In Pictures: How Venice Is Responding To The Flood Of The Century

Venice has copped a third exceptional high tide, marking the worst flooding the city has endured in 150 years.

Shops and museums around the historic St. Marks Square were closed on Sunday as water levels peaked at 1.5 metres just after 1 pm local time.

Tourists and residents pulled on gumboots to wade through the knee-high water, while others were forced to walk single-file along makeshift footbridges elevated over flooded piazzas.

It marked the third time levels in the waterlogged city had risen substantially. The worst of the tides hit on Tuesday night, with water levels rising to 1.87 metres, the highest in 53 years.

The Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro inspects the inundated St Mark's Square. Image: Manuel Silvestri via Reuters

In normal conditions, tides of 80-90 centimetres are deemed high, but manageable.

As the tide rose well above the average, some shop owners used sandbags to quell the flow while others relied on automatic pumping systems to keep the flood at bay.

Many residents and travelers, however, simply suited up, ignored the floods and resumed their normal routine. Take a look:

A shopkeeper throws out water from his shop as more washes in. November 17. Image: Getty
A group of men play cards seemingly unaffected by the rising water levels. November 17. Image: Sergio Agazzi via PA
Tourist take refuge on a public well as the floodwaters exceed 1.5 metres. November 17. Image: Filippo Monteforte via Getty
Residents and tourists still went to bars and restaurants. November 17. Image: Andrea Merola via AAP
Authorities forced to set up makeshift walkways. November 17. Image: Luigi Brugnaro via Twitter
Visitors with plastic bags on their shoes were forced to walk in single file on footbridges. November 17. Image: Filippo Monterforte via Getty
St. Mark's Square is usually dry. November 15. Image: Reuters
A tourist struggles with a suitcase as high tide reaches peak. November 15. Image: Flavio Lo Scalzo via Reuters
A Banksy artwork was lashed and damaged by the water. November 13. Image Marco Bertorello via Getty

 Italy's Culture Minister, Dario Franceschini, has warned that repairing the city, where more than 50 churches have suffered damage, will be huge. In fact, there are suggestions the damage bill could exceed one billion euros.

A state of emergency has been declared.

Officials say Venice is both sinking into the mud and facing rising sea levels due to climate change, according to the Associated Press.

A flood management project has been in the works since 2003, however, cost blowouts, corruption scandals, and delays mean it is still not up and running.