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Getting Around Venice on the Vaporetto

Updated on April 20, 2016
bdegiulio profile image

Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures, experiences, and makes the world a better, more tolerant place.

Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal

Rialto Bridge and vaporetto on the Grand Canal
Rialto Bridge and vaporetto on the Grand Canal | Source

Getting around in Venice is limited to two modes of transportation, you either walk, or you can ride the vaporetto. Actually you can ride a gondola also but that's more of a "thing do to" than a mode of transportation.

The vaporetto is basically a water bus that takes visitors to various destinations in and around Venice. They make stops just like a city bus would and passengers can come and go at each stop depending on their destination. There are 22 different lines in the system that take passengers around the Venetian Lagoon. We won’t go over all of them but will look at the routes that traverse Venice and the popular neighboring islands of Murano, Burano and Lido. If you are visiting Venice these are the vaporetto lines that you want to be familiar with.

Vaporetto - Water Bus

Vaporetto
Vaporetto | Source

Some helpful reminders

Murano Island - Glass Making

Burano Island - Lace and colorful homes

San Michele Island - Cemetery Island

Lido Island - Beach Island

Vaporetto Line 1 and 2

For most visitors to Venice the only vaporetto lines that you will probably need to ride are line 1 and 2. Vaporetto lines number 1 and 2 run up and down the Grand Canal between Piazzale Roma and San Marco. As most visitors to Venice will be arriving at either the train station (Ferrovia) or the bus station (Piazzale Roma) these lines are the ones that you will be taking.

The only difference between these two lines is in the number of stops that they make. Line number 1 takes about 45 minutes to go the length of the canal and stops at every station along the way. Line 1 also continues onto the island of Lido, which is famous as the beach island of Venice.

Line number 2 takes only about 25 minutes to traverse the Grand Canal and only makes a handful of stops at the most popular stations: Tronchetto, Piazzale Roma, Ferrovia, San Marcuola, Rialto Bridge, San Toma, Accademia Bridge and San Marco. Line two also stops at Guidecca and only goes to Lido during the peak sesaon.

Venice

A markerGrand Canal, Venice, It -
Grand Canal, Canal Grande, 30100 Venice, Italy
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While catching the vaporetto may be required to get to your accommodations or to one of the outer islands, be sure to take a ride down the full length of the Grand Canal, preferably during off-peak hours. There is no better way to experience the true essence of Venice than by cruising the Grand Canal and the water bus is a much cheaper alternative to a gondola ride or a private boat.

Grand Canal

On the Grand Canal
On the Grand Canal | Source

Vaporetto Line 3

The vaporetto line number 3 is known as the direct Murano line. This service connects the Ferrovia (railroad station), Piazzale Roma (bus station) and five stops on the island of Murano. If you are looking for a quick trip out to Murano, line 3 might be your best bet as it avoids the crowded Grand Canal.

Vaporetto Line 4.1 and 4.2

Lines 4.1 and 4.2 make a circular route that goes around Venice and out to the island of Murano and San Michele (Cemetery Island). Line 4.1 runs in a clockwise direction while line 4.2 takes the same route but in a counterclockwise motion. On these routes the vaporetto leaves Murano and makes stops at San Michele, Fondamenta Nove, Ferrovia, Piazzale Roma, Guidecca, San Zaccaria, and Fondamenta Nove again before returning to Murano. To help you get your bearings the Fondamenta Nove station is located on the north shore of Venice while the Guidecca station is located on the south shore of Venice. The 4.1 and 4.2 lines do not go down the Grand Canal but rather travel around the island of Venice before heading out to Murano.

Traffic on the Grand Canal

Traffic on the Grand Canal
Traffic on the Grand Canal | Source

Burano

Burano
Burano | Source

Vaporetto Line 12

If you are interested in visiting the islands of Murano, Burano, or Torcello then line number 12 is the way to go. Line 12 leaves from the Fondamenta Nova station located on the north side of Venice. It’s a short ten minute ride to Murano and along the way you will pass the cemetery island of San Michele. From Murano out to Burano is a longer ride and will take about 35 minutes. Burano is a beautiful island with a multitude of colorful homes and is worth the ride. Continuing on from Burano to Torcello is just a five minute ride.

Identifying some helpful Vaporetto sites:

Tronchetto: Parking Lot

Piazzale Roma: Bus Station and Taxi’s

Ferrovia: Train Station

To get to the Fondamente Station you can either walk or you can get there via other vaporetto lines (4.1, 4.2, 5.1, and 5.2). I would suggest a walk as this will give you a chance to see the Cannaregio district of Venice. This part of Venice is rather quiet and is home to the Jewish Ghetto and the Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth. A walk through some of the more quiet neighborhoods of Venice will give you a glimpse of a different side of Venice away from the crowds of Rialto and San Marco.

The quiet side of Venice

The Carnaregio District of Venice
The Carnaregio District of Venice | Source

Vaporetto Line 14

If you are heading out to the island of Lido, the beach island, another option in addition to line number 1 is to take the number 14 vaporetto, which leaves from the San Zaccaria station located just beyond the San Marco stop. Line number 14 makes a stop in Lido before heading out to Punta Sabbioni, which is home to the largest campground in the Venice area.

show route and directions
A markerGrand Canal, Venice -
Grand Canal, Canal Grande, 30100 Venice, Italy
get directions

B markerLido, Venice -
Lido, Venice, Italy
get directions

C markerMurano Island -
Murano, 30141 Venice, Italy
get directions

D markerPunta Sabbioni -
30013 Punta Sabbioni Venice, Italy
get directions

Grand Canal

Grand Canal
Grand Canal | Source

Vaporetto Fees

So what’s it going to cost you to get around Venice by vaporetto? That will all depend on how often you plan on taking the water bus and how long you are staying in Venice.

For a single 60 minute ticket, which allows travel on most of the lines and includes one luggage bag the fee is 7 euro. The 60 minutes starts from the time you validate your ticket, which should be done as soon as you board. The ticket is good for travel in one direction and does not include the return trip. Although a round-trip ride is not technically allowed, if you can complete it within the 60 minutes you can go roundtrip. You can also hop off and back on at any stops during the time period.

Before you start adding up the cost for all of your planned trips, which at 7 euro per trip can add up fast, there is a more economical way to use the vaporetto system. Travel Cards are available, which allow for unlimited travel on most routes for those of you who think you will need to make multiple trips on the water bus. The Travel Cards are priced as follows:

Vaporetto Travel Cards

Travel Card
Cost
12 Hour
18 euro
24 Hour
20 euro
36 Hour
25 euro
48 Hour
30 euro
72 Hour
35 euro
7 Day
50 euro

The Travel Card options offer you the opportunity to save some money while making unlimited trips on the vaporetto system without worrying about having to wait in line to purchase single trip tickets. Just be sure to validate your ticket on your first journey and make sure you carry your Travel Card with you as they do check for tickets. You do not want to get caught riding the vaporetto without a valid ticket as you will incur a hefty fine.

Rialto Vaporetto Station

Rialto Vaporetto Station with the Rialto Bridge.
Rialto Vaporetto Station with the Rialto Bridge. | Source

Piazzale Roma Vaporetto Station

Piazzale Roma Vaporetto Station
Piazzale Roma Vaporetto Station | Source

Hope fully this helps you find your way around Venice and gives you a clearer understanding of the vaporetto system and which lines to use. When in doubt simply ask an attendant at any of the stations or look for the signs that show a map of the various lines and stops. Enjoy your visit to beautiful Venice.

Ciao for now.

© 2013 Bill De Giulio

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    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 7 months ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Glenis. Always good to get confirmation on the things we write about especially when it comes to traveling. Thanks for stopping by, have a great week.

    • Glenis Rix profile image

      Glenis Rix 7 months ago from UK

      I was in Venice in May and can confirm that the vaporetto is an easy and quick means of getting from place to place on the Grand Canal. The boats are very busy and often there is standing room only. Best to visit out of high season. Great pics :)

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mona. No worries, the gondola are still very much there. The vaporetta is a wonderful transportation system in Venice , which makes it easy and comvenient to get pretty much anywhere around Venice. It's also a great way to see Venice by riding the vaporetta up and down the Grand Canal. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      I was only a little girl when I was in Venice, and we rode a gondola. When my sister recently mentioned a vaporretto, I had no idea what she was talking about. How interesting to know there's a whole "water bus system" now in Venice. My sister never quite explained that to me and I thought that gondolas were gone forever. Great article.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Svetlana. Thank you and welcome to HubPages.

    • svetico profile image

      svetico 2 years ago

      Thank you for very useful and informative hub.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi titi6601. Thank you. Venice is a one of a kind place, beautiful and fascinating. Start planning your trip :)

      Many thanks for stopping by and the vote.

    • titi6601 profile image

      titi6601 3 years ago

      I have always wanted to visit Venice. Great informative article and I love the pictures. Voted Up!

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mike. Great to see you. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holiday's to you.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 3 years ago

      Great info Bill especially the day passes for the valperetto. Italy can be very expensive from what I hear. I found this hub via your youtube video on the grand canal.

      I hope to visit Italy sometime soon. Your hubs have great advice. Thanks.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Glimmer Twin. Thank you. There really is no other place quite like Venice. Go.... You won't regret it. Many thanks for stopping by and the share.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I have always wanted to visit Venice and your photos and writing make me want to go even more. This is incredibly useful for anyone planning a trip! Thanks and shared around!

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Syed. Thanks for stopping by to visit Venice. It really is a beautiful place and hopefully you get to visit someday. Glad you enjoyed the Hub and many thanks for the vote, etc...

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi rajan. It is a lot of fun to ride the vaporetto. Venice is just a fun place to visit, hopefully you get to experience it someday :) Thanks so much for the share, vote, etc...

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 3 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      This hub is full of useful information for anyone who is planning to visit Venice. Beautiful picture, too! It is indeed one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I would really love to visit it once in my lifetime. Voted up, useful and beautiful!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, what an interesting way to see Venice via the vaporettos. They sure an are enticing mode of transportation.

      Lovely pictures as well. Voted up, useful and interesting. Shared as well.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Linda. I hope you get there someday soon also. The pictures really do it no justice. Thanks so much for the great support. I always enjoy reading your comments and look forward to the day when I get to read your hubs on Italy :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This hub will be extremely useful for anyone who is planning a trip to Venice, Bill! As always, the photos are very enjoyable. I hope so much that I'll be able to visit Italy one day. Your wonderful collection of hubs about Italy would be a great guide on my trip.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mary. If you ever get the chance it is beautiful. It's so colorful and full of life. There really is no other place quite like it. Thanks so much for all the support, I really do appreciate this community and the way we support one another. Have a great week.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Have I ever wanted to visit Venice? Well after I was in Vegas and visited the Venetian, but, having visited this hub and your wonderful explanations and marvelous pictures now I really would like to visit it. The colors along the canal are beautiful.

      You make everything sound so simple with your great directions for getting around. Another great travel hub Bill!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Elias. Thank you, glad you enjoyed the ride on the vaporetto. Venice is a wonderful place, so unique and full of life. Have a great week.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you Suzie. What can I say but thank you again and again. We've come a long way since early 2012. We've found our niches and keep plugging away. It's been a great ride so far and I certainly hope for it to continue. Thanks so much for all the support along the way. Have a great week.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Chitrangada. Having been there yourself you know first hand how magical Venice can be. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

      Another great travel hub about Italy, Bill! Wonderful job as always!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      What a great addition to your Venice collection and so useful. As one who has Venice firmly on my radar when in Italy next, this run down on the invaluable vaporetto will be so useful, thank you! I can see us definitely using this and the travel card is the way to do it. I would want to go to the islands particularly Murano and Burano so knowing the right lines now is perfect.

      Thanks again for another excellent hub, you really have made this niche your own and do it superbly! I am thrilled to see you grow too and your articles are such a pleasure to read, enjoy and learn from.

      Votes up, useful, awesome, interesting, shared and pinned.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This again is a great hub on Italy travel!

      I have seen Venice and have many-many pictures, much like yours, of this wonderful travel destination.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Crystal. Thank you for coming along for a tour of Venice. Riding the vaporetto is actually a lot of fun. Thanks for the vote and share. Have a great week.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Thanks. Our big State Fair just started also so we are planning a day there in the next week or so. We are heading into my favorite time of year here and the weather has been great lately. Glad you enjoyed Venice.

      Hope you had a great weekend.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Another great and very comprehensive hub. Voting up and sharing this one.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I just got back from seven hours at the state fair and now I'm taking a trip through Venice. I wasn't going to read any hubs today but no way was I missing one of yours. Thanks for the tour my friend. Looking forward to the book coming out. :)

      blessings always

      bill

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank You FA. It's good to be back writing. I don't think you'll be disappointed with Italy, there is so much to love. Venice is just so unique and full of life, there really is no other place quite like it. Thanks so much for the vote, share, etc...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This is a wonderful addition to your growing collection of Italy hubs, Bill. Thanks to you, Italy is now definitely on my list of "gotta go" places. Well written, lovely original photos, excellent tips. Voted up and sharing.

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