Getting Around Venice:
There are two main ways of getting around Venice: walking or using some kind of boat; you could swim, but I wouldn’t recommend it!
Public Water Buses | Car Ferries | Water Taxis | Gondolas | Traghetto | Walking
and also see our quick guide:How to Reach Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) from various locations around Venice and the Lagoon
Public Water Buses (Vaporetti)
Venice has water buses, commonly known as Vaporetto (plural Vaporetti) – they were once powered by steam (“vapor”) – and run by the ACTV (Azienda del Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano" – the Venice Public Transport Company). These vessels ply the Grand Canal and Lagoon making scheduled stops. They travel up and down the Grand Canal and on circular routes which also take in the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.
Vaporetti Are Wheelchair and Stroller Friendly
There are actually three different types of public boats: vaporetto, motoscafo and motonave. You can see a vaporetto in the top picture. They’re single level, largely covered boats with no steps, so wheelchairs, wheeled cases and baby strollers will have no problems – provided the vessel is not crowded (unfortunately often the case, especially in summer). Vaporetti are used on the more placid internal routes, such as on the Grand Canal and round Giudecca.
Motoscafi and Motonavi: Lagoon Cruisers
Motoscafi and Motonavi are used on the longer trips in the Lagoon. The former have two cabins (fore and aft) with steps down to them, but there is usually space for a few wheelchairs on the entrance deck. Motonavi are bigger- there are double-decker versions that carry around 1200 passengers – and you’re likely to come across them if you’re travelling to Burano or Murano. These bigger ships are wheelchair accessible.
You can use these boats to reach all the main parts of the city, the main islands of the lagoon (Lido of Venice, Murano, Burano, Torcello, the Giudecca) and the mainland. However, it’s not always faster to take the boat: from Rialto to San Marco takes 20 minutes by vaporetto but only five minutes to walk (provided you don’t get lost…).
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