More than 80 per cent of Venice, Italy is submerged, as flood waters rise during high tide.
Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said initial checks suggested the damage to St. Mark's was not irreparable, but warned that more than 50 churches across the city had been flooded this week.
The deluge has highlighted the fact that the Mose flood defense project remains unfinished.
A senior official in charge of St Mark's basilica has called for the monument to be surrounded with a 2 metre flood wall as the building was threatened with flood waters.
Called Moses - from the Italian acronym for experimental electromechanical modules, but also a nod to the biblical figure who parted the Red Sea - the system of 78 underwater barriers is created to be raised as needed to block openings to the lagoon and hold back tides of 1.1 to 3 meters.
While the latest round of flooding has been attributed mostly to a combination of high tides from a full moon and high winds pushing water from the shallow Adriatic Sea into Venice, climate scientists note that exceptional tides - those over 1.4 meters - have become much more frequent in the past two decades.
The major tourist spots that were damaged were St.Mark's square which is also known as Piazza San Marco.
"Venice is over again being watched by the arena and it needs to be aware that it will succeed and take itself abet up", Mayor Luigi Brugnaro told local newspapers.
More than 50 churches have reported damage. "Lots of acqua alta, but never this high". But the water reached about 50 centimeters (19.6 inches) in height - well above the usual 10 centimeters to 15 centimeters (4 inches to 6 inches).
The Italian football federation delegation visited several businesses damaged by the flooding, and chatted with Venetians, volunteers and police. Finally there was no place else to move objects in the tiny workshop.
Sabrina was rinsing her husband's creations - which include filigree bags with velvet detailing and Swarovski crystal-encrusted masks - with fresh water and blowing them dry, but she was uncertain if what she was doing will really do the trick against the lagoon's salt water.
"What can we do?"
The Italian government declared a state of emergency for Venice on Thursday, allocating €20 million (S$30 million) to address the immediate damage.
The flooding has left Italians exasperated at the incompletion of the city's long-delayed Moses flood defence project.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto-Getty PhotosA girl is seen whereas emptying a store of the tide water on November 15, 2019 in Venice.
The mayor has blamed climate change for the ever-increasing flood waters that the city has had to deal with in recent years, with the mean sea level estimated to be more than 20 cm higher than it was a century ago, and set to raise much further.
"They need to finish the Moses tomorrow", said Sabrina Laggia.