Puddles in the Piazza San Marco

In terms of elevation, the Piazza San Marco is one of Venice's lowest points: The Piazza is almost at the same level as the Venetian Lagoon.

Storm sewers in the Piazza empty into St. Mark's Basin (near the entrance to the Grand Canal), and during high tides, it isn't unusual for water to back up through the drains and into the square.

Such flooding is most dramatic during acqua alta (flood tides that occur mostly from October through April), but it can happen at any time of year--even on warm spring and summer days, when children and tourists are fascinated by puddles on the Piazza:

Wading in the Piazza San Marco

Wading in St. Mark's Square, Venice

Flooding in the Piazza San Marco

What, no straw hat?

Gondolier with backwards baseball cap

ABOVE: A Venice gondolier sports the "rap and row" look.

by Durant Imboden

We don't claim to be experts on gondola fashion, and maybe it's none of our business, but we can't help wondering if the gondolier in this photo realizes that baseball caps worn backwards are known as "IQ reducers" in some circles.

(Then again, maybe the gondolier is catching for the Venice Lagooners softball team after his rowing shift.)