VENICE — Overview

Venice is built on 117 small islands, has 150 canals and 409 bridges. There are no cars or buses allowed in the city only water-based transportation. It is a city made for walking and you can lose yourself for hours wandering in the various side streets meandering off the main thoroughfares. Venice would have to be one of the most loved and most visited cities in the world. To get an overall view of the magic of Venice take a trip down the Grand Canal on the all-stops Vaporetto No 1 — the ferry you take from the train station at Ferrovia. Sit on a deck seat at the back with a map to orientate yourself and just take in the scenery.

Getting There
There are several ways to get to Venice. The easiest way is to fly into one of the two airports — Marco Polo (VCE) and Treviso (TSF). Marco Polo Airport is the main airport where the larger international airlines fly into and is located 12km from the city by land, and 10km by water. The cheapest way to get to the main part of Venice is by bus which costs about €3 and tickets can be bought from the ATVO counter in the airport arrivals or from a machine in the bus departure area. It is a 20-minute journey to the end of the line, Piazzale Roma and from here you can take one of the water ferries (vaporettos) into the city. To take the bus from Venice to the airport, buy a ticket at the ATVO Bus Terminal in the Piazzale Roma and walk to the D2 bus bay, where you will see signs for the ATVO airport buses to both the Marco Polo and Treviso airports. Board the bus for Marco Polo Airport. You can also take a taxi but this will cost around €30-40 or a water taxi will be around €90-100. Ryanair and some of the smaller budget airlines use Treviso Airport which is about 30 km from Venice. Arriving and departing flights are served by ATVO Eurobus service. Bus times coincide with Ryanair arrivals and departures, and the fare is only €5 one-way. Purchase your ticket at the ATVO counter in the airport and stamp it in the ticket-validation machine on the bus. You’ll need to allow 1 hour 10 minutes for the bus trip, including two brief stops in Venezia Mestre, where you can catch express trains to cities throughout Italy. The end of the line is the Piazzale Roma. And from here you can take a vaporetto to where you are staying. If you need a ticket from Venice to Treviso Airport, go to the ATVO ticket office in the Piazzale Roma.

Another way to get to Venice is by train. Venice has two major stations: the Venezia Mestre and the Venezia Santa Lucia. If your train ends at the Venezia Mestre station you will need to change to a local train for the short trip to Venezia Santa Lucia. (Trains run frequently, and the trip takes only about 10 minutes.) A better option is to take a train that arrives at the Santa Lucia station where you can you catch a vaporetto not far from the main entrance.

Just a quick word about the vaporettos. You will need to buy a ticket before boarding the No. 1 vaporetto, which makes stops all along the Grand Canal, or the No. 2 express boat to San Marco. Be sure you are going in the right direction — toward San Marco unless you’re staying in one of the outlying districts. Adult one way fares are €6.50 and are valid for 60 minutes after stamping on all routes of the Venice transportation network except the Alilaguna, Fusina, and Clodia lines. You can use more than one line to reach your destination, but return trips during the 60 minutes are not allowed. Children from 5 to 12 pay half fare and under 5 are free. There are various travel cards available including: a 12-hour travelcard for €14; 24-hour travelcard for €16; 36-hour travelcard for €21; 48-hour travelcard for €26 and a 72-hour travelcard for €31. Tickets must be validated before use. Look for a yellow stamping machine near the walkway that leads to the floating platform. If you are at a vaporetto stop without a ticket counter, buy a ticket from the conductor as soon as you board to avoid a fine.