ITALY: Venice Rising

Pessimists notwithstanding, not all disasters are irreversible. For almost a decade, the world had known that Venice was slowly, inexorably sinking into the sea. Now, after three years of meticulous measurements, Italian scientists affirm that Venice has achieved a major victory: the islands on which the city stands have stopped sinking into their huge lagoon on the Adriatic. In fact, says Ottavio Vittori, head of the Venice National Research Center, Venice actually appears to be rising at the minuscule rate of a millimeter or so in five years.

The reversal is the result of a ten-year campaign to cap the...

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