Aqua Alta is the name of the phenomenon known all-too-well to Venetians: severe flooding. Everyone knows the drill: wellingtons, metal blocks over doors, bin liners strapped to legs and collapsible walkways installed in the main streets.
It is also the name of a bookshop, hidden away in the district of Castello. Its prices and atmosphere rival the great but big-headed Shakespeare & Company in Paris. A tricorne-wearing employee (or owner - my shameful Italian has left me sounding underresearched) will introduce you to his cats and say that you and your companions (if they are female - untested on men) are like flowers in a bouquet. When pressed as to which kind of flower, he replies, putting on a lackadaiscal front: "all of them, all kinds", and suddenly you're compelled to buy something - anything - even if it's the out-of-date novelty Casanova condoms. Yeah, get rifling - the books are only a fraction of the deal; plates ripped out of art books, actual old-fashioned posters, drawings made by anonymous art students, postcards, vintage photographs and leather-bound stationery are all filed splattersuckle amidst the bookshelves which brim with volumes in most European languages. If you go to Venice and miss Acqua Alta, you'll miss bundles of amusement, so take it on my recommendation or leave it at your loss as you retreat into another uneventful night at a delicious pizzeria.
Shift dress, c/o Warehouse
Platforms, Dune at Debenhams