When photographer Natalia Elena Massi found out about the flood in the Italian city of Venice, she quickly packed her bags and chose to explore it firsthand. And it wasn’t her first time around in the city, still, the whole experience still took her by surprise.
“I have met incredible people, proud and courageous men who were not defeated by the flood. Even though most shops were closed, the few that were open were happily letting in people just to protect them from the weather. Some of them were preparing to re-open, others were … pumping out water and keeping the growing tide under control. Many men remained at the entrance to constantly check the tide level. They were expecting 160 centimeters (5 feet 2 inches) and everyone was alerted.”
“The atmosphere was surreal,” Natalia said. “There was silence, an empty Venice, I have never seen before. The most interesting part of the journey was being able to see the majesty of the city and how its beauty was amplified by all that water.
“When I arrived at Piazza San Marco, it was closed to the public, and the water was really very high. The wind blew strongly and loudly but the view in front of me was incredible – this huge empty space, filled with water was so solemn and great that it didn’t seem real.”
“Even in tragedy, I found Venice more beautiful than ever. The water that threatened it made it even more fascinating.”