You will probably not be able to get around Venice, Italy without getting on a boat at least once while we are there. You might be wondering… How do I know which boat to take or how much you should save up for this portion of the budget. Well.. After some research, I have put together a list of boats that we all might want to take when we are here!!
As we have all seen from movies, pictures, and other forms of art, gondolas have been the main means of transportation as well as the most common watercraft in Venice, Italy for centuries. But as tourism has increased so much over the years, many other forms of boats have been built to taxi tourists and make money while doing it. Here are just a few of the popular boats in Venice, Italy if you are itching to get on the water while we are there!
- Gondola- of course, we must start with the most famous form: the Gondola.
Price: in short, expensive. But on average, a gondola ride is about €80, or $98 US dollars for 40 minutes. The later you want to go on, the more expensive it is.
Of course, prices vary, so talk to your “gondolier” BEFORE starting the ride! Luckily, the cost of our trip covers a gondola ride!
- Traghetto- means “ferry” in Italian. This boat stops at 7 destinations between the railroad station and St. Mark’s Basin. Although, they are becoming more rare as tourism continues to rise.
Price: €2 or about $2.50
Some important info: if you have heavy luggage (which most of us will) this option is probably not ideal. If/when you do board the boat, face backwards because the boat turns as it leaves the dock.
To pay: Hand your fare to the oarsmen when you enter or leave the boat. If you do not have exact change, try to pay with coins.
Hours are unpredictable!! If a boat is not in sight, try another option.
Below is a video shot by Durant Imboden that shows how typical Venetians board and “deboard” the Traghetto. It shows how these boats have become a part of the daily lives of so many locals and their ways of getting around town.
- Vaporetto-(plural: vaporetti)
Also called “buses”- often crowded with tourists like us who will be just as confused as us!
Takes passengers on main canals, to the islands and around the lagoon.
There are multiple routes along the Grand Canal. One particular “bus” route Bus Route 1, will stop at every stop along the Grand Canal. These buses are usually the largest. Venice does have smaller buses that do not go through the canal, so it just depends on what you are looking to accomplish.
Below is a site where you can look at the prices and routes of the Vaporetto and see which best fits our trip.
Least expensive of all boat options
Price: Varies. Check before we leave!
Possible option: if you know you are going to be traveling on this a lot, consider purchasing a multiple day pass.
- Water Taxi(taxi acquei) often called motoscafi
Speedy but expensive
Can cost anywhere from €60-100
Can carry you and your luggage, along with other passengers
Near almost all famous tourist attractions- look for the yellow stripe on the side of the boat!!
While we recognize that these boats will help us get around while we are there, we must look at the effect on the environment so we can try to limit the usage of them. To start off, Venice did not have the famous canals until an increasing number of visitors and changes in nature created canals within the city. Along with these canals comes electric powered boats. While these boats are going to help us get around town, they give off harsh chemicals into the water, killing plant and animal life. This is just one of the endless reasons why we should restrain from using these boats as much as we can.
Wetzel, Dana, and Edward Van Vleet. “Persistence of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contamination in Sediments of the Canals in Venice, Italy: 1995 and 1998.” Marine Pollution Bulletin, Pergamon, 29 Apr. 2003, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X03001243.