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Venice was an important destination of the Grand Tour from the 17th century.
In 1797, the city was conquered by Napoleon, a blow from which it never recovered.
There is a tide measuring station at the Rialto vaporetto piers, and a noticeboard at the base of the Campanile in the Piazza San Marco that shows a live tide reading and predictions for the next few days.
Venice has decayed since its heyday and is heavily touristed (there are slightly more tourists than residents), but the romantic charm remains.
It is also known as the birthplace of composers Tomaso Albinoni and Antonio Vivaldi.
Acqua alta usually lasts a few hours and coincides with high tide.
You'll see raised walkways in side alleys ready to be pulled out when acqua alta hits.