“Venice! Venice! When thy marble walls are level with the waters, there shall be a cry of nations o’er thy sunken halls, a loud lament along the sweeping sea!Lord Byron 
The Foundations of Venice
These foundation blocks were made of a type of stone called Kirmenjak. Its unique properties – extremely low water absorption and high strength to support large buildings without weakening – made it an ideal material for Venetian foundations. This prevented water from creeping up through the stones (called rising damp) and into the vulnerable brickwork . Atop these stable foundations, architects built the magnificent buildings we see today, which are made of brick and often have marble facades. The foundations of Venice provide a great example of the specific planning and careful material choices that made this city-on-the-water a reality (see Fig. 1).
Construction of the City
Venice: A Sinking City
The MOSE Project
The MOSE project consists of a series of 79 mobile floodgates, distributed among the three entrances to the lagoon. Each metal floodgate measures 20 meters wide, 20-30 meters high, and 4-5 meters thick. During normal tides, these floodgates lie flat on the sea floor in concrete beds, out of sight. However, if water levels were to rise above 100 cm, then the gates would fill with compressed air, causing them to pivot upwards to a 60 degree angle and rise out of the water . These gates would effectively block water flow into the lagoon, keeping the water level of the lagoon below that of the Adriatic Sea, thus preventing flooding. They would remain up for about 4.5 hours, until the tides subside.
-  G. Byron. (1848). The Poetical Works of Lord Byron. [On-line]. Available: http://books.google.com/books?id=WvqRVcsfILsC. [Jun. 24, 2008].
-  E. Penning-Rowsell, P. Winchester, and J. Gardiner. “New Approaches to Sustainable Hazard Management for Venice.” The Geographical Journal. [On-line]. 164(1988): 1-18. Available: http://www.jstor.org/stable/306054124. [Jun. 24, 2008].
-  D. Howard and S. Quill. (2004). The Architectural History of Venice. [On-line]. Available: http://books.google.com/books?id=p5wTfyx0Lr0C. pp. 56-58. [Jun. 24, 2008].
-  S. Bursic, D. Aljinovik, and D. Orsulik. “The Stone on Which Venice Was Built.” European Geosciences Union.[On-line]. 2005. Available:http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU05/10520/EGU05-J-10520.pdf. [Jun. 24, 2008].
-  E. Zwingle. “The Venetian Bind: the Tides of Floodwaters and Tourism Both Threaten.” Edutopia. Internet: http://www.edutopia.org/venice-controversial-flood-control-plan. Nov. 2007. [Jun. 24, 2008].
-  Keahey, John. “Sinking City of Venice.” PBS. Internet: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/venice/solutions.html. Oct. 2002. [Jun. 24, 2008].
-  Barker, Don. “Saving Venice.” ArchitectureWeek 2001. Internet: http://www.architectureweek.com/2001/0815/building_1-2.html. Aug. 15, 2001.[Jun. 24, 2008].
-  Suro, Roberto. “Chastened by Floods, Venice Seeks Alliance with Nature.” New York Times/ Available: http://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/03/weekinreview/ideas-and-trends-chastened-by-floods-venice-seeks-alliance-with-nature.html?src=pm. Jul. 3, 1988. [Jun. 24, 2008].
-  G. Umgiesser and B. Matticchio. “Simulating the Mobile Barrier (MOSE) Operation in the Venice Lagoon.” Ocean Dynamics. [On-line]. (2005): 1-13. Available: http://www.springerlink.com/content/kk47482520352446/. [Jun. 24, 2008].
-  M. Moore “Venice Flood Barrier Blossoms Into Coral Reef.” Telegraph. Available: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/04/02/eareef102.xml. Feb. 4, 2008. [Jun. 24, 2008].
-  Cecconi, Giovanni. “MOSE Project and Hydro-Morphological Monitoring in the Venice Lagoon”. School on Wireless Networking for Scientific Application in Developing Countries. Available: wireless.ictp.it/school_2007/lectures/Cecconi/TRIESTE_19_02_2007.pdf. Feb. 24, 2007. [Jun. 24, 2008].