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What A Vaporetto Is
To put it short, a Vaporetto (batèlo or vaporino for the locals) is a waterbus that functions as the main public transport vehicle within the city of Venice. They operate not only on the main island but also has connections to Murano, Burano, Giudecca, and Lido.
The Vaporetto is not a necessity when visiting Venice, as most of the city’s attractions are located on the main island. But if you want to make things quicker and also visit other amazing places that can be found in the other Venetian islands, getting a Vaporetto ticket is the way to go.
Vaporetto vs. Gondola
The first and most obvious thing to compare between the Gondolas and the Vaporetti is the price. While a single Vaporetto ride will cost you 7.5 EUR for up to 75 minutes, riding a Gondola will cost you between 80 and 120 EUR for half an hour, depending on the time of the day, the night being more expensive.
The other aspect we should take a look at is privacy. While in the Gondola you will be alone (or together with your significant other), the idea is that in the Vaporetto, given that it is a public means of transport, you will be in a crowded place. That is partially true, but if you know at which time to hop in, as well as which line to take, you will find yourself alone in the front seats, enjoying the best views in town.
Access To The Vaporetto
The first step for riding the Vaporetto is choosing your ticket. ACTV, the company that runs the Vaporetti, has many different types of tickets available, mostly time-based:
- Single Ticket (75min) – 7.5 EUR
- 1-Day Ticket (24h) – 20 EUR
- 2-Day Ticket (48h) – 30 EUR
- 3-Day Ticket (72h) – 40 EUR
- 7-Day Ticket – 60 EUR
Apart from the main ticket, you can ride the Vaporetti at a discount or even for “free” when purchasing specific city cards such as the Rolling Venice or the City Pass. If you are visiting Venice for more than a day, I highly recommend getting the City pass, as it not only gives you unlimited access to the Vaporetti, but also a free pass to all the city’s civic museums, most of the churches and also the Doge’s Palace.
You can purchase your tickets online and get a print version in the machines near the Vaporetto stations, or simply buy your ticket at one of the Venezia Unica kiosks around town. Remember that before every trip, you need to validate your ticket/card on the machines right in front of the stations, this is mandatory and if not done will lead to very expensive fines.
The Best Vaporetto Route
When it comes to the best Vaporetto line to enjoy the sights Venice has to offer, my definite pick is:
Line 2: S. Zaccaria → P. Roma → San Marco (8:13→15:49 – Daily)
There are many different reasons for this choice: not only this line has many stops across the Grand Canal, but it also has very nice sits right in front of it. If you get it during working hours, and especially during the low season, you will be alone there enjoying the canal just for yourself.
Among the places that you will be able to go through with this line are the Giudecca island, San Tomà, the Accademia gallery, and of course San Marco. Apart from that, this line stops both in the Tronchetto Bus Station and in the Santa Lucia Train Station.
Line 2 at night will be slightly more limited when it comes to stops but is just as amazing. Also, by going at night, you will also have high chances of getting all front seats to yourself.