Questions on a Vaparetto ride in Venice

Old May 6th, 2005, 05:14 AM
  #1  
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Questions on a Vaparetto ride in Venice

Although I've read alot about the vaparetto, I still have questions. I'm not really interested in using it as transportation but as a ride down the Grand Canal.

Are all seats pretty good for viewing?

If I get on the San Marco stop, will it go around a loop and end up at San Marco? Or do I get off and take another vaparetto back to san marco?

I have also read alot about going in the right direction. Does it matter in this case?

Thanks alot... I leave in a few days and Im very excited!

SashieZ is offline  
Old May 6th, 2005, 05:35 AM
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ira
 
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Hi S,

Vaporetto routes are at http://www.actv.it/

>Are all seats pretty good for viewing?

I don't know. I have never gotten a seat.

>If I get on the San Marco stop, will it go around a loop and end up at San Marco?<

The No. 1 plies between Lido and Pzza Roma. If you have a daypass, you can just stay on the boat for the ride back.

>I have also read alot about going in the right direction. Does it matter in this case? <

If you want to go up the Canal instead of to the Lido, yes.



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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:42 AM
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You are going to need to take the vaporetto if you want to go to Barrano or Murano (to Murano you can get a free taxi ride there from a glass company. In turn you have to take the tour. You don't have to buy anything. But you have to either pay for the taxi or vaporetto back.) Taxis are very expensive so you may be on the vaporetto more than you think. I have gotten a seat very few times on a vaporetto so don't plan on it.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:43 AM
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THe vaporetto is one of the best sight seeing transportations in the world.It is also a fabulous way to get around but watch the directions they go in one direction and only turn around at san zaccaria ,near san marco and at piazzale roma the two ends of the grand canal.
It will depend on where you are coming from as to which end you start but remember the # 1 is the main route but it also goes both ways so remember the direction it came from it will keek going straight ahead and if its heading down to san marco it ends up at the lido. The 52 does a full outer loop and is fun but the numbers changed last year so check the route maps they are excellent [ and they run on time ].check out the venice card when you arrive there are 3,5 and 7 day passes i think ,and if you are going to really see venice without wearing out your shoes think about the pass its good value if you frequent the vaparetto.
we spent 9 days there last year and the vaparetti were are best friends always there when you were tired ,lost or lazy and we saw or should i say experienced a lot of venezia as you will come to know her as.
Enjoy your trip it will be a unique experience.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:43 AM
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Thanks Ira
So I take it the vaparetto is very crowded or you did not want a seat?

Is there a better time in the day to do this?
I appreciate your help.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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just missed your reply Ann

I don't think we are going to any of the islands. If I were going with my husband i would like to go to torcello (spp?.

My mother is 79 and her sister (who is driving in from Slovenia) is 70 and I don't think they would want to stand for that long.

any suggestions?
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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The vaporettos are often very crowded. For doing what you want to do (which we also did one evening after dinner), move to the front of the vaporetto and grab seats there as they become available.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:53 AM
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seats are rare at most times but the views are better sides and back.Its also good fun just people watching as the venitians ignore the directions and get on the off ramps .But dont try it yoursef only the locals get away with it and rightly so
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:57 AM
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Note that it is a vaporetto (not "vaparetto"). They are called that because the original ones had steam ("vapor") engines.
They are each allowed to carry around 220 people and there are seats for a fraction of that number. At busy times (which is most of the day), many people have to stand; if it's raining, they will be crammed full of standing passengers. They provide a marvellous public transport system, but you must not expect a relaxing pleasure cruise.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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Thanks everyone.

Yes, that is what I was hoping for, a relaxing pleasure cruise. Oh well, maybe we'll do a gondola ride on the canal.

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Old May 6th, 2005, 07:16 AM
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About the seating, vaporettos are like extra-wide busses. The middle part is empty, for standing passengers, and there are a just small number of seats along the sides. Most people stand.

At certain times of day, Number 1 is impossibly crowed with tourists (for example avoid 4-5 in the afternoon when people return to the cruise ship). But if you choose a less conjested time the vaporetto can't be beat.

About directions: In the waiting area the ``north-bound gate'' is next to the ``south-bound gate'' (its not really a gate, but they are both in the same structure on the same side of the ``street'' if you see what I mean), and tourists tend to make mistakes about which side to stand on.

I once had a friendly Italian take my arm and lead me to the other gate, no words used, based on the fact that I was pulling a suitcase and obviously on my way to the airport (he was right, of course).
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Old May 6th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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Hi Sashie --

We did both last year and there is no comparison between a crowded vaporetto and a romantic gondola ride for two, especially if you choose a gondolier who takes you along some of the smaller canals. A gondola ride can be *very* expensive, but if your budget allows it, you should go for it! They are cheaper during the day, but more atmospheric at night. It was definitely a top moment in my trip last year.

Have fun -- Heather.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 07:46 AM
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also, make sure you know when the regular runs quit for the evening, after a certain time they only run occasionally the rest of evening and you could get stuck waiting a long time to get back to where you need to be. It happened to us a couple of years ago!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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Don't give up on your idea! We used the vaporetto for a Grand Canal tour (am assuming that was the no. 1 route) just like you asked about. Sometimes they are crowded but other times less so. You can play it by ear. We also used them when we walked too far across town and wanted a ride back closer to our hotel (so ask your hotel front desk the route and stop that is closest to where you are staying).

When the direction matters is (learned this the hard way!) when you want to be heading to the train station, but get on the correct route number but the boat that's heading out to the Lido!

I don't compare a vaporetto ride to a gondola ride at all (I personally would much prefer the former).

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Old May 6th, 2005, 08:19 AM
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Here is a link to a handy site that pictures some of the useful routes. We took a large number of these, just for sightseeing. For seeing the grand canal I would prefer the vaporetto to a gondola, because of the traffic; the best gondola rides, I feel, are along the smaller canals.

http://www.venice-rentals.com/info/routes.html
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Old May 6th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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cb and Heather have it right. The vaporetto is better for sightseeing along the Grand Canal. There is too much traffic to make a gondola ride on the Grand Canal really pleasureable.

The gondola shines in getting people onto the smaller canals into areas that most tourists never see.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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"Are all seats pretty good for viewing?"

I would say no. Not all boats in the system have identical design, either. My favorite boats for viewing and photographing Venice's cityscape have open bow and stern seating with an enclosed cabin separating the two, where the majority of riders sit. A little strategy is involved in getting prime seats at the bow and stern. You need to be first in line as you board and it helps to board at a stop when those seats might be empty or they're about to be emptied. (I prefer the bow to avoid the exhaust fumes that gather at the stern.)

Unfortunately, vaporetto rides have a beginning and an end and the route-schedule provides this info. I was permitted to remain in my front-row seat for the return ride from the Lido but I had to show my monthly pass to do so. Most of the other passengers were asked to get off. I'm not sure if 3-day passes give you the right to stay on the boat for a return trip. I would certainly try.

"I have also read alot about going in the right direction. Does it matter in this case?"

It only matters if you're a professional photographer and the direction of light matters to you. I always recommend a round-trip experience: from Piazzale Roma to Lido and back.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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SashieZ,

NYC has it right.

One of the best experiences in Venice is taking the #1 at night out to the Lido and back. The best time to do this is around 11:00 PM or so. The stern seats (in the back) are the place to be; if you can't get one when you get on, usually they will empty out after passing San Marcos on the way out to the Lido. In any case, you'll be well poised to grab them for the return.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 10:49 PM
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I think the crowds really refer to the time of day and time of year you're planning to be there. Venice also has its version of "rush hour" when its residents are using the vaporettos to get to and from work. At other times, it's not so bad.

Often, many of the seats will be empty as the Venetians stand shoulder to shoulder near the middle of the boat because they're only going a few stops.

I was there just a month ago and never HAD to stand, although I did once or twice just because I didn't want to be inside the cabin. We were usually able to snag seats in the bow or stern. But that's probably not the case in the summer (I'm guessing -- we always travel in the lower seasons).

The best seats for sightseeing are in the open bow or open stern of the boats.

Try it! It's pretty cheap and a lot of fun.

And then, I'd take a gondola ride in the beautiful side canals, too.

Happy travels!
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