There are basically two ways of getting around Venice: on foot or by boat.
Venice is ideal for those who prefer to get around on foot. Once you are in the lagoon and in the historic centre of Venice, all places of interest are easily reachable on foot. Besides, cars and buses cannot drive around Venice; they can only get as far as Piazzale Roma, near the Railway station.
You can choose between different types of boats to get around Venice:
The Venetians and tourists alike usually get around the city using the vaporettos, which are the closest equivalent to traditional public buses which run in cities where roads are tarmaced rather than under water The vaporettos cover regular routes and there are stations on most of the islands that make up Venice. The vaporettos are operated by ACTV, or Venice Public Transport Company. To find out the timetables, routes and location of the piers, please click here to view the ACTV website.
Boats of the private company Alilaguna
Alilaguna is a private service, which primarily provides a direct link (using average-sized boats) between Marco Polo Airport and Saint Mark’s Square in the centre of Venice. It is perhaps the best way of going to Venice from the airport; the alternative is taking the ACTV buses, which take you to Piazzale Roma in Venice, which is as far as vehicles can get and where there is a large car park where you can leave your car before catching a vaporetto or other boat to go to whatever part of Venice. Alilaguna also offers tours of Venice and other services. For more information click here to view the Alilaguna website.
Venice water taxis
This is the most luxurious means of tranport on offer in Venice. Each trip costs approximately 100 Euros. It is a particularly interesting option to go from the airport to your hotel, as it leaves you just outside the hotel. The type of boat used is a small luxury yacht, with a lot of space inside. It can accommodate up to ten passengers. The company which runs the service is called Venezia Taxi and the service is available 24 hours a day by phoning 041 723112, but there are taxis everywhere and it is not difficult to find one without having to phone. For more information about the water taxis in Venice, please haz click here (italian).
At least once in a lifetime, a ride in a gondola is a must. It is undoubtedly the boat par excellence in Venice, and it is also unique in the world because of its design. It is asymmetrical; the left side is much wider than the right thus making it tilt, which helps the Venetian gondolier with the rowing. It was decided that all gondolas should be black when the plague ended, in the 17th century, as a sign of mourning in the city. Before that, gondolas were painted in bright colours and richly decorated to show off the wealth of the Venetian families that owned them. Nowadays they can only be black, with red, black or blue upholstery. The gondolas are also used for celebrations and weddings, when they are decorated with a seahorse on each side for the occasion.
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