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Venice water taxi from train station

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Feb 8th, 2005, 04:06 PM
  #1
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Venice water taxi from train station

Hello. We will arrive mid-day in Venice on the Eurostar from Florence, luggage in tow. My husband has never seen Venice, and I'd love to take a water taxi from the station to our hotel (Europa & Regina). Is the train station right on the water (sorry for the ignorance of this question!)? Do you need to arrange for a private water taxi in advance (like you would a private driver from Naples to Positano, for instance)? Any idea how long the trip is and how expensive? Any info is appreciated!
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Feb 8th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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Europhile, Venice is magical, and Italy is awesome. Where in Venice is the Europa and Regina?

The train makes 2 stops for Venice. The first stop is the WRONG stop...I believe it's the Venice MESTRE stop. We got out there with all our luggage and I realized, wait a minute, where's the Grand Canal?! We're at the wrong stop! We tried to get back on but the door was locked. Another family did the same thing.

I ran down to another door which the conductor had fortunately opened. He let us all back on. We then got off at the proper stop, near the canal.

The canal with the boats is very close, you can't miss it. As you are facing the canal, with all of your luggage, you'll see the small water taxis to your left. They are expensive and they won't bargain at this stop. If you want to take one, go ahead.

We decided instead to take the public water vaphorettos, the big boats. We immediately purchased a 3-day pass for each person for the Vaphorettos for 22 euros each, and we got on the vaporetto with our luggage. (We each had 1 21-inch rolling carry-on suitcase and 1 18-inch duffle, so we could handle our own luggage.) It was a little tricky handling the luggage but it worked fine. We had to stand which was fine because you get a better view of Venice if you are standing.

They might charge you about 80 euros to get a private water taxi? You'll have to ask the price? As opposed to buying the 3-day pass for the vaporetto for 22 euros, which gives you unlimited on and off privileges for 3 whole days in Venice, a great way to travel? I think there's also a 1-day pass if you aren't staying for 3 days.

To get to the airport after our stay in Venice, we did have a water taxi pick us right up from our hotel. I believe it was about 80 euros for the 5 of us and luggage. The hotel desk arranged the water taxi for us.
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Feb 8th, 2005, 04:25 PM
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Just as a suggestion. Rather than take a taxi and pay for it, when you get to the hotel ask for the free taxi ride to Murano. One of the glass places gives you a free ride. You only have to tour their factory. You don't have to buy anything. We didn't and didn't have pressure on us either. Then after you tour around Murano you can take the vaporetto back. Get off at the first stop (not the cemetery unless you want to tour it..it is very interesting) but at the first stop of Venice. Take your map and wander the calle (alleys). Get lost enjoy the out of the way restaurants and shops and have a magical day.
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Feb 8th, 2005, 04:27 PM
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Hi E,

Unfortunately, The E&R is right on the #1 Vaporetto route.

There are water taxis at the train station. You hail them just as you would a taxi anywhere else.

The direct route, down the grand canal, is about 40E.

You might be able to get the cabbie to take you the long way around so that you enter venice through the San Marco Basin.
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Feb 8th, 2005, 04:29 PM
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Hi Europhile. Melissa is right that the vaphorettos are a great option, and quite the bargain. But with any significant amount of luggage, they can be a hassle, particularly on a busy day. You can get a water taxi right at the station without planning in advance, but the rate can be all over the board (although you can count on it being expensive). But I'd probably ask the concierge at the Europa & Regina to arrange one for you - it will still be expensive, but at least it's something like the going rate. We were at the E&R last New Years - nice hotel, good location - and my recollection is that the boat can pull right up to the side door, so I'm sure they have a regular service they use. The trip shouldn't be more than 10 or 15 minutes, depending on whether you come up the Grand Canal from the Station (under the Rialto), or through the lagoon and into the Canal that way. Another bonus of the water taxi is that they give you a quick take on the sights. Nothing like that first glimpse of the Salute, and nothing like beautiful Venezia. Enjoy!

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Feb 9th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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Thanks everyone. It sounds like it will be easy to find a taxi, although I think I will see if the Europa has a regular service. That's a good idea.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 07:02 AM
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The public transport in Venezia is run by ACTV (www.actv.it). Along the canals, the boats are known by two names: vaporetto (note spelling, plural vaporetti) which carry about 220 people and got their name because the original ones were steam-powered, and motoscafo (plural motoscafi) which carry about 150 people. Some routes, like the no.1 which goes down the Grand Canal stopping at every stop, are always run by vaporetti, and other routes are run by motoscafi; the fares are the same and the 24-hour and 3-day passes are valid on all of them.
The station in the old city of Venezia is Venezia Santa Lucia. You can't miss it because it's the end of the line: if you walk out of the front of the station, you'll see the Grand Canal in front of you. If you get off at Venezia Mestre by mistake, don't worry because there are trains every few minutes to Santa Lucia station.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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It would be crazy to take a water taxi when the vaporetto will give you the same ride at 1/20 the cost
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Feb 9th, 2005, 10:35 AM
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We bought tickets for the vaparetto at the train station without realizing we need to pay extra for each piece of luggage. It was Carnivale and a mob scene so it was a hassle to get back in line and buy tickets a second time.

I imagine things have not changed in a year so check the signs at the ticket window.

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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:34 AM
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Europhile-

When you arrive at the Santa Lucia station, walk out the front doors and look left. The taxi stops will be on that side- the other way is the ticket booth for the vaporettos. There will be a little dock where the taxis pull up if they are available and there may be a line if there a lot of people wanting taxis.

IMHO, a taxi is so worth it, especially if you have a lot of luggage. The vaporettos can get very full and can be hard to navigate with your hands full. The water taxi is a dream- the driver will help you with your luggage and you get to travel in total style down the Grand Canal. It's a magical way to first tour the "main drag".

You'll ride the vaporettos for your regular Venice transportation, so I vote for splurging on a water taxi on arrival and maybe even departure!

Have a great trip!
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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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metellus- IMO it is crazy to take a vaporetto if you have more than one easily managed piece of luggage per person!

Of course it's cheaper, but it is also local transportation for the people, not set up to haul around tourists with significant <luggage in tow>.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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Oh yes, what I started to say before I was distracted... you simply go out the steps of the Santa Lucia station and there's a canal with all forms of transportation right in front of you.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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It's the difference between taking a public bus and a taxi cab on land. Boats cost a lot to maintain, so the water taxi is a LOT more expensive than the water bus (vaporetto). If money isn't an issue, take the taxi, if it is, take the bus.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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Not vaporettos, but vaporetti...

Sorry about that. quot;>
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Feb 9th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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I've said this here before: my mother treated my brother and me to a water taxi on our first entrance into Venice. It was an unforgettable and wonderful experience.

When my husband came with me there a few years later, I wanted him to have the same experience. He loved it.

But, to each his own. I thought this was a great way to splurge. Some splurge on shopping; some on dining; some on treats like the water taxi or gondola rides. I didn't buy anything but Supergas on that trip, but we took the water taxi into the city, and we also went for two evening gondola rides. We thought it was money well spent.

It is good to get a few different perspectives on this. You can decide for yourself what is right for you.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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We took the vaporettos (big water buses) numerous times every day in Venice, including once with luggage, and I never saw the attendant paying any attention to luggage. We didn't pay any extra for our luggage. I think if you had too much luggage, and had trouble managing it easily, they would be more likely to care.

But if you had just 1 rolling carry-on suitcase each, 21 or 22 inches, with an 18-inch duffle neatly stacked on top, and you climb aboard efficiently with your luggage, and keep it close to you so you don't get in anyone's way, they don't seem to care. (I also read in a guidebook that although technically they can charge you for luggage, they almost never do.

Especially if the crowds aren't bad, there's no reason why they need to charge you for luggage. During our days in Venice in June, everyone waiting in line fit on the vaporetto even with luggage...nobody was left behind, so luggage really wasn't causing any problem. If I noticed very long lines (like during Venice holidays), only then would I worry about paying to take luggage on board the vaporetto.

The vaporettos were full, but everyone and their luggage fit on board.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 03:20 PM
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ttt
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Feb 9th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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We spent 7 days in Venice last year, so we rode the vaporetti many times going many different directions. There were a lot of people coming from the airport or train station that would get on with large amounts of luggage and the locals would just glare.

On separate occasions, I got my foot run (ran?) over by someone trying to handle a large, heavy suitcase on a full boat and I also got bashed in the face when a backpacker turned around without looking. Neither experience was nice for me nor the person I yelled at... quot;>

We also saw people struggling to get their suitcases up and off the vaporetto while it was rocking back and forth. IMHO, if you have more than a small piece of luggage (like Melissa5 stated) and/or your budget will allow a water taxi, do it. This will help your own sanity and you won't get yelled at for running over someone's toes.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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one more question from a Venice newby. We will be arriving by train on a Wednesday night in March about 5:30. Will there be a "rush hour" on the vaporetti? That could determine how we get to the hotel with our luggage.
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Feb 9th, 2005, 05:19 PM
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I didn't pay attention to the time of day, I think I arrived both trips in the early morning, but they seemed pretty much crowded coming from the train station.

I've used them with reasonable ease twice, but always with just one small piece of luggage.

Please consider the posts above about crashing around with too much luggage. And realize that it is a BOAT, the platform you load from rocks, the boat rocks, you may kind of have to jump on. You may be jossled about by other passengers once you're underway.

And I'll finish my rant with this... the person asked about a water taxi, she is excited to take one and willing to pay. It would be nice to respect and actually answer her question (which I can't since I've never taken one, so I guess I can blame myself for being off-topic too!).
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