vaporetto getting around in venice

Traveling to and from Venezia (Venice) and getting around the city is just like traveling in any major tourist area. There are less expensive ways and very expensive ways to get over to the city, so you have plenty options based on your budget, how long you want to wait, and how many bags you plan on lugging around. To plan your trip you just need to understand your options and then make your plan.


Venice (Marco Polo)Airport is located just 12km (seven miles) from Venice, Marco Polo airport is the main hub of European and national flights to the Veneto region. It is easily accessible by land or water, and when occasionally blighted by fog, planes land at nearby airports in Treviso or Verona. Marco Polo is one of the busiest airports in Italy.


Treviso Airport the divert airport for Venice in case of bad weather conditions is Treviso, also there are some national airlines that utilize the Treviso Airport, but fares are posted as Venice, so look at your ticket well or you could exit the airport wondering where you ended up at. The most convenient way to get from Treviso airport (S. Guiseppe) to Venice (Pzzle. Roma) is to take the ATVO bus which has a time schedule organized to accommodate flights arriving and departing. You will arrive in Venice at Piazzale Roma, from where you can walk or take a water-bus into the heart of the city.


The most romantic way to arrive in Venice (weather permitting) is by boat, and there are plenty of motor boats (motoscafo) in Venice. From the airport Alaguna offers a water-bus service for (€17 standard fare), and the ride takes about 1 hour, this no longer than the bus or taxi, and the approach to St Mark’s Square, from the water, is fantastic. The Alilaguna water bus service (telephone number: (041) 523 5775; fax number: (041) 522 939; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) departs hourly 0615-0010 and takes one hour, tickets can be bought in the arrival area just to the left of the gate area as you exit. Water taxis (telephone number: (041) 541 5084) are quicker and cost effective if you have a group, costs start around €120 for up to 4 persons with 1 bag each (surcharge for additional bags will be charged), be sure and confirm the cost prior to boarding and they should give you a receipt, if not do not give a tip (see tipping below)

A cheaper alternative is by land, on the ATVO airbus, these are generally the blue colored buses (telephone number: (041) 541 5180) to Piazzale Roma, which departs every 20 minutes 0835-2330 and costs €3 (journey time is approx 20 minutes).

Cheaper still is the ACTV orange colored public buses (telephone number: (041) 528 7886) public bus 5 should be the bus number you are looking for, which costs just €1 and departs every 30 minutes 0525-2125 (journey time is approx 30 minutes to Piazzale Roma).

Car taxis to Piazzale Roma wait outside the arrivals hall and cost approximately €30-40 a car not persons, again confirm cost prior to getting in and they should give you a receipt. (telephone number: (041) 936 222).


Venice is visited by strolling·through the streets, over the bridges, and sitting in small piazzas having a caffe or wine while·figuring out where to go next.  But if you want to see a lot and have little time, you can use the water buses called vaporetti and operated by Azienda Consorziale Transporti Venezia– ACTV (telephone number: (041) 528 7886).· Tickets cost €7.50 for trips that include the Grand Canal and €3.50 for those that do not. There is also a 24-hour pass which is available for €17.50 and a good value three-day ticket priced at €32, both passes allow the visitor to travel on all vaporetto lines including the Grand Canal and islands. Tickets and passes are available for purchase at most landing stations and selected news paper stands and should be punched in the yellow machine before boarding. Failure to provide a valid stamped ticket when requested results in a €50 fine, plus the full value of the ticket. Tickets are also valid for ACTV road buses, which operate to Piazzale Roma from Mestre and the airport. ACTV operates a 24-hour service but not on all routes.

Traghetti (public ferries) are traditionally used by locals to cross the Grand Canal because there are only three main bridges that cross the Grand Canal, the fourth by the Train station is the newest and does not really count. The traghetti is an open hull gondola, that you stand up in and are rolled across the canal. A quick journey and not always a calm ride (if you are a nervous type and have poor swimming abilities this may not be the best option for you). The trip costs you 50 cents euro for locals and 2 euro for tourist, the ride is over in about 4 minutes.

Water taxis in Venice are perhaps the most expensive taxi service in Europe, and there is a minimum set charge of around €30, a brief trip along the Grand Canal will cost in the region of €70-80 and on top of this there are surcharges for extra passengers, (over the standard four), luggage and travelling by night. Water Taxis (telephone number: (041) 541 5084) can be ordered by telephone but will have a minimum of €20 on the clock when they arrive. Co-operative San Marco (telephone number: (041) 523 5775) also operates a water taxi service. Stands are located at the train station, Piazzale Roma, Rialto, San Marco and the Lido. Official water taxis have a black registration number on a yellow background. Visitors are advised to stay away from illegal operators.

Car Taxis operate between Piazzale Roma and the mainland only. Since hailing a taxi can prove difficult, visitors find it easier to call for a pickup from a reputable company, such as Radio Taxi (telephone number: (041) 523 7774), which around 15 euro for short trips, like from Piazzale Roma to Mestre Train Station. Visitors should beware of unlicensed taxis without the usual sign or meter.

Tipping has become expected for both land and water taxis, but not necessary, I advise only to tip if the people actually help you with the bags, are friendly, and give you a receipt. Do not be foolish and give a big tip for nothing, Italians and most Europeans do not tip at all and if they do it is only to round up to the nearest 5 euro.


The Venetian equivalent of the limousine is the gondola. For the ultimate travelling experience, there is nothing like gliding under the Bridge of Sighs, leaning back in plush red velvet seats and listening to the gentle slap of water against the crumbling palazzi walls. Gondola Rides in Venice




Venice is one of the cities in Italy that warrants more than just one day to visit and explore.  Below is a list of the attractions and things to visit during your vacation.


Accademia Art Gallery

Accademia Bridge in Venice Italy


Basilica di San Giovanni de Paolo in Venice Italy

Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice Italy

Basilica of Saint Mark in Venice, Italy


Ca d'Oro (Palazzo Santa Sofia) in Venice

Ca Vendramin Calergi Palace in Venice

Caffe Florian in Venice, Italy

Campo San Barnaba in Venice Italy

Carnival of Venice in Italy

Chiesa degli Scalzi in Venice

Chiesa di San Polo in Venice

Church of San Benedetto in Venice, Italy

Church of San Giacomo Apostolo

Church of San Moisè in Venice, Italy

Church of San Nicolò da Tolentino in Venice, Italy

Church of San Sebastiano in Venice, Italy

Church of San Zan Degola

Church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice Italy

Church of the Holy Savior in Venice, Italy


Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy


Fondaco dei Turchi in Venice, Italy


Gondola Rides in Venice


Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy

Hotel Danieli (Palazzo Dandolo) in Venice, Italy

House of Carlo Goldoni in Venice


Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy


Le Zitelle Church in Venice Italy


Madonna dell'Orto Church in Venice


Ospedale della Pieta in Venice Italy


Palace Ca Foscari in Venice

Palazzo Ca Rezzonico in Venice

Palazzo Corner della Regina in Venice, Italy

Palazzo Dario in Venice, Italy

Palazzo Donà in Venice

Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Italy

Palazzo Labia in Venice, Italy

Palazzo Mocenigo in Venice, Italy

Palazzo Soranzo in Venice

Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy

Ponte delle Guglie in the Cannaregio District of Venice


Rialto Bridge in Venice Italy


Saint Alvise Church in Venice

Saint Mark's Church in Venice Italy

San Canciano Church in Venice

San Giacomo di Rialto Church in Venice

San Geremia Church in Venice

San Giovanni Grisostomo Church in Venice

San Girogio dei Greci Church in Venice Italy

San Marco Square in Venice, Italy

San Maurizio Church in Venice, Italy

San Pantalon Church in Venice Italy

San Samuele Church in Venice, Italy

San Trovaso Church in Venice Italy

San Zaccria Church in Venice Italy

Santa Lucia Train Station in Venice

Santa Maria dei Carmini Church in Venice

Santa Maria dei Giglio Church in Venice, Italy

Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church in Venice

Santa Maria Formosa Church in Venice Italy

Santo Stefano Church in Venice, Italy

Scuola Grande dei Carmini in Venice

Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice

Scuola Grande di San Marco in Venice Italy

Seat of Rule The Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy


Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy


Venetian Arsenal in Venice Italy


The Grand Canal (Italian: Canal Grande) is a canal in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. Public transport is provided by water buses and private water taxis, and many tourists explore parts of the canal by gondola. At one end, the canal leads into the Venetian lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into Saint Mark Basin; in between, it makes a large reverse-S shape through the central districts (sestieri) of Venice. It is 3,800 m long, 30–90 m wide, with an average depth of five meters (16.5 ft).

The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with more than 170 buildings, most of which date from the 13th to the 18th century, and demonstrate the welfare and art created by the Republic of Venice. The noble Venetian families faced huge expenses to show off their richness in suitable palazzos; this contest reveals the citizens’ pride and the deep bond with the lagoon. Amongst the many are the Palazzi Barbaro, Ca' Rezzonico, Ca' d'Oro, Palazzo Dario, Ca' Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo and to Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The churches along the canal include the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. Centuries-old traditions, such as the Historical Regatta, are perpetuated every year along the Canal. Because most of the city's traffic goes along the Canal rather than across it, only one bridge crossed the canal until the 19th century, the Rialto Bridge. There are currently three more bridges, the Ponte degli Scalzi, the Ponte dell'Accademia, and the recent, controversial Ponte della Costituzione, designed by Santiago Calatrava, connecting the train station to Piazzale Roma, one of the few places in Venice where buses and cars can enter. As was usual in the past, people can still take a ferry ride across the canal at several points by standing up on the deck of a simple gondola called a traghetto, although this service is less common than even a decade ago. Most of the palaces emerge from water without pavement. Consequently, one can only tour past the fronts of the buildings on the grand canal by boat.

History and Art of the Grand Canal

The Grand Canal probably follows the course of an ancient river(possibly a branch of the Brenta) flowing into the lagoon. Adriatic Veneti groups already lived beside the formerly-named "Rio Businiacus" before the Roman age. They lived in stilt houses and on fishing and commerce (mainly salt). Under the rule of the Roman empire and later of the Byzantine empire the lagoon became populated and important, and in the early 9th century the doge moved his seat from Malamocco to the safer "Rivoaltus". Increasing trade followed the doge and found in the deep Grand Canal a safe and ship accessible canal-port. Drainage reveals that the city became more compact over time: at that time the Canal was wider and flowed between small, tide-subjected islands connected by wooden bridges.

"Fondaco" houses

Along the Canal, the number of "fondaco" houses increased, buildings combining the warehouse and the merchant's residence. A portico (the curia) covers the bank and facilitates the ships' unloading. From the portico a corridor flanked by storerooms reaches a posterior courtyard. Similarly, on the first floor a loggia as large as the portico illuminates the hall into which open the merchant's rooms. The façade is thereby divided into an airy central part and two more solid sides. A low mezzanine with offices divides the two floors. The fondaco house often had two lateral defensive towers (torreselle), as in the Fondaco dei Turchi (13th century, heavily restored in the 19th). With the German warehouse, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi (which is also situated on the Grand Canal), it reflects the high number of foreign merchants working in Venice, where the republic supplied them with storerooms and lodging and simultaneously controlled their trading activity. More public buildings were built along the Canal at Rialto: palaces for commercial and financial Benches ( Palazzo dei Camerlenghi and Palazzo dei Dieci Savi, rebuilt after 1514 fire) and a mint. In 1181 Nicolò Barattieri constructed a pontoon bridge connecting Rialto to Mercerie area, which was later replaced by a wooden bridge with shops on it. Warehouses for flour and salt were more peripheral.

The Venetian-Byzantine style

From the Byzantine empire, goods arrived together with sculptures, friezes, columns and capitals to decorate the fondaco houses of patrician families. The Byzantine art merged with previous elements resulting in a Venetian-Byzantine style; in architecture it was characterized by large loggias with round or elongated arches and by polychrome marbles abundance. Along the Grand Canal, these elements are well preserved in Ca' Farsetti, Ca' Loredan (both municipal seats) and Ca' da Mosto, all dating back to the 12th or 13th century. During this period Rialto had an intense building development, determining the conformation of the Canal and surrounding areas. As a matter of fact, in Venice building materials are precious and foundations are usually kept: in the subsequent restorations, existing elements will be used again, mixing the Venetian-Byzantine and the new styles ( Ca' Sagredo, Palazzo Bembo). Polychromy, three-partitioned façades, loggias, diffuse openings and rooms disposition formed a particular architectural taste that continued in the future. The Fourth Crusade, with the loot obtained from the sack of Constantinople (1204), and other historical situations, gave Venice an Eastern influence until the late 14th century.

Venetian Gothic

Venetian Gothic architecture found favor quite late, as a splendid flamboyant Gothic ("gotico fiorito") beginning with the southern façade of the Doge's Palace. The verticality and the illumination characterizing the Gothic style are found in the porticos and loggias of fondaco houses: columns get thinner, elongated arches are replaced by pointed or ogee or lobed ones. Porticos rise gently intertwining and drawing open marbles in quatrefoils or similar figures. Façades were plastered in brilliant colors. The open marble fascias, often referred as " laces", quickly diffused along the Grand Canal. Among the 15th-century palaces still showing the original appearance are Ca' d'Oro, Palazzo Bernardo, Ca' Foscari (now housing the University of Venice), Palazzo Pisani Moretta, Palazzi Barbaro, Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti.


By the start of the 15th century, Renaissance architecture motifs appear in such buildings as the Palazzo Dario and the Palazzo Corner Spinelli; the latter was designed by Mauro Codussi, pioneer of this style in Venice. Ca' Vendramin Calergi, another of his projects (now hosting the Casino), reveals a completed transition: the numerous and large windows with open marbles are round-arched and have columns in the three classical orders. Classical architecture is more evident in Jacopo Sansovino's projects, who arrived from Rome in 1527. Along the Canal he designed Palazzo Corner and Palazzo Dolfin Manin, known for grandiosity, for the horizontal layout of the white façades and for the development around a central courtyard. Other Renaissance buildings are Palazzo Papadopoli and Palazzo Grimani di San Luca. Several palaces of this period had façades with frescoes by painters such as Il Pordenone, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, all of them unfortunately lost. Particularly noteworthy were the frescoes by Veronese and Zelotti on Ca Cappello, overlooking the Grand Canal at the intersection with the Rio de S. Polo.

Venetian Baroque

In 1582, Alessandro Vittoria began the construction of Palazzo Balbi (now housing the Government of Veneto), in which Baroque elements can be recognized: fashioned cornices, broken pediments, ornamental motifs. The major Baroque architect in Venice was Baldassarre Longhena. In 1631 he began to build the magnificent Santa Maria della Salute basilica, one of the most beautiful churches in Venice and a symbol of Grand Canal. The classical layout of the façade features decorations and by many statues, the latter crowning also the refined volutes surrounding the major dome. Longhena later designed two majestic palaces like Ca' Pesaro and Ca' Rezzonico (with many carvings and chiaroscuro effects) and Santa Maria di Nazareth church (Chiesa degli Scalzi). For various reasons the great architect did not see any of these buildings finished, and the designs for all but Santa Maria della Salute were modified after his death. Longhena's themes recur in the two older façades of Palazzo Labia, containing a famous fresco cycle by Giambattista Tiepolo. In the Longhenian school grew Domenico Rossi ( San Stae's façade, Ca' Corner della Regina) and Giorgio Massari, who later completed Ca' Rezzonico. The 16th and 17th centuries mark the beginning of the Republic's decline, but nevertheless they saw the highest building activity on the Grand Canal. This can be partially explained by the increasing number of families (like the Labia) becoming patrician by the payment of an enormous sum to the Republic, which was then facing financial difficulties. Once these families had achieved this new status, they built themselves with impressive residences on the Canal, often inducing other families to renew theirs.

Neoclassical architecture

Neoclassical architectures along the Canal date to 18th century: during the first half was built San Simeone Piccolo, with an impressive corinthian portico, central plan and a high copper-covered dome ending in a cupola shaped as a temple. Date to the second half Massari's Palazzo Grassi.

Modern era

After the fall of the Republic 1797, construction of housing in Venice was suspended, as symbolized by the unfinished San Marcuola and Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection). Patrician families lost their desire of self-exaltation and many of them died out. Several historical palaces were pulled down, but most of them survived and good restorations have saved their 18th century appearance. The most important are publicly owned and host institutions and museums. Religious buildings underwent the consequences of religious orders suppression decreed by Napoleon in the Kingdom of Italy period. Many churches and monasteries were deprived of furnishings and works of art, changed their function (like Santa Maria della Carità complex, now housing the Gallerie dell'Accademia) or were demolished. The Santa Croce complex, for which the Sestiere was named, was situated in Papadopoli Gardens area; Santa Lucia complex (partially designed by Palladio) was razed to the ground to build Santa Lucia Station. The Kingdom of Italy accession restored serenity in the city and stimulated construction along the Grand Canal respecting its beauty, often reproduced in Gothic Revival architectures like the Pescaria at Rialto.


Venice Province,


lion st mark

The Lion of Saint Mark, representing the evangelist St Mark, pictured in the form of a winged lion, is the symbol of the city of Venice and formerly of the Republic of Venice. It appears also in both merchant and military naval flags of the Italian Republic. The Lion of Saint Mark is also the symbol of the award of the Venice Film Festival, the " Golden Lion", and of the insurance company Assicurazioni Generali. Other elements often included in depictions of the lion include a halo over his head, a book, and a sword in its paws.

The Venetian lion appears in two distinct forms. One is as a winged animal resting on water, to symbolise dominance over the seas, holding St. Mark’s Gospel under a front paw. You can see these mighty animals all round the Mediterranean, usually on top of a classical stone column.  The other form is known as the lion “in moleca”, in the form of a crab. Here the lion is depicted full-faced with its wings circled around the head resembling the claws of a crustacean. It is emerging from water, so that the lion “in moleca” is associated with the lagoon and the city, whereas the standing winged lion is thought to be more associated with Venetian territory around the Mediterranean.

Venetian tradition states that when St. Mark was traveling through Europe, he arrived at a lagoon in Venice, where an angel appeared to him and said "Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus. Hic requiescet corpus tuum." (May Peace be with you, Mark, my evangelist. Here your body will rest.) This (possibly apocryphal) tradition was used as justification by Rustico da Torcello and Bon da Malamocco in 828 for stealing the remains of St. Mark from his grave in Alexandria, and moving them to Venice, where they were eventually interred in the Basilica of St. Mark.


St Mark, represented as a lion, is a typical Christian iconography derived from the prophetic visions contained in the verse of the Apocalypse of St John 4:7. The lion is one of the four living creatures described in the book as a place around the throne of the Almighty and they are chosen as symbols of the four evangelists. These "beings" were previously described by the prophet Ezekiel. "Behold, I send my messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way." The voice of the one who cries in the wilderness: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." (Gospel according to Mark 1:1–3) The lion also symbolizes the power of the Evangelist's word, the wings symbolize the spiritual elevation, while the halo is the traditional Christian symbol of holiness. However, the lion symbols express also the significance of majesty and power (drawn especially from the upward feline tail), while the book expresses the concepts of wisdom and peace and the halo gives an image of religious piety. There are many symbolic interpretations with the possible combination of sword and book:

  • An open book is a symbol of the state's sovereignty (many depictions are of doges kneeling before such representation);
  • A closed book, however, is considered as a symbol of a delegated sovereignty, and hence the public courts;
  • An open book (and the sword on the ground is not visible) is popularly considered as a symbol of peace for the state of Venice, but this is not corroborated by any historical source;
  • A closed book and a drawn sword are popular but mistakenly considered as a symbol of the state in war;
  • Finally, an open book and a sword are considered as a symbol of public justice.

However, these interpretations are not universally accepted as the Republic of Venice (Serenissima) never codified its symbols. Rare, but are presented, are also depictions of the lion without a book or a sword and sometimes without the halo (especially in a representation of a statue). In some depictions the lion rests his front paws on the ground, often in cities with rivers or in ones close to water, indicating the Venetian balanced power on land and sea.


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