Italy weather: Italy braces as flood warnings spread past Venice to Florence and Pisa

Tuscany’s President Enrico Rossi sparked fears in Pisa after tweeting a warning of a “flood wave” on the Arno, and said boards were being installed on the swollen river’s banks “as a precautionary measure”. Italian paratroopers have been drafted in to bolster defences in Pisa, with authorities also monitoring the same river in Florence after torrential rain meant water levels rose drastically overnight. Civil protection units Florence have warned citizens not to stand close to the Arno’s rover banks.

Flooding from the Arno devastating Florence in 1966, killing some 100 people and destroying thousands of pieces of priceless works of art.

The latest fears come after Venice was forced to close St Mark’s Square today as the battered city suffered its third major flooding in less than a week.

Venice was hit with tides of 150cm (5ft) on Sunday - only slightly lower than Tuesday’s 187 - which was the highest in half a century.

The city’s Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who has estimated the damage so far from the salt water to be at more than €1million so far, tweeted: “Maximum attention for today’s tide.”

This is a breaking story. More to follow.

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