes into account all the jobs created by the cruise industry, which we absolutely couldn’t afford to lose, and we can start to work seriously on planning cruises.
Last month, a group of outraged tourists called the police after claiming they were charged £1,000 for a meal in Venice.
The four Japanese students from the University of Bologna claim they only ordered three steaks and fried fish at a basic local restaurant, the Osteria da Luca near St Mark’s Square.
You would have through the group must have splashed the cash on alcohol, but they only had glasses of water to accompany their modest meal.
Many past visitors have previously complained about the restaurant stating that they were charged for the seafood by weight – 8 euros per 100 grams.
Nei prossimi giorni verificheremo bene questo episodio, ci faremo inviare la copia della denuncia se è stata effettivamente presentata. Se sarà confermato questo episodio vergognoso, faremo tutto il possibile per punire i responsabili. Noi siamo per la giustizia, sempre! https://t.co/SgDDJWB3VP
— Luigi Brugnaro (@LuigiBrugnaro) January 21, 2018
Gasparinetti has said that the case of this group is yet another in a series of restaurants ripping tourists off.
The situation is so bad that local mayor Luigi Brugnaro took to Twitter to respond writing:
If this shameful episode is confirmed, we will do all we can to punish those responsible. We are for justice, always!
Three members of the group claim that they had a meal at the Trattoria Casanova, a nearby restaurant, which saw them being charged £308 for three pasta dishes.
So if you’re going to Venice anytime soon, as I am in a week, there won’t be any canals and it’s probably best not to eat out anywhere. Great.
If there aren’t any canals, are you even in Venice?