Getting Around Venice

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Most Viewed Transportation in Venice

  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Different lagoon poles for different purpose

    by Trekki Updated Jun 20, 2015

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    Another thing I found very fascinating in context to the water traffic was the way navigation channels in the lagoon are being marked. The driving rules in the lagoon are pretty much the same as within the city limits. There is speed limit, but some boat drivers don't seem to accept this.

    Due to the shallowness of the lagoon, boat traffic must be controlled and cannot just go the quickest way. The lagoon has a kind of "water way" system, easy even to see in the various online maps in satellite view. These ways are not only making sure that no traffic chaos occurs but also to minimise a high load of oxygen throughout the whole lagoon. Remember, high oxygen level in the water increases algae growth. And of course, in the shallow lagoon these water ways are the ones where navigation is safe and makes sure that boats cannot strand.

    The water ways are marked with poles. If you have a closer look you can see that these poles are different in size and number. The poles at the margins of the navigable water are small and arranged as a group of three: briccole (one is a briccola, photo 4). Briccole do have a number, which stands for the respective water way. These are also shown in the navigation charts for the lagoon. In addition to the briccole mede (one = meda) are planted in between, single poles, which also mark the course of navigable water (photo 5).

    If two or more main water ways meet this is characterised by the dame (one = dama): four poles with one being taller than the other three (photo 1 and 2). And if even larger water ways cross, a whole bunch of poles is put together like in photo 3. I took this photo on the northeastern side of Venice. On the dame also the international designations for positioning are being shown: port (red) and starboard (green).

    © Ingrid D., June 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.

    Venezia, lagoon: a dama, port side (red) Venezia, lagoon: a dama, starboard side (green) Two big water ways merge or meet Venezia, lagoon: briccole marking the ways Venezia, lagoon: mede marking the ways
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    Public transports in Venice

    by csordila Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Venice is easy to get around, there are no cars or trains in the historic city center. Most sights are easily accessible on foot, though.
    Far distances can be covered with the very popular vaporetto (little vapor). The name dates from when the boats were run by steam.
    There are three types of boat:
    the "vaporetto," a flat-decked boat used on routes inside the city;
    the "motoscafo" used for routes into the Lagoon. It is smaller and able to pass under low bridges and in narrow canals;
    the "motonave" is large double-decked ship used for commuter service to the Lido.

    Line No.1 zigzags between 20 stations on its way from the Piazzale Roma to the Lido;
    the No.2 express line, formerly numbered 82, runs from San Zaccaria (above the Piazza San Marco) through the Giudecca Canal to the Piazzale Roma, and the railway station.
    No.3 line for Venice residents and for those in possession of a CartaVenezia or Tessera di Abbonamento only. Depart every 20 minutes from Piazzale Roma, covers the same stops as Line 1, and end at San Marco.

    If you have any questions about the vaporetto, lines, tickets, and ACTV during your visit, you can call HelloVenezia at +39 041 2424.
    http://www.hellovenezia.com/jsp/en/transports/index.jsp

    At the front of every stops there is a counter, where you can purchase your ticket.
    A single ticket is quite expensive: it costs € 6.50. Be sure to validate your ticket before boarding the boat. Simply insert it in the yellow ticket machine which stamps your ticket automatically.
    It is more better if you might want to buy a 24-hour ticket ("biglietto ventiquattro ore") for € 12.00 right away. It gives you access to Venice for a whole day. If you board at a stop that doesn't have a ticket office, after boarding immediately ask for a biglietto. Otherwise, you could be fined heavily for traveling without a ticket.

    Another but more expensive option is the Venice Card, which is available in 3 or 7 days version (€70.00 and €90.00 )includes benefits such as admission to city-owned museums and free use of public toilets.

    Warning: Private water taxis are expensive. You need a mortgage to afford them, if you make it a habit. The fare from Marco Polo Airport to a hotel in central location may reach €100; a trip within the historic center costs €30 at least. Water taxis run under the collective name of "motoscafi" (not ACTV motoscafo!!)

    Venetian motonave on Giudecca canal Line No.1 the Boarding place A big the
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Driving rules on the canal, like on streets

    by Trekki Updated Jun 20, 2015

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    With its location on the water and the absence of streets I found it very fascinating to find out how this water traffic is being organised, what the rules are and how it works.

    From my wanderings and observations I would say that it is similar like the rules on streets. Traffic on the main canals like on Canal Grande have the right of way. I saw I think that gondole have the right of way in most of the cases because their movements are most skillful. Smaller canals are often one-way-canals with a clear senso unico sign (photo 1) and, consequently entry from the other side is forbidden (photo 3). Many of the small canals are navigable only for gondole (photo 2). From what I saw motor boats are often not allowed to enter small canals, except if they are service boats, such as garbage collectors, police or ambulance. Most of the motor boats have old tyres at the side to minimise the damage when they navigate along other boats or house walls (photo 4). Another reason why motor traffic is not allowed in the smaller canals is of course to reduce the impact water stirred too much (and keep the oxygen level controllable; high oxygen content increases algae growth). Please keep this in mind when thinking about taking motor taxi. Sometimes it might not be possible to be brought directly to the hotel doorsteps.

    For those interested in further reading: I found an interesting 27 pages pdf from the Civitas Guard, very dry to read but interesting:
    Access and traffic management in the Grand Canal

    © Ingrid D., June 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.

    One way street ..canal Only for gondolas No trespassing... navigation :-) Old car tyres, to minimise damaging of other boats
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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Water ways are illuminated at night

    by Trekki Updated Jun 20, 2015

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    Boats navigate in the lagoon night and day. Hence it is logic that the water ways must be illuminated during the night. On top of the briccole and mede position lights are mounted to make navigation easy. This involves a vast laying out of underwater electrical cables, so larger metal poles with distribution boxes and sphere-like tops are being situated next to some of the briccole and mede. To make sure that no one anchors there, large signs warn to stay off these areas.

    Canal Grande, by the way, is not that much illuminated during the night. Lights from vaporetto stations, houses, restaurants and fondamente give enough light. I don’t know for the middle of the night though. But then the occasional “street” lamp will illuminate the water boulevard.

    © Ingrid D., June 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.

    Briccola and light guide through the night Venezia's laguna - all prepared for the night :-) Briccola and light guide through the night Distribution boxes for the light :-) Briccola and distribution box
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  • starship's Profile Photo

    The People Mover

    by starship Updated Jun 30, 2011

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    When I first heard of "The People Mover," I thought it was a sort of moving walkway such as you find in lots of airports. In reality, the People Mover is actually dual monorails which take cruise ship passengers from the Piazzale Roma closer to the gate of the Port of Venice known locally as the Bachino Stazione Marittima; however, the "Mover" goes as far as "Tronchetto" where people from the mainland park their cars when coming into the city or before taking the Lido ferry.

    The People Mover Station is located at the end of the same building in which the ATVO Terminal Office is located. Crossing the street to reach it can be challenging. Entering the ground floor of the station, you purchase your ticket (biglietto) from a ticket machine (1 Euro = 2011 price) and ascend by escalator to the 2nd level where the two monorails track platforms are. Boarding alternates from track to track or side to side as one of the monorails comes into the station.

    Note: Once you leave "The People Mover," don't expect to find yourself at the cruise ship terminal. You must walk (with luggage of course) from there to the port gate and from there to the appropriate terminal building of your cruise ship line. This may be a longer walk than you might wish, but if you have not purchased transfers from your cruise line and are coming directly from Piazzale Roma following your arrival from the airport by bus or your stay in town, "The People Mover" is your best choice. AND, the distance between the Piazzale Roma and the Port of Venice IS NOT really walkable.

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  • tpal's Profile Photo

    Expensive Ride Has Its Rewards

    by tpal Written Sep 16, 2004

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    Sadly, it was time to leave Venice. That was bad enough. What really hurt was the early flight we had booked to Palermo. There didn't seem to be any economically efficient way to get there on time (pre-VT...1st time Venice visit). We decided to share a very expensive water taxi ride with our traveling companions. The silver lining came in the form of the fabulous Venetian sunrise you see here. Not being a morning person, I'd seen more "sunsets" than rises. Might have to change my ways...or not.

    Venetian sunrise

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  • starship's Profile Photo

    Alilaguna Boats ~ Stazione Marittima to San Marco

    by starship Updated Jul 5, 2011

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    I have mentioned in a previous tip that on this trip we stayed in Venice before and after our Eastern Mediterranean cruise. One exceptional feature of the cruise was that after boarding the ship, it remained in port that night so that we had at least another 8 hours to spend exploring Venice the next day.

    We intended to go back to Piazza San Marco by way of The People Mover to Piazzale Roma and then walking from there. However, at the port we saw the station for the Alilaguna Boats and a short line of people. These boats were incredibly comfortable with sufficient seating for everyone. Most seats were in the enclosed area of the boat but there were about 5-6 seats aft that were open-air. The boats travel between Stazione Marittima and San Marco every 20 minutes which is very convenient.

    Soon we were off to the Piazza San Marco along the Canale della Guidecca. It was such a pleasant ride that we were able to appreciate wonderful views of the Doroduro, the Fondemente delle Zattere, Guidecca and the Santa Maria della Salute from an excellent waterside perspective.

    I decidedly preferred the Alilaguna boats to the Vaporetti which were overcrowded, uncomfortable and excruciatingly slow. What's more, the price of 6,50 Euros is the same as the Vaporetti which with the unfavorable US Dollar exchange rate of May, 2011, made a ride on either of these conveyances the equivalent of US $10.08----incredibly expensive for the vaporetto, in my opinion!! However the same price for the Alilaguna boat did not bother me quite as much because the ride seemed like more of an experience rather than merely transportation.

    The Alilaguna boats do not transit the Grand Canal to my knowledge and as such this transportation is best suited to passengers at the Port of Venice who wish to travel between the port and the Piazza San Marco!!!

    An alternative would be to take the People Mover from the Port of Venice to the Piazzale Roma, then take a vaporetto to your selected destination, or for those who are able, to walk from the Piazzale Roma to your selected destination.

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  • junecorlett's Profile Photo

    Waterways

    by junecorlett Updated Feb 16, 2009

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    The only public means of transportation in the city center are via water taxis on the canals. The vaporetti and passenger -bearing speedboats can traverse only on the largest canals including the Grand Canal. Boats and gonodolas though, can insinuate themselves into the narrowest waterwyas and are advised for those who want to preserve a particularly romatic memory of the city. The gondolas are rather smelly...due to the smelly (in places) canals.
    Water taxis are very efficient.

    Water Taxis on the Main Canal

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  • dvideira's Profile Photo

    and also can be reached by:

    by dvideira Written May 17, 2004

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    S.Lucia (Santa Lucia) is the name of Venice's Train Station.
    If you get off in Mestre, Venice then you haven't reached Venice yet. You must first cross the Liberty Bridge and Venice is the end of the line.

    S.Lucia Train Station is located in the sestiere of Cannaregio. The public transportation, called Vaporetto, has stops for lines ný 1 and ný 52 (to your right as you leave the station) and ný 82 (to your left as you leave the station) on the Grand Canal.

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  • dvideira's Profile Photo

    Getting there by plane

    by dvideira Written May 17, 2004

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    The Marco Polo Airport is located 12 km over land and 10 km over water from Venice and is well connected to the city by public transportation lines (water and land) and to the rail station in Mestre.
    The slip road opened in 1991 connects the Marco Polo airport directly to the roadway network. The airport serves the entire tri-region of Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trentino Alto Adige. Distances in kilometres:

    25 Km from Treviso
    32 Km from Padua
    45 Km from Jesolo
    65 Km from Vicenza

    public bus service
    speed boat service

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  • dvideira's Profile Photo

    Venice can be reached by:

    by dvideira Updated May 17, 2004

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    motorway connections:
    - the A4 from Trieste and from Turin
    - the A27 from Belluno
    - the A13 from Bologna

    road connections:
    - state road 309 Romea from the Adriatic coast
    - state road 14 from Trieste
    - state road 13 from Treviso
    - state road 11 from Padua

    When you arrive at Piazzale Roma you can leave your car in one of the car parks, or go to the big car park of Tronchetto island.
    From Tronchetto you can reach Venice by Vaporetto ný 3 (only in the morning) and ný 4 (only in the afternoon). Otherwise you can take a ferry boat (line ný 17) from Tronchetto to the Lido.

    An alternative is to leave your car in Mestre.

    There are both open and covered parking directly in front of the train station and they cost a fraction of what it costs to leave your car in Venice. You can then reach Venice by train (departure every 5-10 minutes) or by numerous buses.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Get the nearby islands

    by croisbeauty Updated Apr 12, 2015

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    The boat tour to the Venetian islands starts from Riva degli Schiavoni. In case you want to visit Burano only, as I did, it takes more then one hour by line no. 14. First stop is at Lido and from there you go to Punta Sabbioni. At Punta Sabbioni you have to change the boat which takes you to Tre Porti and from there finaly to Burano. As far as I am concerned, this route is very long and too complicated. Retour is, however, more simple.
    The tour-retour ticket costs 6 euros.

    Local boat transportation to the islands
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  • mapakettle's Profile Photo

    Don't stand in line.......

    by mapakettle Updated Nov 10, 2005

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    At peak season, the line for tickets to Venice and elsewhere snakes around the building. The same thing goes when buying tickets from the vending machine. (and often half of them are not in working order).

    Suggest instead that you buy your tickets from the attendent at the baggage storage department, located under the portico just outside of the Padova train station. He sells tickets (2nd class only) for anywhere within the Veneto region, but is unable to reserve seats, sleepers etc. You pay approximately the same price as you would at the wicket, but are charged by the distance, not the destination. If in doubt as to the mileage, simply ask the agent. Cash only, no credit cards, passes etc.

    You will save yourself at least 20-40 minutes of wait time when it is busy, and during off season, there is often no line up.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Local transportation

    by croisbeauty Written Mar 31, 2005

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    Transportation of the goods, inside the historic centre of the town, is pretty much complicated in Venice. The only possible way to do supplies is by the water front, and most of the canals are narrow with many short bridges across of its.
    This is wine transporting boat in Rio della Sensa, just in front of Tintotetto's house.

    transporting olive oil
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  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo

    Only two ways to get to Venice - By Boat or Swim

    by karenincalifornia Written Feb 24, 2004

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    You will park your car in garage outside Venice and take a taxi (motorboat) to the main part of Venice. I loved it that cars were not allowed in Venice.

    Now, if this were Los Angeles, there would have been car ferries every 5 minutes to and from the city.

    Approaching Venice
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Comments (1)

  • Apr 5, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    Hi
    I live quite close to Venice and I can confirm that travelling in Venice is very expensive and time consuming, as I can see from many of these posts.

    In the last year I discovered something that is very useful, and that I have been testing with my friends coming from different countries: it is a complete package with a lot of options covering transportation, museum entrance, parking, transfer to the airport... and the most important thing is that you have everything on your hands before arriving in Venice. So I saved a lot of time in collecting all the tickets for my friends, and my friends could save a lot of time skipping the queues (the Vaporetto queue and the queue for the museums is very long).

    It is called VeniceBox (www.venicebox.it) and you can receive it at home, or collect it in Venice once you arrive. I am posting this because it solved a lot of problems to my friends and I am sure it may be helpful to anyone is going to visit Venice.

    I love Venice and I'd like that everyone could enjoy it, instead of wasting time and money.

    ciao
    Marco

    • Apr 6, 2015 at 1:38 AM

      ciao, i can only tell that my friends were happy with that. They didn't need to make the queue to buy the ticket, just jump in the Vaporetto, that is not making something wrong, just avoid making the queue (I live close to Venice, and I understand what you say, but I'd never suggest to do something uncorrect). I agree with you that Venice is worthwhile walking (if i well understand there is also a map inside, that may help). It probbaly depends on the approach you have to the visit: may be that if you don't have a lot of time, and have children (like my friends) it is very useful and you can be "relaxed" and just make your visits to museums, churches or whatever you want.

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Apr 6, 2015 at 2:12 AM

      I understand. But you can do all that without paying for a pass of any sort.

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