Venice - Maps & Transports
Venice has a very distinctive morphology and is built upon the waters of the lagoon. The city is composed of many small islands divided by canals and linked by countless bridges. The urban form of the city from the air looks like a large fish and mobility in Venice is assured by only two traffic systems: the canal system and the pedestrian paths. Arriving and moving around Venice may seem a little hard for first time visitors ... but the city owes its magic and beauty to its unique characteristics. “Calle”, “calle larga” (bigger) o “stretta” (smaller) and the “calletta” (diminutive) are the streets that intersect the city forming the complicated maze in which it is easy to get lost strolling on foot. Cars and buses cannot enter in the centre of Venice and you can visit the city only on foot or by boat! Boats can offer visitors a unique perspective to appreciate the magical beauty of a city that for more than 1500 years lives in symbiosis with water.
Venice is a city to be visited on foot, without hurrying, taking all the time you need. Even the less frequented calli, the smallest campi, the most hidden fondamenta, can reveal incredible marvels to the attentive visitor. By wandering into the maze of narrow streets, you will gradually discover more and more picturesque and suggestive places. If you prefer using transportation, you can move around the historic town centre and reach the other islands in the lagoon or the mainland by the ACTV public transportations.
The vaporetto water bus, or “battello” as the Venetians call it, is the most widely known among the means of public transport of ACTV that allows you to get around Venice’s waterways. Every ten minutes a “vaporetto” water-bus leaves each water-stop along the Grand Canal that crosses the city, reaching its different points.
The typical Venetian boat “the gondola” is the symbol of Venice that has made it recognizable all over the world. Once an essential means of transportation, the gondolas today are one of Venice’s biggest attractions. Crossing Venice in a gondola allows you to see the most hidden parts of the city that would be otherwise out of bounds.
These are private motorboats for transporting passengers. They can be easily distinguished from the public water buses by their reduced dimensions. Always check the motorboat side windows for the presence of the yellow sticker with the official taxi number issued by the Municipality of Venice. Whoever wants to call a water taxi can do so by phoning number 199.484950 (adding the +39 prefix if using a foreign telephone operator).
Getting to Venice by car is easy
- Motorways : From Trieste or Turin A4 Motorway; From Belluno, A27 Motorways ; From Bologna A13 motorways.
- Trunk Roads : From Rome SS 309 along the Adriatic coast; From Trieste SS 14; From Treviso SS 13; From Padua SS 11.
Once you get to Venice you can forget driving because you cannot go by car! The Ponte della Libertà (Liberty Bridge) is the only road and rail bridge that crosses the lagoon connecting the historic city centre of Venice to the mainland. Once you arrive to Piazzale Roma, leave your car in one of the car parks in Piazzale Roma or in the island of Tronchetto, connected to Piazzale Roma by the People Mover electric train, and continue to Lido di Venezia on foot, by taxi or the ACTV means of public transport, i.e. the vaporetto and motoscafo water buses, the motor vessels and the ferryboats.
No doubt the easiest way to reach Venice is by train. Venice has two railway stations:
- Venezia-Mestre Station is the first important railway station that you meet travelling towards Venice when you are still on the mainland. From the terminal station you can easily reach the historic city centre by bus or by taxi.
- Venezia – Santa Lucia Station The train crosses the Ponte della Libertà bridge and stops at Venezia-Santa Lucia, at a few minutes’ walk from Piazzale Roma, the point of arrival for buses, taxis, for the new “People Mover” electric train and for private cars. From here you can go everywhere in Venice just walking or by vaporetto, water taxi or waterbuses. The Venezia-Santa Lucia railway station is served by local, inter-regional, Intercity and Eurostar trains.
If you require information on timetables, fares, bookings or promotions you can simply call the Trenitalia call centre at +39 06 084 75 475 (if you call with a foreign mobile) or visit their website www.trenitalia.com
If you choose to arrive in Venice by plane, you will land at one of the city’s two airports: Marco Polo Airport in Tessera and Antonio Canova Airport in Treviso.
Marco Polo Airport in Tessera
is at about 12 km from Venice and it is connected to the city by the ACTV and ATVO bus routes and by taxis, by land, and by the Alilaguna motorboats (www.alilaguna.it
) and by water taxis, by sea.
Antonio Canova Airport in Treviso is Venice’s second airport where charter flights, cargo flights and low cost airlines like Ryanair, Transavia and Bellair are directed. It is situated at about 30 kilometres from Venice and is connected to the city (Piazzale Roma) with buses of the ATVO bus company (the most convenient choice) and by taxi. Travel time by bus varies depending on the route. It takes about 55 minutes to reach the railway station in Mestre and about 1 hour and 10 minutes to Piazzale Roma in Venice.
Arriving by sea, you reach the city through three harbor mouths: Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia. The Lido harbour mouth is the gateway for passenger ships: cruise ships, ferries, fast ships and yachts sail along the Giudecca Canal to reach the sea terminal.
From the sea terminal you can easily reach the historic city centre by land (by taxi, taking 2 minutes, with the ACTV or with the People Mover) or by water (with the ACTV means of public transport from the San Basilio landing jetty or with the Alilaguna motorboats, or by water taxi).
Online Guide Maps