Transport in Venice

Everything from airfares to public transit, train stations to taxis

Experiences in Venice

 (Photo by Ray in Manila)
Tours
Venice

Getting to Venice by escorted tour

 

Planning a trip to Venice

Vaporetto no. 1 motoring down the Grand Canal (Photo by Cycling Man)

Instead of public buses, Venice has the vaporetti, a flotilla of public water ferries

 
Venetian artist Livio De Marchi (Liviodemarchi.com) driving his hand-made wooden Ferrari in the Bacino San Marco. Kids, don't try this at home (or in Venice).

How to get to Venice by airplane, train, car, ferry, or cruise ship

 
 (Photo courtesy of AIGA)
Trains
Venice: Cannaregio

How to get to Venice, Italy, by rail—The Venezia-Santa Lucia train station

 
Make sure to wave your ticket past a ticket validation machine or risk a fine (Photo courtesy of ACTV)

Tickets and passes for riding the vaporetto and city (land) buses in Venice's public transit system

 
Venetian artist Livio De Marchi (Liviodemarchi.com) driving his hand-made wooden Ferrari in the Bacino San Marco. Kids, don't try this at home (or in Venice). (Photo courtesy of Barcroft Cars)
Car
Venice

How to drive to Venice

 
When you see a sign pointing to a major tourist destination, just go the other way and discover your own Venice. (Photo by Lorna Mitchell)
By foot
Venice

Walking around Venice

 
 (Photo courtesy of AIGA)
Planes
Venice

Venice's main airport, Aeroporto Marco Polo (VCE), lies less than 3km N of the city

 
Vaporetto no. 1 motoring down the Grand Canal

From the Metro (subway) and the bus to taxis, shared bikes, and other transportation options in Venice

 
 (Photo )

Making sense of the tangle of canals, calle, campi that make up the sestieri (neighborhoods) of Venice's city layout

 
Taxi (Photo Public Domain)

How to take a motoscafo taxi acquei (water taxi) in Venice

 
 (Photo courtesy of AIGA)
Cruise to Venice
Venice: Cannaregio

Arriving in Venice aboard a cruise ship or ferry from Greece or Croatia—How to get between the port and either the airport or downtown Venice

 
 (Photo by Peter K Burian)
Traghetti
Venice

The traghetto da parada is the cheapskate's gondola ride in Venice: €4 to cross the Grand Canal

 
Venetian artist Livio De Marchi (Liviodemarchi.com) driving his hand-made wooden Ferrari in the Bacino San Marco. Kids, don't try this at home (or in Venice). (Photo courtesy of Barcroft Cars)
By car
Venice

You cannot drive in Venice's historic center. Too many canals, see.

 
 (Photo courtesy of AIGA)
By boat
Venice

Ferries, water taxis, and cruises in Venice

 
Autobus (bus) (Photo icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com)
By bus
Venice

The land bus system of Venice—or, more accurately, how Bus #5 usefully connects the airport, parking lots, and Mestre with Venice

 

Maps to the great city of Venice

 

How to get to and from the Venice Airport and the cruise terminal

 

How to get to and from the Venice train station and the main cruise port

 
San Basilio docks
Venice: Dorsoduro

Venice's secondary docks, where some ferries from Croatia and Slovenia land

 

The Venice cruise port may move and the approach may change

 

Lodgings in Italy

A classic train couchette sleeping six (Photo by DB Autozug GmbH)

Sleeping in couchettes on overnight trains

 

Planning for a trip to Italy

 (Photo courtesy of Alitalia)

Finding the cheapest airfare, air travel comfort, no-frills airlines, baggage restrictions, and more

 
Transportation options to and within Italy (Photo icons courtesy of AIGA, illustration by Reid Bramblett)

Getting to Italy and getting around Italy: trains, planes, rental cars, low-cost airlines and long-distance coaches

 
The Queen Mary 2 (Photo by Trondheim Havn)

Taking the slow boat to Europe: Crossing the Atlantic by cruise boat from $650

 
 (Photo Public Domain)

The most important things to know before booking a rental car in Italy

 
An aggregator/consolidator like Auto Europe can let you compare car rental rates side by side (Photo courtesy of AutoEurope.com)

How to find the lowest rates on a rental car in Italy

 
Speed limits in Italy (Photo by Gigillo83)

Obey the speed limits of pay the (high) price

 
 (Photo by Andrew)

A cheat-sheet of the most important things to know when riding the Italian rails

 

How to get the best deal on plane tickets to Italy

 
I think we've all been this sleepy guy at some point in an airport (Photo by fergusfleming)

Tips on having the most comfortable air travel experience possible, from getting to and from the airport to picking the right seat on the plane

 
A good aggregator, like Skyscanner.net, goes right to the best deals, even if they're from a non-traditional source like Norwegian or Aeroflot (Photo courtesy of Skyscanner.net)

Aggregators search all the booking engines, airline sites, travel agencies, and airfare discounters in the blink of an eye

 

Guided, escorted, specialty, and packaged tours to Italy

 
A Go-Today.com package offering roundtrip airfare from NYC, 2 nights each in Rome, Florence, and Venice, and train tickets between each starting at $949 (Photo courtesy of Go-Today.com)

Not a tour, but a bundle of airfare, lodging, maybe a car all at wholesale rates

 
Traffic in Italy can be insane (this bit of Via Toledo in Naples is actually mild)

Hints, tips, resources, and pointers for getting your own set of wheels in Italy

 
 (Photo Public Domain)

Hints, tips, and advice for renting a car in Italy

 
 (Photo Public Domain)

There are hundreds of road signs blocking your view on Italian roads and—more importantly—telling you how to get where you're going

 
The Italian rail system (left); the high-speed Le Frecce train network (upper right); the high-speed private .italo train network (lower right) (Photo )

Italy's main train lines

 
Fare alerts courtesy of Airfarewatchdog

How to get the best airfare every time

 
The author wearing his sleeping-on-the-plane gear (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

Two dozen simple ways to increase your chances of catching some shut-eye on those long overnight flights

 
The Goolge.com/flights matrix can show you in a glance how to save big just by tweaking your travel dates (Photo courtesy of Google)

Some flexibility on your travel dates can save you up to 50%

 
 (Photo courtesy of FlyInternational.com)

Why pay retail when wholesale airfares to Italy are available?

 
Rail travel (Photo by Don Burgess)

Rail travel in Italy

 
You can book a shore excursion via a third party for much less than the ship charges (Photo courtesy of Viator.com)

Book your own cruise excursions for up to 40% less than the cruise ships charge

 
Yes, this is a real road in Italy—the Stelvio Pass, highest in the Eastern Alps, kissing the Swiss border on the SS38 from Meran to Bormio (Photo by unknown)

Italian road rules are similar enough to North American ones that you'll get by fine; here are the important differences

 
 (Photo )

How to decide if a rental car is the best choice for your Italy vacation

 
Italian ticketing machines in the Venezia-Santa Lucia train station (Photo by Richard, enjoy my life!)

How to get the cheapest fares on Italian trains

 
 (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

Timing is the key to saving a bundle on airfare to Italy from North America

 
Air travel is tiring (Photo by Neil Rickards)

Truth is, there is no cure for jet lag—but there are 7 ways to make jet lag easier to bear and quicker to dissipate

 
 (Photo )

Buy at the right time - The sweet spot is 6–12 weeks out

 
 (Photo logos courtesy of Priceline and Hotwire)

How opaque fares work—"Express Deals" on Priceline and "Hot Rates" on Hotwire

 

Renting a car and driving in Italy

 
 (Photo )

If it's one of the seven deadly sins—gluttony (booze; food), greed (gambling), sloth (spas), extravagance (shore excursions)—it's how a cruise lines makes all its profit

 
Traffic in Italy can be insane (this bit of Via Toledo in Naples is actually mild) (Photo )

A rental car is not always the best choice for a Italy vacation

 
Keep right, except to pass (Photo by Unknown)

Stay in the slow lane (the rightmost one) on a European highway unless you are actively passing another car

 
Explore all of Italy-or all of Europe—with a rail pass (Photo by Akwa)

Unlimited train travel in Italy, or Italy and some neighboring countries, or even all of Europe—Is a Eurail pass worth it?

 
 (Photo Public Domain)

How to leverage your frequent flier status for perks on other airlines

 
EasyJet, one of the oldest and best low-cost carriers in Europe (Photo by Rob Mitchell)

Fly across Europe for as little as $25—welcome to the wonderful age of no-frills airlines, the little jet engines that could

 
A Flixbus in Italy (Photo Public Domain)

Long-distance bus travel in Italy

 
 (Photo by Michael Hansen)

Are cruises safe? Can I cancel a cruise? Can I get cruise cancellation insurance?

 
 (Photo courtesy of Drivethedales.com)

How to get the most out of renting a car in Italy with the lowest cost and least hassle

 
Touring Club Italiano makes the best maps of Italy (Photo courtesy of the publisher)

A good road map of Italy can save you time and help you discover places and things not in your guidebook

 
A private .italo high-speed train (Photo by CAPTAIN RAJU)

High-speed trains in Italy—IC, La Frecce, .italo, TGV, Thello, EN, and more

 
Pack your own, inexpensive snacks for the plane (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

Airport tips, jet lag, and 24 tips for sleeping on board the flight

 
Fare alerts courtesy of Airfarewatchdog

From fare alerts to e-savers, deals newsletters to price predictors

 
Global time zones (the red lines divide them) (Photo from CIA World Factbook)

Time zones in Italy and dealing with the 24-hour clock

 
Cruising in Venice

Cruises to or from Italy

 
 (Photo by Geoff Collins)

Get your airfare to Italy and rental car together and save on both

 
Every country in green is on metric; the yellow and orange ones are in the process of converting (yellow is closer to the goal). Only the U.S., Myanmar, Libera, and North Korea have not gotten with the program. (Photo by Thespaceface)

Get ready to do some math in your head

 
Discounts on Italian trains (Photo courtesy of FS)

Young adults, families, seniors, and couples can get 25%–50% off all trains

 
If it fits in the overhead bin, they will let you take it on the plane (Photo by Peter Davis)

If your bag measures more than 45" total (L+W+D), it is probably too big for the overhead bin

 
 (Photo courtesy of Europe by Car)

How to arrange for a short-term lease on a brand-new car in Italy—cheaper than a rental for longer periods, and far better insured

 
Gas in Europe is expensive (Photo by Images Money)

Prepare for REALLY expensive gas—like $7 per gallon—in Italy

 
Roma Termini train station (Photo by Ingolf)

Like the trains themselves, Italian train stations tend to be clean and user-friendly—with tourist info, hotel booking service, left luggage lockers or offices, and decent snack bars (in case you forget to pick up train picnic supplies in town)

 
Fly into London cheaply, and then elsewhere on a low-cost carrier (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

London is the cheap airfares turnstile of Europe, so fly cheaply into here and then elsewhere in Europe or North Africa on a no-frills airline for far less

 
The author, at 12, with his Uncle Marc (19) and the author's trusty hippie-orange VW family campervan somewhere in the Alps (Photo © Frank Bramblett)

Camping is a great way to see Italy, but you needn't be tied down to tent pegs; RV rentals are as easy in Europe as they are here at home

 
Beware of pickpockets (Photo by Cory Doctorow)

Sleeping on an overnight train is a relatively safe endeavor, but take a few sensible precautions to avoid pickpockets and thieves and sleep more soundly

 
I think we've all been this sleepy guy at some point in an airport

Major airports in Italy

 
Most of Italy's cities now how ZTL limited traffic zones (Photo by Mattes)

Many Italian cities are now closed to non-resident cars

 
You can park in blue-marked spaces—but you must pay the meter (Photo by Spsmiler)

Where to park legally in Italy (white stripes: free; blue stripes: paid; yellow stripes: off-limits), how to use a disco orario parking disk, and how to avoid fines and getting towed

 
 (Photo by Unknown)

You do not technically need a IDP for Italy, but consider getting one

 
 (Photo by Unknown)

Don't leave anything visible in the car

 
transport
 

Roundups of deals and sales from many sources

 
Fare alerts courtesy of Airfarewatchdog (Photo courtesy of Airfarewatchdog)

Get automated updates on low fares and dropping plane ticket prices

 
Don't be like these Sorrento scooter riders; wear a helmet, and keep both hands on the handlebars (I also wouldn't wear sandals) (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

Stay safe while driving a motorino in Italy

 

Topics in Italy

Most of us have stared at a handy miles-to-kilometers converter right under our noses on our car dashboards (Photo by Unknown)

Miles and kilometers, feet and meters, and so on

 
Tuscany is lovely in every season (Photo clockwise from upper left: courtesy of Massimo Telò, Visittuscany, Camerone, KoenM)

The best time to go to Italy — Seasons, weather, and other considerations

 
venice
Transport tours
 
More tours
 
Useful links
Useful Italian phrases

Useful Italian for rail travel

English (inglese) Italian (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...train station la ferroviaria [or] la stazione lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah [or] lah stat-zee-YO-nay
ticket un biglietto oon beel-YET-toh
first class prima classe PREE-mah CLAH-say
second class seconda classe say-CONE-dah CLAH-say
one way solo andata SO-low ahn-DAHT-tah
round trip (return) andata e ritorno ahn-DAH-tah ay ree-TOUR-noh
Just the supplement Soltanto il supplemento soul-TAHN-toh eel sou-play-MEN-toh
Just a seat reservation Soltanto una prenotazione soal-TAHN-toh oo-nah pray-no-tah-tsee-YOH-nay
I have a Eurailpass Ho il Eurailpass oh eel YOO-rail-pahs
sleeping couchette una cucetta oo-nah koo-CHET-tah
berth in a sleeping car un posto nel vagone letto oon POH-sto nell vah-GOAN-nay LET-toh
track binario been-AR-ree-yoh
train treno TRE-no
car (carriage) carozza ka-RO-tza
seat posto PO-sto
departures partenze par-TEN-zay
arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay
left luggage deposito bagagli day-PO-zee-toh ba-GAHL-yee
     
punch your ticket timbrare il biglietto teem-BRA-ray eel beel-YET-toh
Is this the right platform for the Rome train? E questo il binario per il treno à Roma? ay KWAY-sto eel been-AR-ree-yo pair eel TRE-no ah RO-ma? 
delayed in retardo een ree-TAR-do
strike sciopero SHO-pair-oh
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
City / Train station names
English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Main station
Rome Roma Termini
Florence Firenze Santa Maria Novella
Venice Venezia Santa Lucia
Milan Milano Centrale
Genoa Genova Porta Principe
Naples Napoli Centrale
Leghorn Livorno Centrale
Turin Torino Porta Nuova

Useful Italian for air travel

English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)   Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
the airport l'aeroporto LAHW-ro-port-oh
the airplane l'aereo LAIR-reh-oh
terminal terminal TEAR-me-nahl
flight volo VOH-lo
gate uscita d'imbarco oo-SHEE-tah deem-BARK-oh
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
departures partenze par-TEN-zay
arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
delayed in ritardo een ree-TAR-doh
on time in orario een oh-RAH-ree-yo
early in avanti een ah-VAHN-tee
boarding imbarco eem-BARK-o
connecting flight la coincidenza la ko-een-chee-DEN-za
check-in accettazione ah-chet-ta-zee-YO-nee
immigration controllo passaporti cone-TRO-lo pah-sa-POR-tee
security check controllo di sicurezza kohn-TRO-lo dee see-kur-AY-tzah
customs dogana do-GA-na
shuttle la navetta lah na-VET-tah
boarding pass carta d'imbarco kart-ta deem-BARK-o
baggage claim ritiro bagagli ree-TEER-oh bah-GA-lyee
carry-on luggage bagaglio à mano bah-GA-lyo ah MA_no
checked luggage bagalio bah-GA-lyo

Useful Italian for car travel

English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
car automobile ow-toh-MO-bee-lay
scooter/motorboke un motorino oon mo-tair-EE-no
gas station stazione di servizio stah-zee-YO-nay dee sair-VEE-tzee-yo
gas benzina ben-ZEE-nah
diesel gasolio [or] diesel gah-ZOH-lee-oh [or] DEE-zell
Fill it up, please al pieno, per favore ahl pee-YAY-noh, pair fa-VOHR-ray
Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
...the highway l'autostrada lout-oh-STRA-dah
...the state highway la statale [written "SS"] lah sta-TAHL-eh
...the road for Rome la strada per Roma lah STRA-dah pair RO-mah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
to cross attraversare ah-tra-vair-SAR-ay
toll pedaggio peh-DA-jo
parking parcheggio par-KEH-jo
road map carta stradale kar-ta stra-DA-lay
where can I pay the fine? dove posso pagare la multa DOH-veh Po-so pag-GAR-ray la MOOL-tah


Typical road signs / terms » more

English (anglais) French (français) 
Stop Stop
Exit  Uscita
Staffic light Semaforo
One-way Senso unico
Dead-end Strada senza uscita
Parking prohibited No parcheggio or parcheggio proibito
Pedestrian zone Area pedonale
Limited Traffic Zone (you pay to drive in) ZTL or Zona Traffico Limitato

Basic phrases in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
     
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
     
Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
Today oggi OH-jee
Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
     
a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
     
a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
March marzo MAR-tzoh
April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
May maggio MAH-jee-oh
June giugno JEW-nyoh
July luglio LOO-lyoh
August agosto ah-GO-sto
September settembre set-TEM-bray
October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
November novembre no-VEM-bray
December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

Numbers in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 uno OO-no
2 due DOO-way
3 tre tray
4 quattro KWAH-troh
5 cinque CHEEN-kway
6 sei say
7 sette SET-tay
8 otto OH-toh
9 nove NO-vay
10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
11 undici OON-dee-chee
12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
20 venti VENT-tee
21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
30 trenta TRAYN-tah
40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
100 cento CHEN-toh
1,000 mille MEEL-lay
5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


* You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).