It is often easy to forget that the Tiber is just a few metres away as you wander through Centro – the walls that enclose it and its relatively narrow width make it, at times, almost invisible. But before the walls were built floods where a yearly occurrence. As you walk through areas of the city you see markers indicating where the flood waters reached during major inundations from 1400 until the last great flood in 1870. On his wonderful website A Rome Art Lovers Web page Roberto Piperno has some fascinating shots of the December 2008 and 2004 floods and some great historical detail on When the Tiber Grows.
It appears that we are on alert now for a possible repeat of the 2008 flood. The rains have been heavy for over a week now and though not constant – its Roma, nothing here is ever constant – are forecast for the next few days.
This is the way the bank of the Isola Tiberina looked in early November.
And this was the same shore on Thursday afternoon – and there have been heavy rains since.
Other areas of the city will probably be affected – in 2008 we had intersections and underpasses flooded, cars trapped etc. One of the reasons was that fall leaves had not been cleaned from drains so traps were clogged and some roads became impassable. Chances are that the same thing will occur this year – in most cases the drains have still not been cleared. I lied – some things here are constant.
09 gennaio – San Marcellino di Ancona