3 for all


What a fuss there was when vaporetto Line 3 (for season ticket holders only) began plowing the waters of the Grand Canal last January. One article in a British newspaper referred to the “poor tourist” who was restricted to only those vaporetti that were more numerous, more frequent, and made faster progress up and down the canal. Since most tourists had no idea they couldn’t get on any boat they chose, as would be the case anywhere else in the world, you can imagine the casino that resulted, and on a regular basis. Ma.

If this made you unhappy too, you may now rejoice, at least for the rest of October. The experimental Line 3 has been deemed unprofitable and unmanageable, and even though the decision is not yet official, will be suspended as of Nov 1.  In a grand addio, anyone and everyone can now board it without fear of reprisal (you may have to wait a bit longer, of course, as it only arrives every twenty minutes).

Personally, although I enjoyed being on a vap from time to time without standing shoulder to shoulder, manuevering around bagagli enormi, and being whacked on regular basis with swirling backpacks, a few less motorboats on the Grand Canal won’t bother me in the least. Don’t know if this will actually be the case, as once Line 3 disappears, Line 1 will increasing its frequency from 10 minute intervals to 7 minutes, a definite plus for those of us who regularly arrive 5 seconds after our vap has eased away from the pontile.

As for that crabby journalist, I guess we’ll have to start looking around for something else he can complain about (although I have a feeling folks like him probably have a very long list).

3 thoughts on “3 for all

  1. Mary K

    Sad to see the end of the 3 – although I can understand how it would have been unmanageable. We often pondered how, once the pontile attendants that were in place when it started up were removed, they’d stop unknowing tourists from wanting to board.

    I’m pleased that as I was there for it’s first trips – I’ll also be there for its last!

  2. Marisa

    When I was in Venice in February, 2008, we stayed at a hotel on an inner canal–the water was so low that the water taxi could not come to the hotel to pick us up for the ride to the airport–so we had to walk to the #3 stop to get the taxi–quite a walk with bags. The #3 stop was used so infrequently that the water taxis used it for a taxi stop when the canals were too low. They could not stay but the would pick up and go.

  3. nan

    Off-season the 3 passed only every 20 minutes, and there were very few docks dedicated to that Line alone (San Felice, lower Rialto).

    Vaporetto stops are in fact often used for taxi pickup and drop-off: sometimes more for their convenience than yours. I have heard too many stories of taxis leaving travelers far from their lodging, only because it got them to their next fare that much sooner. That, and taxi motors are so hard on the inner canal walls, so although glamorous, avoiding that option is always recommended.

    In any case, it pays to pack light when visiting Venice, vero?


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