Cruise across the Grand Canal for €2.

Traghetto on Grand Canal

Hiring a gondola in Venice isn't cheap: The official fare for a 40-minute ride is €80, or €100 after 7 p.m.

If your gondola budget is in the single digits, try a simpler (though quicker) alternative: A traghetto crossing of the Grand Canal for two euros.

What a traghetto is:

The word "traghetto" means "ferry." In Venice, it describes a large gondola rowed by two oarsmen.

Half a dozen traghetto lines cross the Grand Canal, and most of them have been operated by the same families for generations.

How to ride a traghetto:

  • As you're walking around Venice, look for yellow or white "Traghetto" signs, or find traghetto routes on your map.

  • Follow the signs down to the water, where you'll find a wooden boat pier.
  • Board the traghetto and hand €2,-- to an oarsman. (If you don't have exact change, use a small banknote.)
  • Find a place to sit. (Venetians traditionally stand during the crossing, but sitting is safer if you aren't used to bobbing boats.)
  • When the boat arrives on the other side of the Grand Canal, exit promptly.

Note: Traghetti operate during daylight hours only, often with a break for lunch. There are no official timetables: The boats travel back and forth almost continuously, taking two or three minutes to cross the Grand Canal.

In-depth information: