Venice by Vaporetto

While there’s a lot to be said for discovering and getting lost in Venice’s nooks and crannies on foot, to my mind, there’s no better way to travel than by vaporetto.

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A vaporetto is essentially a giant floating public bus (indeed, its other name is “water bus”). There are specific water bus routes and water bus stops:

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The vaporettos run regularly along the canals and between the many islands of Venice, and they are a great way to see the sights. My first long vaporetto ride ran along the Grand Canal, starting just by St. Mark’s Square:

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It’s so exciting to see Venice go by from the water — here you can see the Doge’s Palace (it’s the large pink rectangle) and the Campanile (it’s the bell tower):

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Across the water, you can see the island that is home to San Giorgio Maggiore, a famous church designed by Andrea Palladio in the 16th century:

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When the vaporetto rounds the next corner, you get a view of the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute (known more colloquially and simply as La Salute):

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You can see all sort of things from the vaporetto — the famous Rialto bridge …

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… the Ponte dell’Academia …

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… churches …

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… palaces …

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… and more palaces…

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… gondolas galore, both at their moorings …

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… and ferrying tourist around …

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… and even sunset!

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But what I most enjoyed were the views of all sorts of beautiful buildings — facades you just can’t see from anywhere else:

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You never know what will be around the next corner:

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Are there downsides to the vaporettos? Sure — if you insist on standing or sitting outside in January (which I generally did), they’re freezing cold.

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They’re slow, yes, and in the summer they’re reported to be crazy-crowded. Some people also complain that they’re a rip-off for tourists — at 40 Euros for a 72-hour pass, they’re pricey, and far more expensive than what the locals pay. But compared to 80 Euros for one hour in a gondola, the vaporettos seem like a steal to me. I loved them!

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One response to “Venice by Vaporetto

  1. Pingback: Venice in Winter | Traveler Tina·

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