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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Save Money on Transportation in Venice, Italy

English: Taken from the Rialto Bridge, a lone ...Image via Wikipedia
By Barbra Sundquist

If you're going to be visiting Venice, you'll quickly notice that it's a very expensive city, even by European standards. However, there are some tips and tricks you can learn in order to save money in Venice.

Although water taxi rides look tempting, you will save tons of money if you choose to travel by public transportation instead. You want to use vaporetto, which is a water bus and is the cheapest method of public transit.

Buying a multiday pass for the vaporetto service is a good way to ensure you'll spend as little money as possible on transportation. It's a great deal that not many tourists are aware of. You can use vaporetto quite freely with a multiday pass and come on and off it whenever you like. A multiday pass offers you a very convenient way to save money and time.

Here's another money saving tip for Venice. If you want to experience riding in a traditional Venetian gondola, but you don't want to pay the 100+ euros that a private gondola ride costs, try a traghetto ride. A traghetto is a public transport gondola that takes you in a straight line from one side of the Grand Canal to the other side.

Riding in a traghetto will get you to experience a genuine part of everyday life in Venice, and also allow you to save time searching for bridges to cross the Grand Canal.

What exactly is a traghetto? It's actually just like the old gondolas, but without the fancy decorations. There are two men rowing in it - one in the back and the other at the bow, just like in traditional gondolier fashion.

Be sure to get your terminology correct: it's easy to confuse the words "traghetto" and "vaporetto". To clarify, a vaporetto is a motorized water bus that runs the length of the Grand Canal. In contrast, a traghetto (or traghetti, plural) is a gondola that is rowed by oarsmen and crosses the Grand Canal from side to side.

There are seven main points where you can find a traghetto. Look for the striped poles that mark those spots. Take into account that they operate only before lunchtime every day.

And there you have it: some excellent ways to save a lot of money in Venice using public transportation. In summary, make sure you're using traghetto instead of private gondola and water bus instead of water taxi.

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