Venice - Is the water clean?


So this is something I was wondering, not for any general purpose other than asking. I know this is the city where you can actually take paddle boats to get around. I am curious as to weather or not the water in there is clean. I would imagine it is not crystal clear but in terms of natural water cleanliness, would it be considered sanitary?


Unfortunately, the waters in Venice are where most of the raw sewage from the toilet flushes go, directly into the Grand Canal. You often see photos with people hanging their feet over the bank of the canal, but for some reason, you never see the side their feet are on. Believe me when I say that no one should put any part of their body into that water. That being said, I still love the boats and riding around on them. The food is great too. Despite the poor sanitation there, it is still worth seeing.


After hearing all the stories about Venice, I actually found it to be in a much better condition than everyone else was making me believe it would be.

While Venice has been, historically, one of Europe’s cleanest cities, I wouldn’t swim in the canals, so to speak.


From what I could see, It was slightly murky. But there was no garbage or plastic bottles floating around from what I saw. It didn’t even give off any bad odor. But I don’t think it would be clean to have a dip in as I presume sewage water does pass through.


I was in venice about… 5 or 6 years ago actually.

The water isn’t something you’ll want to dive right into. It’s not a place you go swimming after all. BUT if you fall into it? You won’t die. Just don’t drink it or wash with it or anything. It’s as clean as it could possibly be, but I remember then they were making an honest effort to get it cleaned, because they were also thinking of ways to control the flow of the tides since Venice is actually technically sinking into the water too.

So right now it might be clean that you won’t get herpes and pink eye from it. But I wouldn’t recommend doing anything with it.


I would say that the water in Venice is not really meant for swimming. Just take a nice ride with a gondola and enjoy the city.


The water in Venetian canals is not for swimming or drinking or any kind of human contact really. There’s sewage, vomit, and all manners of filth in Venetian canals. It makes a nice postcard though.


I heard that they were making an effort to clean the canal waters. Like what was mentioned before, it isn’t like there are floaters or anything but just the thought of sewage being put into it makes my skin crawl. I will stay on the boat and enjoy myself anyway!


The water there is pretty nasty. You will want to buy bottled water for sure and only drink that and you will be fine. I don’t know why they aren’t trying to fix their water problem but they should.


I always wondered what the water was like in Venice. Whenever I have always seen it on the television or even in pictures it always looked murky and filthy and like you shouldn’t be going in it. I guess I was right in my thinking which is why you never see anyone in the water and only in the boats that run in Venice. If it is sewage from the toilets though, wouldn’t it smell bad as well?


Thanks for all your replies. I appreciate it. It is nice to get a response from people who have been there or at least know about the area. I guess it is safe to say that it can be cleaner.


As with any other cities with canals, they are definitely not there for swimming and such. It`s only natural, seeing as how Venice is a really big city and a lot of filth can accumulate in a crowded place like that.


I think people generally fail to understand Venice is not a place you go to bath or sunbath. The Venetian canals are the equivalent of our roads, it’s how people move through the city. So, as you generally do not consider your roads safe and clean enough to sit on, because of cars and traffic, you should not consider Venetians waters something to dive into.

Actually, it’s forbidden to swim or dive and to roam around Venice in a swimsuit. It’s a city, not a beach.

And no, Venetians sewage system does not go directly into the canals…Venice surely has its problems, but it’s not in the Middle Ages, luckily…


Definitely not clean. I see people dumping waste on and off in there, and I’ve seen them get caught too (Good on you italian police). It’s sad really! People should be more mindful.


Makes me wonder…what about the smell?


The smell definitely isn’t bad. You can walk around the canals without any smell really!