Category Archives: Getting around town

City transit, public and private: taxis, the vaporetto water bus, airport buses, and more

Hop-on, Hop-off Vaporetto dell’Arte eliminated.

Vaporetto dell'Arte Venice City Tour water bus

The vaporetto dell’Arte service has been eliminated as of fall 2013.


The Vaporetto dell’Arte debuts June 1, and with any luck will allow curious ticket holders to travel more comfortably,  and more informed.

A local will only lament the arrival of yet another vaporetto water bus traversing the Grand Canal, and after the failed attempt at the resident-only line two years ago, you can understand their skepticism. But this new hop-on, hop-off city tour might just help distribute the tourist vap traffic a bit more appropriately, freeing  sightseers from the more cumbersome arrival and departure traffic—we can only hope.

The Vaporetto dell’Arte resembles hop-on, hop-off buses in other cities like London or Rome, with some notable differences. Each of the 80 seats on this colorful vaporetto is equipped with its own monitor; you can select your language and use the earphones to listen to the presentation between stops. There is more ample outside seating compared to a normal vaporetto, and with your purchase, along with the earphones, there’s a kit with a map, a booklet with instructions and route, and offers from associated organizations (Venice city museums, Biennale, Fenice , Guggenheim, Cini and Prada Foundations, and more) for Vaporetto dell’Arte ticket holders.

The Vaporetto dell’Arte stops have be selected to make them convenient for sightseeing and for criss-crossing the city more efficiently; though that will likely depend on exactly what it is you intend to visit (the Ghetto, Ca’ Rezzonico, Bevilacqua, Querini Stampalia and Palazzo Grimani don’t seem terribly convenient to any of the included stops, which are San Stae, Ca’ d’Oro, San Samuele, Accademia, Salute, San Giorgio, and San Marco, of course; Arsenale and Giardini when the Biennale’s on). Forza, corraggio.

Some particulars:

  • the pass is good for 24 hours, so you’re covered for two full days of sightseeing.
  • the cost is €24, or €15 for seniors or kids 12 and under; you can also combine this pass with any regular  pass for €10.

• purchase the Vaporetto dell’Arte and other travel passes from,

Note, too, that

  • the starting point is the Ferrovia train station, not Piazzale Roma; the line ends at San Giorgio Maggiore (or Arsenale or Giardini).
  • the vaporetto departs every 30 minutes from any stop; when you arrive, check the next departure times.

For complete information, see the official web site,


By the  way, the VAP MAP has been updated to reflect the new line, and the new Alilaguna and ACTV stops.

Take a Number: Venice Vaporetti regroup

Lines Stay the Same, Only the Numbers Change (but not all of them).

As of November 2, 2011, ACTV Spa and the City of Venice will implement a new numbering system for vaporetto public transport lines. The changes also include a new landing system that uses numbers, colors and letters which could, should help newcomers find the landing they’re looking for more quickly. Speriamo bene.

The new system does not affect routes and frequencies, just the numbering and organization.

Line changes include:

Line DM direct to Murano becomes Line 3
Lines 41/42 51/52 become 4.1/4.2 and 5.1/5.2 (n.1 runs counterclockwise, n.2 clockwise)
Lines 61/62 become Line 6
Line 5 from San Zaccaria to Murano becomes Line 7
Line T serving Burano-Torcello becomes Line 9
CLODIA Raphael which travels between Chioggia and Venice will be the new LINE 19

Other significant changes relate to the LN (Laguna Nord) which, while keeping the route and frequencies, will be split into 4 sections:

• Line 10 is the direct Lido – S.Marco Giardinetti shuttle (navetta)
• Line 12 serves F.Nove – Burano – Treporti – Punta Sabbioni
• Line 14 connects S.Zaccaria Pietà – Lido – Punta Sabbioni, while
• 14L (limited) serves Punta Sabbioni-Lido

Finally, there is a new Line 22 which serves Punta Sabbioni – F.te Nove – Tre Archi which has been a special line will now become a regualar one.

Easy as A-B-C

At larger piers like Piazzale Roma, the railway station, Rialto area, Fondamente Nove, San Zaccaria, and more, you’ll notice that the landings will also be identified with a capital letter placed on the entrance of the pier. This letter will also appear on the maps along the ACTV quais, and will associate the vaporetto lines with the landings that  serve them. The letters will also appear on the LED signage indicating departures and times.


With any luck and a little patience, this new system should benefit both locals and travelers, who normally have little time to get up to speed on vaporetto usage.

For more information, see the ACTV site (in Italian).

(By the way: the Vap Map has already been updated with the new lines and routes. Be sure to get yours before your arrival in Venice!)

Venice Transit News: Aerobus & Rialto Landing

Venice ACTV revises fares, revitalizes buses and adds a convenient combo land-boat entrance fare to the city. 

The ACTV Venice city bus °5 has always traveled between the airport and Piazzale Roma. Although recent changes mean this route is no longer included in the Venice Travel Pass, additional service improvements still make the Aerobus a convenient transfer option. They’ve upgraded the buses, increased their size (it’s a double) and also augmented the number of trips the Aerobuses make daily.

If you have baggage, the standard fare for the #5 Aerobus transfer between Piazzale Roma and the airport is now €5, compared to the normal bus fare of 2,50. More conveniently, you can now buy one €10 ticket that includes the Aerobus and the vaporetto ticket — the only requirement is that you have Marco Polo Airport as departure or arrival point. So:

€5: one-way Aerobus Venice Marco Polo <-> P.Roma.
€9: round-trip
€10 bus+boat: includes land bus transfer and one 90 min. vaporetto ticket (normally 6,50). Tickets are good to or from the airport.
• If you buy the a Travel Card pass, you can add the Aerobus ticket to it for €3.
• If you don’t have baggage you ride for the normal fare.

Remember that Aerobus °5 is no longer included in Venice Travel Card passes (unless you have no luggage); tickets must now be purchased separately, at machines or ticket counters. You may purchase the discount travel card with a one-way or round trip Aerobus ticket in advance purchase at

You do not need a CartaVenezia iMob pass for this fare. According to the press release, holders can purchase an Aerobus ticket for €3, although the ACTV and ticketing machines specify the €1,20 fare.

Rialto Line 2 boarding separates subscription and non-subscription iMob card holders.

In an attempt to better control the heavy flow of passengers at the Line 2 Rialto vaporetto stop, the ACTV has just announced they will separate boarding for CartaVenezia and non-CartaVenezia ticket holders, in effect daily from 4pm – 8:30 pm during the summer season for boats heading in either direction.

There will be one line for those with a CartaVenezia subscription, and another for those with magnetic paper travel cards. The first line will also accomodate those with mobility issues, wheelchairs, etc.

At other times of the day and the end of the summer season there will be a single boarding area only.


Automated Ticketing replaces booths at selected Vap stops

Purchase vaporetto tickets and retrieve Venice Connected discount passes 24/7


Automatic ticketing machines that allow purchase of vaporetto tickets, topping up of credit on iMob cards, and retrieval of Venice Connected discount transit passes with the requisite PNR have been present until now at the main entrances to the city, including the train station and Piazzale Roma. Since January 1st, however, four new machines have replaced the manned booths at each of the vaporetto stops below:

  • Ca d’Oro
  • San Tomà
  • Zattere
  • Arsenale

These automatic machines have touch screens, speak a number of languages, and accept cash, credit or debit card payments, making them much more convenient than long-lined manned booths. The machines’ placement throughout the city is added convenience if you arrive by water taxi or the private Alilaguna, and would prefer to retrieve your pass a day later, for example. Whereas until now you were constrained to retrieve your pass at main entrances (airport, Ferrovia, Piazzale Roma) during certain hours, now you can reserve your pass pickup for the day of your choice and pick it up at the nearest ticket machine any time you like. The same goes for regular ticket or pass purchase as well.

Of course, this also means we have even less of an excuse to board without a valid ticket. *sigh*

(Do remember that you must pick up your transport pass on the first day it will be active.)


VeniceConnected: purchase up to 4 days in advance was first introduced to allow visitors to obtain significant discounts on transit passes, museum entrances, and more if they were purchased in advance from their website. In the beginning, travelers had to decide and purchase at least two weeks in advance of their arrival; it wasn’t long after that the advance-purchase time was reduced to seven days in advance.

Now, getting those discounts is even more convenient: purchase up to four days in advance and they’re yours.

They’re substantial, too — so if you know you’ll be visiting certain museums, riding the vaporetto (you will), or taking advantage of the other services they offer, you have even more time to make up your mind.

For more info and to make your purchase, see