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Traghetto Gondola Ferries

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ABOVE: A sign at a traghetto pier shows the two-tired pricing scheme that went into effect in 2013.

How to ride a traghetto

  • Follow the yellow "Traghetto" signs to the nearest landing, which will be a small wooden pier along the edge of the Grand Canal. Boats normally shuttle back and forth almost continuously, so you shouldn't have to wait long.

  • When the traghetto arrives from the other side of the canal, board the boat and find a place to sit or stand. Face backward, because the boat will turn as it leaves the dock. (Venetians traditionally stand during the crossing, but you're welcome to use a seat or perch on the gunwales, and an oarsman may gesture for you to sit down if his last batch of tourists toppled into the canal.)

  • Hand your fare to the oarsman as you board or leave the boat. If you don't have exact change, try to pay with coins instead of banknotes.

  • Money-saving tip: If you've bought the iMob Cartavenezia card, show the card. If you're lucky, you'll be charged the local residents' fare  of 70 cents instead of tourist price of €2.

Other practical advice

  • Don't try to board a traghetto in a wheelchair, with a baby carriage, or with heavy luggage. Instead, use the No. 1 vaporetto, which has a flat deck and is fully accessible.

  • Hours of traghetto service vary by route, season, and day of the week. Normally the boats are rowed back and forth across the Grand Canal from early in the morning until 7 or 8 p.m., or possibly a bit later in the summer.

  • One or more traghetto lines may be shut down for maintenance or construction at any given time, depending on the season. If you arrive at a traghetto platform and no boat is in sight, just do as the Venetians do and either take the vaporetto or save money by walking to the nearest bridge across the Grand Canal.

Related articles

Venice Travel Blog: Traghetto S. Sofia
This 4-minute video from our Venice Travel Blog shows how to board, ride, and disemark from a gondola ferry on the Grand Canal.

Venice Transportation Articles Index
Get in-depth information on Venice airport boats and buses, how to use public transportation, gondolas, and more.

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