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travelgems Jun 24th, 2006 11:44 AM

transportation in venice
We are booked on a 7-day cruise to the Greek Islands in the first week of Sept. this year, and are going to spend two days in Venice before boarding. How do we get from the airport to the hotel as directly and economically as possible? The private watertaxis are very expensive. $180.00 one way for two!!! Any way to beat that without 3-4 stops and prolonged walking with our luggage?

nytraveler Jun 24th, 2006 12:01 PM

The water taxi doesn;t operate per person - you can have 2 people or 8 - and the price is the same. And $180 sounds very high. Check with other threads here - people seemm to be paying more like $80 or so.

Are you buying this from a travel agent or other supplier who's taking a huge cut - rather than asuming negotiation with the pilot on the spot (gets you the best price).

As to how to get to your hotel - it depends on where it is. Have you looked at their website - or contacted them? Do they have their own pier? Are they near a vaporetto stop? Will they send a bellman to meet you to deal with the luggage?

There are other options - bus or land taxi to train station - but then you have to take the vaporetto from there.

I would map your hotel and contact them to get better info.

travelgems Jun 24th, 2006 12:41 PM

nytraveler, thanks for your info. The $180 quote came from an agency. I have e-mailed the hotel directly and they only suggested a watertaxi. I have already mapped the hotel location. The hotel website suggests taking the shuttle boat from the airport to St. Mark's Square (travel time ca. one hour), but does not elaborate on how to get to the hotel from there. There is no mention of a bellman... This is only a 3-star hotel, but in terms of location and amenities perfectly adequate for this short stay. I would like to know about the 'how and where', and preferably arrange our transportation ahead of time, as I anticipate crowds during that week (Venice Filmfestival and traditional Gondola Parade). Another concern will be transportation upon departure (hotel to cruise pier). Another couple will join us in Venice for the cruise (arriving a day later), therefore we will be able to split the cost for the trip to the pier. Our cruise reservation agent has already arranged prepaid transportation from the pier to the airport upon our return. Cost; $30/person.
Any more thoughts or info are welcomed.

nytraveler Jun 24th, 2006 12:53 PM

Arranging transport ahead of time will cost a whole lot extra - since you're using a travel agent of some sort who will want a hefty profit.

You may be best off taking the bus to the train station and then taking a vaporetto to San Marco - but you will have to deal with your own luggage. And if you don;t have a good map of the area and the exact route to the hotel you could be walking a lot.

You could also get a water taxi there - which is much closer and would cost much less than from the airport. (And the WT from the airport doesnt take anywhere near an hour - they;re saying that to boost the cost.)

LoveItaly Jun 24th, 2006 12:54 PM

I think that the max a watertaxi would cost you is 100euro travelgems. Would this be acceptable to you?

Regarding your hotel..doesn't their website show a map regarding their location?

Eloise Jun 24th, 2006 12:56 PM

Does the Web site of your hotel have a map on it? That should let you see whether there are any or a few or many bridges between the hotel and the closest vaporetto stop.

If there are not too many, then I would take the ATVO express bus (blue one) from in front of the airport to Piazzale Roma in Venice. Piazzale Roma is flat, and there is a vaporetto stop. Take the No. 1 or No. 82 vaporetto to either Vallaresso or San Zaccharia stop, depending on the location of your hotel.

The Alilaguna shuttle boat takes an age, goes around the less attractive "back end" of Venice and, if I remember correctly, it doesn't even have a deck from which you can see Venice approaching.

On the other hand, the No. 1 and the No. 82 vaporettos take you along the Grand Canal for your first magnificent view of Venice's "main street"!

The price for a water taxi from the airport to Venice these days is about 80 or 90 Euro, so $180. is quite overpriced.

If you can give us the name of your hotel, we may be able to be more precise.

Spygirl Jun 24th, 2006 01:06 PM

Travelgems-if you say the hotel, or if the hotel gives a vaporetto stop, then perhaps we'll be able to give you directions on how to get there.

I would definitely take the Alilaguna watter shuttle to San Marco rather than pay the exorbitant rates of the water taxi. You are going to be there at the most exciting and probably the most crowded time in Venice: The Venice Film Festival starts Aug. 30 this year, and runs for around 10 days or so, but the Regatta Storia (historical regatta), one of Venice's biggest cultural events, is on September 3rd of this year, so besides the enormous crowds, there will likely be no vaporettos or any type of water taxi service running for the length of that event.

I too, plan on trying to be in Venice on September 3d, because I very much want to see the Regatta Storica, a spectacular event which commorates the welcome given to Catharine Coronaro, the Queen of Cyprus, after she renounced her throne for Venice. There is a procession of 16th century style boats down the Grand Canal, with the Bucintoro, the ornate boat representing La Serenissima, at the lead. After the procession, the rowing contests (always going on in Venice during the warmer months) begins. This I want to experience no matter the crowds.

mclaurie Jun 24th, 2006 03:16 PM

180e sounds outrageous. It should be about half that. I agree not to book in advance. Telling us where your hotel is will help provide best options.

I just posted info on this subject here;tid=34825382

luli38 Jun 24th, 2006 03:26 PM

We just returned from Venice last week. We were charged 130 Euro (which we were able to split with another couple) to take us via watertaxi from our hotel to the dock by the airport plus the shuttle that drove us to the actual terminal. They originally quoted us 90 Euro, but that would not include the shuttle to the terminal. I think the shuttle was a good idea as I am not sure how else you would get from the terminal to the dock--it did not appear to be too far, however I would not want to do it lugging luggage etc. I would agree with the other posters regarding knowing the exact location of your hotel. The great part of the watertaxi is that it takes you straight to your hotel (if it has water entrance) and thus you don't have to try to figure out where to go once you get off the vaparetto--those streets in Venice are very confusing and it is very easy to get lost--again not a fun thing to do if you have lots of luggage. I would suggest trying to find someone to split the fee of the taxi. We were very lucky as we were able to split watertaxis charges with other people who happened to be going to the same places. Have a great time!

mclaurie Jun 24th, 2006 03:29 PM

40E to get from the terminal to the dock? That's an outrage. It is walkable. There used to be a free shuttle for this but I had read here it was discontinued. But 40e for that distance is just crazy.

luli38 Jun 24th, 2006 03:42 PM

I agree it sounded crazy to me too, but the other couple that we were sharing the watertaxi with had alot of luggage after traveling for 3 weeks and thus we could either pay 90 Euros on our own or split the cost and pay 65 Euros by going with them. I did not see any free shuttle--though our flight was very early in the morning--we arrived at the airport when it opened at 5:00 AM, so if there is a shuttle maybe it just was not up and running. Personally I found the transportation costs to be quite staggering throughout Italy. Fortunately, we mostly walked and rarely took taxis, but on those occasions that we did take taxis (particularly in Rome) we found that even "official" taxis attempted to add unapproved surcharges etc. I think we only had one taxi ride where the meter was not already running when we got in.

Spygirl Jun 24th, 2006 03:49 PM

If you don't have too much luggage, it
can be a pleasant 10-15 minute walk from the Airport to the dock, or vice versa. Otherwise, you can just grab an airport taxi outside the airport to take you down to the boat dock.

The Venice Airport boat dock is the loading point both for private water taxis (motoscafi) and the Alilaguna water shuttle into Venice.

As I posted on the other thread there is a new water shuttle service: the Alilaguna Gold shuttle-which is a direct service line for Euro 25/pp-there are NO stops between the Airport and San Marco, and return. Much better alternative than the regular Alilaguna lines, which take 70 minutes and stop at the other islands before getting to San Marco.

travelgems Jun 24th, 2006 09:43 PM

Thank you all very much for your collective input. Hotel Castello is the name of our accommodation, and it is on SS. Filippo e Giacomo, close to Saint Mark's Square, the Bridge of Sighs and the Palazzo Ducale. The hotel website mentions the Actv Water Bus Lines # 1, 51 and 82 and the San Zaccaria stop.
Will that help ? I have found the hotel on the map, but it still doesn't tell me how far away it would be from St. Mark's, or from the San Zaccaria stop, and how we would get to the hotel from there.
As I mentioned before, I am also concerned that due to the special events taking place on that weekend, the availability of transportation might be more limited at arrival and departure times (Sept. 1st and 3rd respectively).
If any of you could help me figure this out, I would really appreciate it.

eri Jun 24th, 2006 10:32 PM

We always take the Alilaguna boat shutttle to and from the airport. If I remember correctly it is 10 Euros per person. There is a curtesy shuttle bus from the dock to the terminal. If you are fit, you can walk and drag your wheeled suitcase from the boat stop near St. Mark's to the hotel. I am 65, my husband is 72 and we always do it without any problem. I honestly think that water taxi is a waste of money. Alilaguna is a great service!

mclaurie Jun 25th, 2006 04:05 AM

Ok, travelgems, I've looked up where your hotel is. It is not on water so doesn't have a water dock. This means even if you take a water taxi, you'll still need to do some walking. Make sure all your cases have wheels! You have all the choices I and others outlined.

1) <b>Regular Alilaguna</b> to San Zaccaria stop (San Marco). The walking instructions read&quot;

&quot;stop at San Zaccaria (landing stage n. 16), then take the street right in front, called Calle delle Rasse; at the very end of it, turn left into Campo SS.Filippo e Giacomo, on the right you'll see our sign. &quot;

People on tripadvisor wrote the hotel was &quot;in an alley&quot; meaning it's a narrow passage. There's evidently a fruit stand right next to the hotel. Here's someone's photo

Spygirl reports on the gold alilaguna for 25e/person that's faster as an option.

2) Land bus to P. Roma (about 9e/person) and then vaparetto (local water bus) down the Grand Canal to San Zaccaria. Then follow same walking instructions. They say:
&quot;Line 1 takes about 50 minutes, it's the slowest ride, but you can enjoy the wonderful panorama of the Grand Canal with its palaces overlooking the water. On line 51 (green line) you can reach the hotel in 25 minutes.&quot;

I think this is probably the way I'd go in your place. It also eliminates the problem of getting from the terminal to the dock. The land buses or taxis should be right out the front. I might then splurge on a water taxi when you leave.

You could also take a land taxi to P. Roma and then the vaparetto. I'm not sure how much more it would cost.

travelgems Jun 25th, 2006 02:13 PM

Hi mclaurie! Thanks so much for the indepth information. I have printed out all your info and the Alilaguna time schedule. The pic of the alley with our hotel entrance was a real bonus. Having grown up in Europe myself , I am a bit more philosophical about the often somewhat 'colorful' surroundings in european cities...Thanks to your kind efforts, and those of Spygirl, luli38 and nytraveler, we can make an educated decision. We do have luggage with wheels and are able to fasten our carry-ons on top of the suitcases, enabling us to walk with relative ease.
I am sure that other travelers, going on the same journey, facing the same situations will be thankful for your input. Thanks to you, I am looking forward to the trip with more confidence and will report back about our experiences upon our return in Sept. This was my first attempt at posting anything, and I am glad I did.

KWP Jun 25th, 2006 03:56 PM

I have appreciated the tips given to travelgems. Does anyone have a suggestion for our Marco Polo Airport arrival in Venice? We are fit and will be able to walk easily with our luggage. We are staying at the Casa Cosmo. The book describes the location: on tiny Calle di Mezzo just off Calle delle Ballotte a block from the Merceria, San Marco 4976 (Southeast of the Rialto Bridge)

missypie Jun 26th, 2006 07:24 AM

A few weeks ago we paid $100 to get form our hotel to the airport...5 people, lots of luggage.

MFNYC Jun 26th, 2006 07:59 AM

You don't have to reserve a water taxi. Just walk outside the airport, they are right there and waiting.

Mimar Jun 26th, 2006 09:07 AM

KWP, ask your hotel for directions.

luv2cthings Jun 26th, 2006 09:30 AM

KWP, your hotel has info and a map at You can also find your cross streets at this map: Click on Rialto, then click twice on the down arrow. Look near the back end of S. Salvatore church.

You can take the ATVO or ACTV bus from Marco Polo (see and then the number 1 or number 82 vaporetto (water bus) to Rialto.

GirlTravel Jun 26th, 2006 09:36 AM

There is no water taxi &quot;just outside the door&quot; of the Marco Polo Airport in Venice (VCE). Just outside the doors of the Airport are automobiles, buses and land taxis to take you to the main land and to Venice's Piazzale Roma bus terminal.

In order to get to the embarkation point for water transportation service into Venice San Marco, you need to walk, with your luggage, approximately 6-8 min. (if you're not pokey) to the dock where the water taxis/shuttles are located. It's a nice little walk-helps to wake you up if you've been flying all night. Alternatively, if you have a lot of luggage, you could get a land taxi to drive you over to the dock.

1. follow the signs in the Airport to the Alilaguna water shuttles-(the doors will be at the far left exiting the Airport).

2. Out the door -turn left on the sidewalk, and again follow the signs to the dock-the private water taxis (motoscafi) are co-located with the Alilaguna water shuttles.

As stated above, there are now 2 different Alilaguna water shuttle lines to Venice:

1. the Alilaguna d'Oro (Gold) is a DIRECT shuttle, it does not stop along the way-it is DIRECT TO SAN MARCO/SAN ZACCARIA-this runs hourly starting at 9:25am -brand new, and recommended-who wants to stop at different points along the way unless you live or are staying at those stops? The only downside is that their service does not run as frequently as the regular Alilaguna, BUT for most tourists' purposes during the day and evening it does.

2. the regular Alilaguna line does make several stops along the way before arriving at San Marco-the trip takes 70 min.- this shuttle runs much earlier and much later than the Gold-and thus is right for early morning or late departures from San Marco back to the Airport.

KWP-re your question on how to get to your hotel-I would suggest, given Casa Cosmo's location by Rialto, that you forego taking a water shuttle, and instead take the public bus to Piazzale Roma (bus #5) and then at Pze. Roma buy a vaporetto pass (3 day or 1 day), embark upon the public water bus (vaporetto #82) from Piazzale Roma to Rialto.

Once you get off at Rialto (each stop is signed, of course, and the ACTV operator calls out the stops). Proceed to follow the directions contained on your hotel's website. If you get turned around, just ask someone to help you-Venetians are usually quite helpful in that regard.

tuscanlifeedit Jun 26th, 2006 09:45 AM

I am still curious about the &quot;free&quot; shuttle to and from the boat dock to the airport. When we arrived at the airport boat dock in the early morning this past March, there was no free shuttle. Several shuttle operators were lined up to transport travelers from the dock to the airport, but they all wanted 25 Euro for the ride. We walked.

There was no free shuttle available. No one else was outside except three or four blue shuttles and they all wanted 25 E to transport us and our luggage to the airport. The distance was short and I thought the cost was outrageous.

GirlTravel Jun 26th, 2006 09:52 AM

I don't know about any free shuttles now, other than there were free shuttles that were discontinued. I might fly out of the airport in a couple of months domestically- if I do, then I'll enquire about the shuttle service to the dock.

But if operators are charging 25 E just to take you to the boat dock-which is the same cost as the direct water shuttle to Venice, then that really is outrageous.

luv2cthings Jun 26th, 2006 10:12 AM

KWP, to follow up on GirlTravel's mention of the #5 bus and getting a 1- or 3-day vaporetto pass: If you get your pass at the airport before boarding the #5 ACTV bus (not the ATVO bus), the pass will cover the bus as well. Either way, don't forget to validate (stamp) your pass before first use. You can validate the pass on the bus.

MFNYC Jun 26th, 2006 12:19 PM

Maybe I don't remember the exact details, but I was with my 2 kids and husband, and remember finding a water taxi very quickly and easily after exiting the airport. We definitely didn't go far at all, we were all exhausted from the flight, and if it wasn't easy there would have been lots of complaining.

KWP Jun 26th, 2006 09:25 PM

Thanks so much for all your helpful suggestions.

travelgems Jun 28th, 2006 12:30 PM

This is one more question for SPYGIRL. The 25e/per person for the GOLD ALILAGUNA trip from venice airport to San Marco/San Zaccaria, is that a round trip fee?
Since we won't be going back to the airport from the hotel, but directly to the cruise pier, it would be nice to know.
We are , like you, looking forward to witnessing the Regatta Storia on Sept. 3rd. However since this will also be the day of our departure and we will have to be at the pier by 3:00PM, I wonder if we will be able to see some or most of it before our check-in time.
Do you have a schedule of events or know a sight where I can find out more?
Your help or anybody elses would be much appreciated.

jenandstephen Jun 28th, 2006 12:45 PM

I know this isn't the question, but why is everybody taking so much luggage? You should be able to pack everything in one medium-sized rollable suitcase. When you're moving around Europe, the last thing you want to do is load yourself down with lots of luggage. Trust me, there's no way you need everything you want to pack. Go to Rick Steves' packing tips for advice. Packing light is the way to go! Once you do it, you will never go back...

GirlTravel Jun 28th, 2006 12:55 PM

Hi Travelgems-

The Gold shuttle is 25E each way-and yes, the Regatta Storica starts in the morning, so you'll be able to see a great deal-but the crowds will be ENORMOUS, so you need to make your way to your departure point DO make sure about your transportation schedules on this day ahead of time, because most water transportation will be shut down for the length of the event.

Here is a bit from the Venice City Hall website: (scroll down to Regatta Storica),

and this article about the Regatta:

GirlTravel Jun 28th, 2006 12:58 PM

That first word got cut off-should be &quot;English&quot;

GirlTravel Jun 28th, 2006 01:01 PM

Scusi-I keep doing this-spelling &quot;regata&quot; with two t's- that should be &quot;Regata Storica&quot;

GirlTravel Jun 28th, 2006 01:21 PM

Okay, once more-(this is what I was looking for on the City Hall website)-the full page story of the &quot;Regata Storica&quot;-with pictures:

travelgems Jun 28th, 2006 01:49 PM

Thanks GirlTravel. I have been worried about the traffic situation that day and plan to reserve a private watertaxi as soon as we arrive on Sept. 1st (for the 3rd). Do you think that will be early enough? The locals should also know the time during which the waterway traffic will be restricted or blocked off, and advise us as to how much time we should allow to get to the pier on time.

GirlTravel Jun 28th, 2006 01:52 PM

Travelgems-is your cruise departing from Venice, or do you have to go back to the airport? That wasn't clear to me.

travelgems Jun 28th, 2006 03:55 PM

GirlTravel, we are NOT going back to the airport on the 3rd, but will take a watertaxi directly to the cruise pier/port (two couples this time around, so we can split the cost.

HappyTrvlr Jul 6th, 2006 09:56 AM

The distance from the Alilaguna or Vaporetto to the hotel is not as important as how many bridges with all of their steps you have to climb to get to the hotel.

sharone Sep 22nd, 2006 06:54 AM


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