Venice logistics question

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Jan 8th, 2001, 12:52 PM
  #1
Beth
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Venice logistics question

We will be arriving into Venice by train. This is an odd question, I guess, but are the water taxis right there as you leave the train station? Or do you need to walk and then find the water taxis? I really can't picture how Venice "works" so to speak.
 
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Jan 8th, 2001, 01:05 PM
  #2
Larry
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Hi, Beth, YUP - right in front of you as you walk out - pretty awesome. However, water taxis are the expensive way to go. The local "bus" system is the vaporettas and they too are right outside the station. If you know where you are going (do some research on where you are staying in relation to vaporetta stops - sort of like Metro stops) and then there are two major ones, the number 1 and the number 82 that both take you to most of the stops but the 82 is more of an express and doesn't stop at all the stops. It is identical to walking out of any train station that has a major street - there are "buses", taxis, limos, etc. - the only difference is that they float!! If you don't have a lot of luggage, the vaporettas are great - we each had a standard small wheeled carry on and another carry on and did fine but our hotel was about 50' from a vaporetta stop! I thought they were great - enjoy Venice and e-mail me if further questions.
 
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Jan 8th, 2001, 01:16 PM
  #3
elaine
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Beth
Larry gives you good information about the water buses, vaporettos. Water taxis are different, you hire them for a private ride to the closest stop to your hotel. It is much more expensive to take a taxi rather than the vaporetto, unless you find it necessary because of unmanageable luggage.
I will add that there is something special about walking out of the rather ugly train station (possibly the only ugly building in Venice) and suddenly find yourself in the light and water and sights that are Venice.
Sometimes I think that the chamber of commerce made the station ugly on purpose, just for the contrast and pleasant shock.
Also, your hotel will be happy to tell you the appropriate boat number and closest vaporetto stop to its location.
When I went I too was pretty nervous about the whole boat thing. A well-meaning friend gave me a left-handed compliment and some confidence at the same time--she told me that people have been traveling to Venice for centuries and that I couldn't be the single stupidest person who had ever arrived there.
If you do take the taxi, some hotels that are on the canal have a private boat landing and they can arrange to have one of their porters meet you at the boat landing. At the vaporetto stop you're on your own, but your hotel can give you explicit walking directions.
 
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Jan 8th, 2001, 01:52 PM
  #4
ann
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Beth,
The two vaporettos that Larry mentions, the 1 and the 82, both run quite frequently. However, if you're more comfortable knowing schedules ahead of time (like I am!) there are schedules for all of the vaporetto lines on the ACTV's web site at http://www.actv.it/inglese/home.htm

Depending on how long you're staying in Venice, you might want to consider purchasing one of their passes - we bought the 3-day pass, and it was great being able to just jump on and off the boats (cheaper than buying single tickets too, if you're planning on using the system a lot).
 
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Jan 8th, 2001, 02:41 PM
  #5
Paulo
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In which hotel are you staying, Beth? Chances are that I may estimate what the walking distance with your luggage may be if you decide for taking the vaporetto. On the other hand, if you decide for taking a water taxi, you don't even need to go look for one. If you step out from the train station, walk half way to the water and stop looking around as if you were kind of lost, I bet that water taxi drivers will come over asking you if you need one! Bargaining the water taxi ride down to a reasonable cost may be fun ...
Paulo
 
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Jan 8th, 2001, 03:38 PM
  #6
Larry
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Hi - I have a photo I could send to Beth via e-mail of what she will see when she walks out of the train station in Venice - should I make it available or would that ruin the experience?? Lets hear it!!
 
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Jan 8th, 2001, 03:43 PM
  #7
robin
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Yeah, Beth, it is difficult to imagine how this 'works'. Visited Venice for the first time in October; and if I may borrow an excellent analogy (think it was from Elaine's notes???), when you emerge from the train station you feel like Dorothy as she swings open the door of the house after the tornado & SUDDENLY she's in OZ --- you walk outside of the Santa Lucia stop in Venice, down the steps AND THERE YOU ARE OVERLOOKING THE GRAND CANAL. It's truly one of the more mind-blowing sites --- probably only rivaled by those who enter Venice from the airport via water taxi.

The only tricky part (& it's really not that difficult) is learning which direction you need to be traveling. With a subway or a bus stop, you'll be on either one side or the other --- in Venice the vaporettos ("bus boats", if you will) can approach from either direction depending on whether you need to travel "up" or "down" the canal. As you step on the floating platform you can easily read all the stops & tell if you're headed in the right direction.

DON'T FORGET -- purchase your ticket BEFORE getting on the Vaporetto -- you'll see a kiosk as you exit the train station where you can purchase a ticket (or a several days' pass). Like most other forms of transport in Italy, you need to validate your ticket by inserting into the small orange or yellow machine for a time/date stamp.
They rarely check if you do have a ticket. But when they do AND if you don't, a fine will be levied. In the 3 days that I was in Venice, only once did they check tickets. In fact, it was very early in the morning & I was on my way to train station; on several occasions I'd 'failed' to buy a ticket or forgotten to do so. Fortunately on my last ride up the canal, I did have a stamped ticket and very glad I did.
 
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Jan 8th, 2001, 04:01 PM
  #8
howard
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I will just echo what the previous posters have said about that thrilling sight of the Grand Canal as you leave the stazione in Venice. And, the fact that we're all telling you about it will not ruin the thrill. Many, many people told us the same thing before we saw it, and still, nothing we had heard or anticipated prepared for what a truly thrilling sight it is!
 
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Jan 8th, 2001, 04:19 PM
  #9
Judy
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Hi, everyone. Is the experience the same when you step out of the parking lot?
 
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Jan 9th, 2001, 03:02 AM
  #10
Paulo
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No, Judy. Arriving by train, as one crosses the long bridge between the continent and main island one only sees the sea and a few houses/buildings before entering Sta. Lucia train station. The train station is located in a section of Canal Grande where it is, say, "fully developped", that is, there's a nice church and a bridge to your left (as you exit), another one right in front, and the canal is lined with venetian typical buildings.

As you approach Venice by car, you travel over the same bridge as the train, but you deviate to your right before getting to the "thick of things" into the Tronchetto Island parking lot. As you walk to the vapoertto landing stage, all you'll see are wharehouses on the other side of the canal.

If you take a vaporetto #82 (to your destination) running from right to left, after travelling the length of "uninteresting" Canale Scomenzana and Canale di S. Chiara, you'll make your glorious debut into Canal Grande. If, on the other hand, you ellect to take vaporetto #82 from your left to right (in case your destination is San Marco), you'll travel along the Canale della Giudecca. This is also very nice but not as striking as Canal Grande. The main building you'll see is Palladio's Redentore Church in the Giudecca Island (to your right).

Unless your hotel is located in Fondamenta Zattere (Dorsoduro), like La Calcina for instance, or if you're in a hurry to reach a hotel near San Marco, I recommend to take the vaporetto that runs from right to left, that is, the one that travels along Canal Grande.

Paulo
 
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Jan 9th, 2001, 05:12 AM
  #11
Beth
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Thank you everyone for such great descriptions of arriving in Venice from the train station! I'll be staying at the Locanda San Barnaba, and according to the NY Times article, it is located less than 2 minutes from a vaporetto stop. I guess I wasn't using the correct terminology when I referred to "water taxis" in my first post. As for a picture, I don't know if I want to see one or not -- I think I might just want to see it for the first time when I'm there in June. Thanks again!
 
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Jan 9th, 2001, 06:46 AM
  #12
paulo
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Yes, Beth, from the Ca' Rezzonico vaporetto stop to your hotel it's only about 50mts. You'll have to take vaporetto #1 at the train station once it's the only one that stops at Ca' Rezzonico.
Paulo
 
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Jan 9th, 2001, 06:51 AM
  #13
betsy
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Beth

Please post your experiences at the San Barnaba when you return. We are seriously considering staying there when we're in Venice in October.

Thanks
 
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Jan 9th, 2001, 01:58 PM
  #14
Susan
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Hi Beth,
May I just add, that climbing on Vap. #1 and simply sitting and looking on one side the entire length of the Grand Canal, and then turning around and riding back up looking on the other side, is a lovely way to spend an hour.
Larry, I don't think you should show her the pix. It is truly so magical when you get out and see it for the first time. Now, I'm trying to remember which book, I think it's the Eyewitness Guide to Venice has all the Vap routes in the back of the book or something! Very convenient!
 
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Jan 9th, 2001, 03:34 PM
  #15
Beth
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I'll be happy to post my experiences at the Locanda San Barnaba when I come back -- we're not travelling until early June, though. It certainly looked and sounded wonderful from the write-up in the NY Times, however! Thanks again, everybody! This board is such a great resource.
 
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