Buying Vaporetto Tickets
Venice's vaporetti or water buses are operated by ACTV, the local transit authority. To ride them, you'll need a single-fare ticket, a Tourist Travel Card, a VeniceConnected pass, or--for extended stays--the iMob CartaVenezia stored-value card.
Most tourists buy ACTV single-fare tickets or Tourist Travel Cards (which offer better value than the standard ticket, if you plan your boat trips to maximize your savings during the 12-hour to 7-day validity of your travel card).
Here are three ways to buy tickets (and, in the first two cases, Tourist Travel Cards):
You'll find a biglietteria or "ticket point" at most larger vaporetto stations, such as Piazzale Roma, Ferrovia (along the water by the railroad station), Rialto, San Marco Vallaresso, and Zaccaria (on the waterfront above the Piazza San Marco and the Doge's Palace). Business hours vary, but if the ticket point is closed, you can use a machine.
Touch-screen machines are now available in many ACTV locations, either to replace manned booths or to provide backup at busy times or after hours. For illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to use the machines, see our ACTV Ticket Machines article.
If you board a vaporetto or motoscafo at a stop that doesn't have a ticket point or machine, ask the attendant for a ticket (biglietto) as soon as you're on board. Don't dawdle: If you're caught without a ticket, you'll be liable for a hefty fine.
The old cardboard ACTV tickets have mostly been replaced by rechargeable tickets such as the biglietto ricaricabile shown here. If you pay for two or three tickets at a newsstand or ACTV ticket counter and you're handed only one biglietto, don't worry--several fares are stored on the ticket, and you can present it for recharging when you want to buy more fares.
For more information about riding Venice's water buses, please see:
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Updated February, 2014