City Knowledge as key to understanding the relation between waters and stones in Venice

Flooding affects the physical infrastructure in Venice in a variety of ways, most of which have been recognized since the early days of the city's existence. Manuscripts in the Venice archives chronicle the frequent requests for maintenance along the inner canals of the city ever since records were kept (Caniato, 1999; Dorigo, 1999; Piasentini, 1999). Natural erosion due to fluctuating tidal water levels is a fact of life in a place like Venice. Construction materials are gradually weakened bv the constant wet-dry cycles and by the natural salts and unnatural pollutants contained in the tidal waters. A simplified taxonomy of the primary elements of the city that are negatively affected by exposure to the salt water of the lagoon and canals includes: