Traveling by vaporetto in Venice and the Lagoon

ACTV vaporetto

ACTV, Venice's public-transit authority, operates water buses on more than two dozen routes within the historic center and to various islands in the Venetian Lagoon.

The boats include traditional vaporetti (such as the popular No. 1 vaporetto on the Grand Canal), motoscafi (enclosed motorboats), and motonave (small ships that carry up to 1,200 passengers).

For a detailed list of the ACTV's waterbus lines, see the mobile- and printer-friendly Vaporetto Route Tables at Venice for Visitors.

Things to know:

  • Larger and newly-renovated ACTV stops, such as San Marco Giardinetti and San Zaccaria, have modern stations with turnstiles and spacious waiting areas.

    Smaller and older stops have piers with floating white-and-yellow boat landings.
  • To ride an ACTV water bus, you'll need to buy a ticket, such as a standard single-fare ticket or a 12-hour to 7-day Tourist Travel Card.

    You can buy tickets at Hellovenezia booths near the larger vaporetto stops or from ticket vending machines.

    For all current fares, see the Venice Water and Land Bus Fare Tables at Venice for Visitors.
  • Before boarding the water bus, validate your ticket by holding it next to the electronic ticket reader. Wait for a green light and a beep.

    In larger stations, ticket readers are usually mounted on turnstiles; at smaller stations, you'll see a ticket reader near the entrance to the floating platform.
  • If the boat station doesn't have a ticket booth or machine, approach the boat conductor and buy a ticket as soon as you board.

    Warning: Failure to travel without a validated ticket is punishable by a large fine.

In-depth article at Venice for Visitors: