Heavy rains and seas whipped up by strong winds have flooded Venice, Italy and brought the lagoon city's high tide mark to its sixth-highest level since records began being kept 150 years ago.

Italian news reports said the same weather system that put 70 per cent of central Venice under water on Sunday was wreaking havoc elsewhere in north and central Italy, with some 200 people evacuated from their homes in hard-hit Tuscany.

Flooding is common in Venice this time of year and Sunday's high tide mark of 150 centimetres marked the sixth highest level since 1872, according to the ANSA news agency.

Movable barriers that would rise from the sea bed to protect Venice from high tides have been in the works for years but will not be operational before 2014.

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People sit at the table of a bar in a flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, Sunday. (Luigi Costantini/Associated Press)