Even if Canal Grande has a lot of vaporetto stops, you might like to take a traghetto to cross it. This is also a reasonable way to use a gondola, as they are gondolas, but won’t take anyone on romantic trips from A to B, just cross the Canal Grande as a kind of shortcut. They hold up to 14 people and it is a rule to stand rather than sit. Oh, and they are rowed by 2 gondoliere – one at the front, one at the rear. In the past, Venezia had nearly 50 traghetto “lines” (no idea how I should better call this), but by now only 6 are left (see website I have added below, minus the one at San Samuele, which no longer exisits).
Price for one crossing was 0,70 Euro (May 2007), to be paid directly at the gondoliere before setting over.In the whole Canal Grande, traghettos have the right of way (other than “normal” gondolas), and I often watched fascinated how the big vaporettos stopped to let them pass (photo 1).
Signs “al traghetto” lead way to the stops at the canal, and the waiting area is usually like a small patio, with plants around (photo 2). A green latern (photo 3) signals the stops from the canal side.
And as for so many other things (like professions, etc) that are no longer present in Venezia, the street sign names “Calle del Traghetto” have remained, even if there is no traghetto line crossing at this point (photo 4).
Update, June 18, 2007:
thanks Christine(j) for reminding me to add that Traghetto schedule is usually conforming the shop and restaurant opening hours and is not available on Sundays.
Gondolas are overpriced and tourist traps (IMHO) so to travel like a true venetian local then cross the Canal Gande by "traghetti" - almost as good as a gondola.
There are several routes availbale:
between Ferrovia (station) and Fondamenta S.Simeon Piccolo
between S.Marcuola and Fontego dei Turchi
between S.Sofia (Ca'd'Oro) and Rialto market
between riva del Carbon and riva del Vin a Rialto
between S.Tomà and S.Angelo
between S.Samuele and S.Barnaba
between S.Maria del Giglio and calle del Traghetto in Dorsoduro
tra la punta della Dogana de Mar e S.Marco-calle Vallaresso
The longest and probably most useful is the one between S.Tomà e S.Angelo. Best of all you only have to spend about 1 euro!! These gondolas are slightly different to the others and are called "parada".
Well I confess I only tried this out during our visit in Sept 2005 - and I found it a bit scary and had to sit down, not stand like the locals would. My mistake was getting in first - the traghetto was more unstable and I thought I would end up in the canal! So an extra tip here is to be one of the last to get in when people in already are balancing the traghetto :-S
A traghetto is a gondola ferry, a traditional and efficient way to cross the Grand Canal.
Seven traghetto points between San Marco and the railway station allow you to cross the Grand Canal for less than the price of an espresso, without having to squeeze over the bridges or to take a vaporetto.
Campo del Traghetto - Calle Lanza (near the Salute Church);
San Samuele - Ca' Rezzónico;
Sant' Angelo - San Tomà;
Riva del Carbòn - Fondamente del Vin;
Santa Sofia (near Ca' D'Oro) - Pescaria (fish market);
San Marcuola - Fóndaco dei Turchi (at the Natural History Museum);
Fondamente S. Lucia (in front of the Railway Station) - Fondamenta San Simeón Piccolo;
Taking the traghetto will give you a taste for a gondola ride at a fraction of the cost and you will get to do it with true Venetians; the only con or added bonus, depending on your point of view, is that you must do it standing up.
People typically stay standing on the short traghetto trips. Out in the lagoon the trip is longer and the water is choppier, so people are sitting down for the trip.
The traghetto is a far less romantic experience — you are usually crammed in — but at least you can say you've done the gondola thing. It's traditional to stand during the crossing, but you're welcome to use a seat if there is any. Hand €0,50 to the oarsman as you leave the boat. If you don't have exact change, try to pay with one- or two-euro coins instead of banknotes.
Warning: A real gondola ride is not cheap! You have to pay min. €80 for a 45 minute serenade experience! It is worthwhile, however, in a certain cases; local legend promises eternal love to couples that kiss on a gondola ride at sunset under every bridge, especially the "Ponte dei Sospiri". But the world famous “Singing Gondolier” has more legendary connotations, and serenades on board gondolas are therefore performed by teams of professional musicians.
It is almost unbeliveable, there exist cheap gondola ride in Venice. The fact is, it takes only a few minutes across the canale, but it is definetely cheap, costs half of euro only. It is called Traghetto S.M. del Giglio and takes you nearby Santa Maria della Salute and Peggy Gugenhaim Museum.
If you want to ride a gondola, but don't want to pay 100 euros for the privilege, try one of these instead.
There are only 3 bridges on the Grand Canal so crossing can be problematic, especially if you don't happen to be near one, and have to negotiate the warren of Venetian back streets and alleyways to find the closest.
That's where these things come in.
At about 8 different locations on the Grand Canal, crossing points have been set up using old gondolas that will ferry you from one side to the other.
The real surprise is the price of 0.4 euros each (that's about 25 UK pence), a relative pittance to your Venetian holiday budget.
Obviously seats are pretty limited, so it's a miracle the gondola doesn't tip over when filled with 8 people, most standing, and a speedboat crosses its path.
Anyway, they're called a "Traghetto", and any good tourist map of Venice will show their locations. The best for my money is the one next to the Rialto Bridge, leaving from San Silvestro.
NOTE: If you're in a rush, stick to using the bridges, 'cos they're not always operating - as we found out, when we reached a deserted landing stage, miles from the nearest bridge.
Next to our hotel was one of the 7 Traghetto crossings of the Grand Canal.
Ours was going from Campo Santa Sofia, close to the Ca'D'Oro, to the Pescheria the fish market.
These are old gondolas stripped of their brocaded chairs and luxury trimmings. They are rowed by two oarsmen: one who stands in the back like a traditional gondolier, the other closer to the bow.
From my photo you can see that they transport a dozen persons standing in the boat.
That's precisely what I don't like, standing in such a gondola which is lying rather low on the water.
At that moment of my photo there were no waves from the vaporetto's or other motor barges; but what if some standing passenger looses equilibrium? Swimming in the Grand Canal might be an unforgettable travel souvenir.
Price is 0.50 €.
Hereafter the list and hours:
San Stefano / San Toma (7.00 - 20.00 h; Sunday 8.00 - 19.00h)
Ferrovia / S. Simeone (8.00 - 14.00 h; Sunday closed)
Riva del Carbon / Riva del Vin (8.00 - 14.00 h; Sunday closed)
San Marco (Giardini Reale) / Dogana da Mar (09.00 - 14.00 h)
Santa Maria del Giglio / Salute (08.00 - 18.55 h; Winter 09.00 - 18.00 h)
San Samuele / Ca' Rezzonico (07.40 - 13.15 h; closed Sundays)
San Sofia / Pescheria (07.00 - 20.55 h; Sunday 07.30 - 18.55 h)
Although I was aware of this form of transport, it wasn't until my visit during Christmas 07, that I had the chance to travel across the Grand Canal this way. I'd watched people getting on and off the craft at San Sofia, near the Rialto Markets. Some seemed to have more difficulties than others, especially a group of 'well heeled' ladies of a certain age wrapped in fur coats, who clung to each other in terror! - Quite amusing to watch each departure and arrival
I waited until a bit later in the day, before handing over my 50 cents to the 'gondolier' at the San Tomo station, and shuffled along the vessel, until I was stood next to a solid looking gentleman - I was determined to stand all the way - sitting down is for wusses, or locals that have young children in tow, elderly or infirm.
The traghetti are gondolas that have finished their run in the tourist trade, and are manouvered by 2 'gondoliers' - 1 steering with a pole from each end.
As I mentioned before, this is the transport choice for the local residents, so it's probably best not to be 'The Ugly Tourist' waving Your cameras around, posing for group shots, Shouting to Your friends or moving around, trying to make the traghetti wobble etc.
The traghetto was soon leaving dry land, and turning around, so we were facing away from our destination.
Despite the busy waterway of the Grand Canal, my short journey was quite smooth and un-eventful
8 routes operate, and are identified by signs similar to in my picture (2) below- signs on streets/ campos nearby also show directions.
1. Ferrovia - Piazzole Roma
2. Fondaco dei Turchi - San Marcuola
3. Pescheria - S Sofia
4. Fondamente del Vin - Riva del Carbon
5. S. Toma - S Angelo
6. Ca' Rezzonico - S. Samuele
7. S. Gregorio - S Maria del Giglio
8. Punta della Dogana - S Marco
Information boards at each station give times of operation, fares etc
In my opinion, gondola rides are the biggest tourist trap in Venice. No only do they not seem romantic at all, but they are ridiculously expensive. But if you still want to get the feeling of riding in a gondola without having to cut down on expenses for the rest of your trip, then the best thing to do is to ride the traghetto. A traghetto is basically an old gondola that's used to cross the Grand Canal, something that is actually quite convenient since there are only four bridges crossing it so it might save you quite a bit of walking. There are seven traghetto stations in Venice, and here's the best part: it only costs 50 cents per person to ride it!
A gondola ride will probably cost you 50 Euros at least. If you are in a real tight budget but you will to have a taste of a gondola ride, you can have a 50 Eurocents experience using the Venice crossing canal service.
If you look at any decent map of Venice you will notice that once in awhile along the Canal Grande there are dotted paths that go from one side to the other. There are the places you want to go. Besides several bridges to cross the Canal Grande, Venice offer a pubblic service of gondolas (called Traghetti) that go back and forth all day long from six predefined spot: San Marcuola, Santa Sofia, San Tomà, San Samuele, Santa Maria del Giglio, and the Dogana.
Of course you cant expect to have a real romantic experience, sometimes they fill up the gondola so much that you have to stand instead of sit down, but sure the experience worth 50 cents!! and you can decide to invest a couple of Euros and do it again and again :-))))
You can feel the excitement of a gondola ride cheaply by using the ferry crossings that link the various parts of the two sides of the Grand Canal. Venetians use this transportation when they need to move quickly from one side of the Grand Canal to another without crossing one of its three bridges. There is a gondola ferry at San Marcuola, Santa Sofia, San Tomà, San Samuele, Santa Maria del Giglio, and the Dogana (crossable when the strand is repaired).
The fare is € 0,40.
So getting around Venice can be by foot, but there are only three bridges across the canal.
You can also take a vaporetto boat which zig-zags its way down the canal.
Or if you just want to go directly across, there are several traghetto points. Do you know how the street names are painted on the buildings? So are the traghetto station signs. (Because Finding the traghetto stop can be just as tricky as standing up in it as you cross) You are allowed to sit, after all you are only a tourist...
If you have a vaporetto pass, so what? You can't use it on a traghetto. The guide books say it's 40 cents per crossing, but I thought it was 50 cents. (maybe I just got ripped off...)
1. Fondamente S. Lucia (in front of the railroad station) - Fondamenta San Simeón Piccolo
2. San Marcuola - Fóndaco dei Turchi (by the Natural History Museum)
3. Santa Sofia (near Ca' D'Oro) - Pescaria (fish market)
4. Riva del Carbòn - Fondamente del Vin
5. Sant' Angelo - San Tomà
6. San Samuele - Ca' Rezzónico
7. Campo del Traghetto - Calle Lanza (near the Salute Church)
The traghetto is a gondola which helps people cross the grand canal. Great and cheap alternative to the 'real' gondola experience. Good if you are in between the reach of the bridges.. only 3 bridges for the whole grand canal.. This costs only 0.50euros.. but of coz you will have to stand and it lasts for less than 5mins.
This is a cheap way to get the experience of sitting a gondola.. but these little gondola stops are elusive and insignificant.. i tried so hard to find one.. but could did not get to see one until it was time for me to leave!!! arghz!
Most people don't realize that there are only four bridges in Venice that cross the grand canal. If you aren't close to one of them, your options for crossing are to wait for a vaporetto and take it to the next stop across the canal or you can use a traghetto.
These are gondolas that are used to go across the canal. Interestingly, locals usually stand as they go across, so it's easy to pick out the tourists - just look for the people sitting.
The price for a traghetto crossing is just .50 Euro.
Until 1854, the Rialto bridge was the only bridge across the Grand Canal. Even now, there are only three bridges If you need to cross the canal and you aren't near a bridge, you have two good choices. Take the No. 1 or 82 vaporetto, which zig-zags from one bank to the other as it follows the Grand Canal, or head for the nearest traghetto pier and be rowed to the other side for about 40 euro cents (circa 2003). It'll be your cheapest (and quickest) gondola ride in Venice.
Traghetto means "ferry" in Italian. On the Grand Canal, traghetti are the passenger boats that cross the canal and there are seven points between the railroad station (top end) and St. Mark's Basin (bottom end of the Grand Canal). The boats are old gondolas that have been stripped down & don't have the nice seats. They are rowed by two oarsmen: one who stands behind the passengers like a traditional gondolier, the other closer to the bow.
A small warning - you stand up when you ride a traghetto and it usually doesn't take off until it's full of passengers. It's a fun ride when there is a Vaporetto coming toward you!
If you don't have the budget for a romantic gondola ride, perhaps a traghetto ride would suffice? Billed the poor man's gondola, a traghetto is the same as the gondola except that it operates as means to cross the Grand Canal at places where there are no bridges - and people stand rather than sit pretty and pay EUR 0.60 per person. I haven't taken any fancy riding them, but took this snap of a traghetto.