Category Archives: Getting around town

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

Spring ACTV vaporetto schedule updates

The following is a summary of the principal adjustments in the ACTV vaporetto schedule, in effect as of April 1, 2009.

Connection with Vallaresso until 8:30 p.m.; with the doubling of the number of trips between Rialto and Valleresso.

LINE 5 direct to Murano from San Zaccaria: from 10.14 until 12.14, and from 13.14 until 16.54, a boat departs every 20 minutes.

Line LN – Laguna Nord, the north lagoon line

  • From F.Nove to Treporti and from S.Zaccaria MVE to P.Sabbioni, boats depart every half-hour, with an hourly connection from P.Sabbioni to Burano and vice-versa.
  • There is an additional departure from F.Nove for Burano at 8:10.

There is a new Line 15 that runs from direct between Venezia and P.Sabbioni during rush hour.

Line 11
There is now a regular stop at Pellestrina Caroman for ten pairs of courses.

The Fusina line hours have been extended to about 8,30 p.m.

For a two handy schedule documents, download the current ACTV Vaporetto Timetables from the Illustrata Press portable Vap Map web site.

New Vaporetto and IMob Ticketing Machines


I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The other night, on the way back from a review of every varitel, DOC and DOCG in Lazio, Abruzzo and Campania (can you actually get a degree in wine?), I walked passed the vap stop at the train station. For some reason, something caught my eye from behind the ticket booth. I wandered toward it, and there it was, the long-overdue prodigal of the Automatic Ticket Machine sitting just inside the station: a ticket machine that issues vaporetto tickets! And iMob passes! And Alilaguna tickets! And Venicecards! And event tickets! And that allows you to both apply for long term pass and print it immediately! It’s a miracle!



I don’t even know if it works. I haven’t seen a press release, or maybe I missed it. I’ve only seen this one machine, and have to say that I immediately started to imagine lines forming around it in summer heat. Will there be more machines, here at the train station, or placed at other stops like Piazzale Roma, San Zaccaria, Rialto, etc.? Does it even work yet?

Stay tuned…Maybe I’ll try it out the next time I top up my imob card. Or, try it out yourself, and let me know what happens (thought maybe I’d get in on the whole crowd-sourcing approach to things).

Venice Vaporetto Fares


Updated August, 2019.

Here’s a brief summary of the public transit fares for navigation (i.e., the vaporetto) posted by the ACTV.

Single Ticket

€7,50 – Single water bus fare may be purchased in advance or on board. This ticket is good for one 60-minute journey on the Venice network (does not include Alilaguna airport transport or the Fusina or Clodia lines). It can be purchased at any ticket booth or on board. Do let the attendent know you need one as you board, to avoid the possibility of a hefty fine.

Unlimited-Use Travel Passes includes one item of luggage per passenger. These passes are valid for a specified number of hours from the time it’s stamped. Good for land, lagoon, and Lido public transport as well.

  • 20 – 24 hours
  • 3048 hours
  • 4072 hours
  • €72 – 1 week
  • 20 – Three-day Youth card, issued only upon presentation of the Rolling Venice Card (€4, ages 14 – 29), for purchase once you arrive from any HelloVenezia vendor.

Conference Card, Student, and organized groups – special requests.

Discounts for groups of various types. Reserved in advance through the offices of HelloVenezia, +39 041 2424. Valid from 1 to 8 days.

VeneziaUnica City Pass

If you are a frequent visitor to Venice, you might consider the Venezia Unica City Pass. It’s a significant investment if you’re not a resident of Venice or the Veneto (€50), but you can save money in the long term. See the ACTV site for complete information (scroll down to VeneziaUnica City Pass).

For complete info on transportation and events, see this post, or contact Venezia Unica at +39 041 2424 from 8a to 8p daily (English spoken).

Al Mercà : New Rialto Mercato Vaporetto Stop

It’s still unenclosed, and is only operational around market hours, but they’ve finally ceduto and added a new fermata on the Grand Canal at the Rialto Market, appropriatly named Rialto Mercato.

Venetians ladies of a certain age always preferred meandering from the San Silvestro stop (stopping for a caffè and brioche along the way) to walking across the Rialto Bridge in order to shop the famous market. Now, the vaporetto will deliver them quasi quasi to their favorite frutariol.

Line 1 makes the stop, located halfway between the Rialto and Ca d’Oro on the opposite side of the Canal, below the market and the Santa Sofia traghetto. The pontile jutts out from the porticoes of the Tribunale, halfway between Campo Pescaria and the Erbaria. Line 1 times for other stops are adjusted up and down the Canal when the Mercato stop is operational – I can’t imagine how this is going to be compensated for on the timetables themselves. I do wish they’d leave it running after the market closes, though; it would come in handy more than a few times a week.

I won’t hold my breath. Took us long enough to get the fermata itself…

Venice Water Transport: Vaporetto, Traghetto, and the Water Taxi.

There are only two forms of transportation in Venice: your feet, and a boat. The public water transportation for Venice, the lagoon, and to the terra firma is run by the ACTV. Vaporetti, motoscafi, motonavi, etc., navigate the city and the islands beyond, including Burano, Murano, Torcello, and more.

There are also private water taxis, providing point-to-point luxury transport, with rates starting at €60 for city-center transfers for four people and luggage. Taxi transport from the airport starts at €95. The privately run traghetti, operated by the gondoliers, located at various points along the Grand Canal that will ferry you across for 50 cents.

Of course, there’s the gondola famosa, the transport of times past, now more of a pleasant than practical experience.

THE VAPORETTO (water bus). The vaporetto (so called because it was once steam-powered) is water-borne publc transport in Venice. It’s actually the name of only one of the types of boats of the ACTV fleet, but it’s probably the one you’ll see the most of, and the one it will be most important that you understand.

Tickets. You are responsible for having a valid ticket before boarding, available for purchase at tickets booths at all the major stops. If you board without one, purchase it immediately. The best deal is the travel pass, however, which allows unlimited travel on all ACTV public transport, land and lagoon, for a specified length of time.

See the ACTV site for current travel card fares. If you buy them in the city, the validity period starts from the first time you use it (just swipe the card across the machine outside the vaporetto stop). If you purchase in advance from (at a discount), the validity period starts at purchase time.

NOTE that holders of the €4 Rolling Venice Card (for 14-29-year-olds) may purchase a 72-hour pass for €18,00. Sold at the TI offices at Piazzale Roma, Piazza San Marco, and the Pavilion just off the San Marco Vallaresso stop. Rolling Venice cards entitle the holder to other discounts throughout the city; for more info see

Tickets can be bought at the airport (to the left as you exit baggage claim), at Piazzale Roma, and any of the main vaporetto stops (Ferrovia, San Zaccaria, San Marco/Valeresso, San Tomà , Rialto).

Waterbus stops: Le Fermate. Waterbus stops can have only one dock, where the number 1 will stop no matter what direction it’s gonig in; but it can have a plethora, with multiple lines, and multiple docks depending on the direction the vapoetto will be heading. The larger stops (where you’ll always be able to buy tickets) are:

  • Piazzale Roma. The end of the line for anything with wheels. If you’re dropping off your car or coming in on a bus, this will be your last stop.
  • Ferrovia: The railway station (Venezia Santa Lucia). #1 will be on your right as you exit the station; 2 and the other express lines will be on your left, and the circular routes beyond them. There are booths on both sides for ticket purchase.
  • Rialto: The Rialto bridge. There are two docks for Line 2 is the closest one to the bridge; the docks for the #1 is further down, away from it.
  • Accademia: The Accademia bridge. There are two docks where both Line 1 and Line 2 pass.
  • San Marco / Valleresso: Why these have two different names we’re not sure, but it’s a great place to become totally confused. The 2 departs from Valleresso to go up the Grand Canal, and is the last stop coming down.  Line 1, however, will continue on to San Zaccaria on the other side of Piazza San Marco, and on to Lido. (This is also one of the Alilaguna stops to and from the airport. See airport arrival for more details.)
  • San Zaccaria: The Grand Central Station of Venice, un vero casino. Almost every boat in service goes and comes from here, you can spend the day wandering up and down trying to find it’s departure point. However, if you want to get anywhere in the lagoon or Venice itself, you can do it from here.

WORTH NOTING: Stops with more than one line will have more than one dock, one on the left, and another on the right. The right dock will be for the boats heading left, and vice versa. To avoid racing out of one to catch your boat arriving at the other, verify the correct direction noted on the signs overhead as you enter the dock.

WATERBUS ROUTES. Think of the bus lines being divided into several categories, depending on their routes:

  • The lines that take you through the city and down the Grand Canal (1, 2)
  • The paired lines, circular routes around the city (41/42, 51,52, 61/62, odd numbered lines run CCW; even ones, CW)
  • The lines that run throughout the lagoon (LN: Laguna Nord to Burano from San Zaccaria and Fondamenta Nuova, DM: Diretto Murano from Fondamenta Nuova, T: Torcello from Burano), and 20, from San Zaccaria to San Servolo and San Francesco and back.
  • The (seasonal) fast lines to and from San Marco (Bis and from Piazzale Roma, Ferrovia and Rialto, 5, to and from Murano from San Zaccaria.

View or download the ACTV Venice vaporetto/waterbus route map pdf here.

City Lines: 1, 2. These are the lines you’ll likely use the most. Between them, they’ll traverse the Grand Canal and Giudecca canals, connecting Venice with Lido, San Giorgio Maggiore, the Giudecca and the Zattere. Line #1 runs more frequently (every 10 minutes) and stops everywhere; Line 2 runs every 20 minutes and has fewer stops. During the season, Line 2 will extend is course to Lido, and buses will be added that run from Piazzale Roma and the Ferrovia only to Rialto: Solo Rialto.

THE TRAGHETTO. There are only four bridges that cross the Grand Canal: The Accademia, The Rialto, and the Scalzi (near the train station), and the Ponte della Constituzione from Piazzale Roma to the Ferrovia. If you’re some distance to one of these, need to cross, and you (just) missed the vap, head for the nearest traghetto stand: the plain-Jane sister of the gondola that ferries passengers back and forth across the Grand Canal, now at €2 a pop. You’ll marvel at the agility of this seemingly unnavigable oddity as you’re threaded across the flotilla of Canal craft. Passengers will usually stand in them to allow as many as possible to board.

The traghetto stands can be off the beaten path and may require a little wandering to locate, but will be marked on most Venetian maps. Keep looking for TRAGHETTO-> signs in the calle as you get nearer.

WATER TAXIS. Taxi fares start at €60 for four people and luggage, and go up from there. Though damaging to interior canals, it’s certainly an elegant way to tour the city if it’s within your budget. If you have a group and lots of luggage, a taxi from the airport, train station or Piazzale Roma to your hotel will afford you a direct, comfortable entrance into the city (just make sure to confirm the price before you depart). Taxi drivers will not take credit cards, so stop by a bancomat beforehand if you need to. Be careful, however, to avoid private or unauthorized taxis (the authorized ones have license plates with black numbers on a yellow background). Also be aware that you will be charged for anytime a taxi has to wait.

To order a taxi at anytime, call 041.723.009 There are also taxi stands at all major boat stops as well, including San Marco, Rialto, and the San Giglio stops.

THE GONDOLA. Once as common in Venice as the automobile is everywhere else today, the gondola has become the cliché of Venetian tourism. Still, it offers something that can be had nowhere else in the world, and so we gladly hand the gondolier our €80 (per boat, not per person) after he has skillfully maneuvered us (oh-ey!), perched high on the stern of this unwieldy craft, with a single oar, through this legendary and evocative canal-city, and we are pleased. Consider waiting til twilight or  nightfall to get the full effect (even though you’ll pay €20 more).


Finally, call HelloVenezia, +39 041 2424, anytime from 8a – 8p (English spoken) for all your transport and event questions. This is an underutilized service that can assist you anytime for ACTV schedules, stops, routes, and city event information.