Best way to see Venice's Grand Canal??

Apr 2nd, 2007, 05:43 PM
  #1  
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Best way to see Venice's Grand Canal??

I am traveling with a teenager. What is the best way to see the Grand Canal. Guided Boat tour or vaporetto ride? If you recommend the guided tour....which company? Also, any specific day or time of the week you recommend for going down the Grand Canal?
Vacationer1 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 05:48 PM
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No question. Vaporetto #1-and do it later at night, around 11pm (if you are late-nighters) nothing like it, as you glide silently through the water, and look up at all the grand palazzos, which in the evening it's interesting to see them lit at night, and to look inside-to see all the gorgeous ceilings, Murano chandeliers and tapestries within, and dream what it would be like to own of these!
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Apr 2nd, 2007, 05:51 PM
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I completely agree with Girlspy. I love riding the vaporetto along the Grand Canal at any time but doing at night is especially wonderful. The crowds of daytrippers are gone and the vaporetto is not teeming with people. Stand outside and enjoy the fresh air as you float down the canal. It's cheap and very relaxing after a busy day of touring. I often dream that I am on a Vaporetto in Venice and wake up feeling homesick when I am already at home.
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Apr 2nd, 2007, 05:54 PM
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MaureenB
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If you can arrive after dark, it makes a beautiful introduction to Venice, as you step from the train station out to the Grand Canal, with the lights reflecting off the water. Take the vaporetto to your hotel, if possible.
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Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:05 PM
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I, too, would recommend the vaporetto at night. To me, the vaporettos are too crowded during the day to really enjoy the ride.

I really liked the two gondola rides that I've taken. (Some think that they are too "touristy" and expensive). However, they usually do part of the Grand Canal along with some of the smaller canals.
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Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:09 PM
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So do you recommend Gondolas or the vaporetto...or both? Dumb qs, but do they go on the same route?
Vacationer1 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:19 PM
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I would recommend both, bearing in mind that a gondola ride is enjoyable, romantic, goes around the quiet small side canals, but costs a good 80-90 Euro-whereas a 12 hour pass on a vaporetto will only set you back 13 Euro. (25 Euro for a 24 hour pass).

Vaporettos, understand, are the equivalent of a land bus-they have marked numbers of vaporetto stops, as you can see in these pictures from the Virtual Tourist site:

members.virtualtourist.com/vt/s/?m=6&l.q=23273

If money is not a problem, and you want to do the gondola ride, by all means do both-you'll have to take the vaporetto anyway, to get to various points around Venice, and to the other islands.

Girlspytravel is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:49 PM
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A $100 gondola ride will do a bit of the Grand Canal and a couple of smaller canals. It isn't going to cover the length of the Grand Canal. Stick with the #1 vaparetto for a good overall view.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:48 AM
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I agree that you get two totally different perspectives in seeing Venice from the vaporetto and from a gondola. Yes, the #1 vaporetto is the best way to see the Grand Canal, but I would also spring for a gondola ride in the smaller canals if you can.
Statia is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:53 AM
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Girlspy, Have the vaporetto rates increased that much in one year? Our 72-hour pass was 25 euros in March 2006.

I would recommend two Grand Canal vaporetto rides--one during the day to actually see and appreciate the architecture along the route, and one at night for all the above-stated reasons. In both cases, grab a seat in the outside front or back to avoid the crowds and have the best view.
ellenem is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:03 AM
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In lieu of the expensive gondola, try the traghetto (ferry). For just 1€ apiece you can traverse the Grand Canal in one of these converted gondolas (no seating).
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:15 AM
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These are the current rates for ACTV passes for 12, 24, 36, 48 or 72 hours:
13,00 € - BIGLIETTO 12 ORE
15,00 € - BIGLIETTO 24 ORE
20,00 € - BIGLIETTO 36 ORE
25,00 € - BIGLIETTO 48 ORE
30,00 € - BIGLIETTO 72 ORE.
These are timed from when your ticket is stamped so a 24-hour ticket stamped at noon on a Tuesday would be valid till noon on Wednesday.
I was there ten days ago and used one gondola traghetto, and the fare was 50 cents (these are not run by ACTV).
The best way to see the Grand Canal is to do it as often as you can, in the sunshine, by moonlight, when it's busy, when it's quiet, etc. The vaporetti run all round the clock, 24 hours a day.
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Using Geoff's formula, we were able to use our 72-hour pass for the entire four days of our visit. At the time a single ride on the Grand Canal was 5 euros, and other rides were 3.50 euros.

For our arrival and departure we needed to ride on the Grand Canal, and we definitely wanted to ride the full length once in the day and once at night. Those four rides by themselves would have been 20 euros, so for 5 euors more, we had unlimited rides for our entire visit. If you plan to ride a lot a pass is definitely worthwhile.

Also, a teenager/young adult can get a Rolling Venice discount card. For that trip, I was traveling with a 20-year-old. She paid 5 euros for her Rolling Venice card and at the same time bought her 72-hour pass, receiving a 5 euro discount for having the Rolling Venice card--an immediate savings. The Rolling Venice card also gave her discounts on museum admissions (and restaurants, though we didn't bother with those).
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 07:19 AM
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How long do the private gondola rides last? I'm assuming its ok to bring a bottle of wine?
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 07:26 AM
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We will be in Venice in November and at that time we will also be celebrating number 40 and damn the cost! We are going to do a gondola and that driver better sing! We did not do on the first time we were in Venice and who knows if we will ever be back so gondola ride here we come!
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 08:25 AM
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ComfyShoes
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Vacationer1, Definitely vaporetto in the night. Note that Venice has nearly 400 bridges but only three cross the main canal so be ready to take pictures. I know you will be! Frankly it is so inexpensive that if you miss it, get on it again.

redman, I remember paying nearly Eu 80/peron for a 40 minute Gondola ride.

Curt, enjoy! Consider joining in the serenade of "O Sole Mio" as I did much to my spouse's and Gondolier's amazement And she is still with me
 
Apr 3rd, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Gondola rides used to always be at least an hour,but I understand now most are either 30 or 40 minutes, despite major increases in price. Before you pay for one you need to establish how long it will be, and probably where you will go.
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:19 AM
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thanks for info, is it standard procedure to tip?
redman is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 03:23 PM
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This is great ino. I am so glad I asked.....not one person has recommended taking the Grand Canal guided boat trip!
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:07 PM
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How difficult is it to board a vapretto at the train station and ride to the Arsenale dock with luggage?
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