Venice is unique and this is its greatest treasure. For its unique nature, it is a city with precise rules. This information will be useful to experience Venice at its best, to get around easily and fully enjoy its attractions. If your legs are well trained, discover the city by walking, it will be a pleasure getting lost in the narrow streets, in the dead ends and in some deserted little squares that are the soul of Venice.
It is the classic, essential means of transportation. There are 4 line systems: city centre with lines 1 and 2 that go along the Grand Canal and Canal della Giudecca, from Tronchetto to the Lido; the Giracittà lines that go around the perimeter of the lagoon until Murano and Lido; the lagoon lines that connect the islands and the mainland to the airport; seasonal lines for special events or high season tourists. Water boats services run 24 hours a day, with a night service with specific timetables running from midnight to 5 am. You can choose among a single one- hour ticket 7€, daily pass or travel cards. You will probably never find another public transport that offers such a beautiful route as vaporetto Line 1 along the Grand Canal…
A big gondola powered by two gondoliers is certainly the fastest and cheapest way to cross the Grand Canal, even if it is just for a short crossing ride by the most famous Venetian boat. The city, divided in two by the Grand Canal, offers only three places where pedestrians can pass from one side to the other using a bridge (Scalzi, Rialto and Accademia bridges). The gondola-ferry offers a good alternative if you want to cross the city quickly. It is mainly used by Venetians, it starts early in the morning and stops around 7 or 8.00 pm (in summer slightly later). The boats incessantly cross the canal, so you do not have to wait long for the next gondola. When you get on board, you can sit in the few available seats, carefully lean on the gondola edge, or just stand, remember that Venetians generally prefer to stand. How much is a gondola ride? Very cheap for Venetian standards. Only 2 euros to give the gondolier when you are getting off (do not even dream of paying when you are getting on, you will end up annoying the gondolier).
This provides the most expensive means of transport but without any doubt the fastest and most comfortable. The water taxi can also circulate almost everywhere and, compared to some bulky boats, it can access the narrowest canals. Additionally, it will allow you to avoid the overcrowded public water boats during rush hour. Taxi stations are near the main accesses to the city, at the Marco Polo airport dock, at the train station Santa Lucia, Piazzale Roma and Tronchetto and near every touristic attraction. You can book one with a simple phone call; you can reserve it in advance. However, be aware that they will not respond to any hand gestures! Fares change according to the distance, number of passengers and baggage. The basic fare always refers to four people with 4 big suitcases.
Henry James wrote that Venice has to be approached by the sea and it is in fact the aquatic perspective that offers the most spectacular sight to any observer. Here is a good reason to get to the city using the shuttle service Alilaguna that connects Marco Polo airport to the historical centre of Venice. If you are not in a hurry the classic Venetian launch boat is the transport that offers the best value for money. A 70 minute ride across the lovely Venice lagoon to St. Mark’s Square. Over 50 daily rides will reduce waiting at the airport. A ticket counter is just outside the airport (on the left); another ticket counter is near the airport dock. If either ticket counters are not available, you can buy the ticket on board.
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