ABOVE: A Vaporetto dell'Arte water bus on the
Grand Canal. INSET BELOW: A boat in St. Mark's Basin, and a "VA" route sign at
Ferrovia, which has a number of vaporetto platforms.
By Durant Imboden
In June, 2012, the city
of Venice and its marketing partners introduced a new "hop on, hop off" waterbus
line called the Vaporetto dell'Arte.
The idea behind the boat was to reduce crowding on Venice's public
ACTV vaporetto network while
promoting museums and other cultural attractions along the route.
VA line has nine or 10 stops, depending on the time of year. It starts at
Ferrovia (a.k.a. Venice's Santa Lucia
Railroad Station) and works its way up the Grand Canal, stopping at or near
the Accademia Galleries, the Salute
Piazza San Marco, the island church of San
Giorgio Maggiore, and the Naval Museum at Arsenale. When the Biennale art or
architectural exposition is open, the line has an additional stop at Giardini.
your Vaporetto dell'Arte ticket, you can get on or off the avocado-green VA
boats as often as you like during your ticket's period of validity. Benefits of
using the boat include:
Less crowding than on regular water buses, especially during
peak season or on holiday weekends.
Audiovisual presentations on the boats that are keyed to the
Concessions and discounts from the Vaporetto dell'Arte's
museums and other partners.
Now for the bad news:
The basic fare is stunningly high: €24
for a regular adult ticket, which is valid for 24 hours from the time you
first use it. Children from ages 6-11 pay €15, which is also the fare for
wheelchair users. (The latter get to bring a companion free of charge.)
The boat runs at 30-minute intervals from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
(Ferrovia to Giardini) or 9:43 p.m. to 7:43 p.m. (Giardini to Ferrovia).
Venice is a small city, so--unless you're a slow walker--you can walk from
place far more quickly than you can travel with the Vaporetto dell'Arte.
The Vaporetto dell'Arte ticket is valid only on the
avocado-green "hop on, hop off" water buses. If you want to ride a public
vaporetto, you'll need to buy a separate ticket.
Still, the Vaporetto dell'Arte may be worth considering
if you're already buying a time-delineated
Tourist Travel Card for the ACTV
public waterbus network. Here's why:
When you buy a 12-hour to 7-day Tourist Travel Card, you can
add the Vaporetto dell'Arte for only 10 euros. Even better, your Vaporetto
dell'Arte ticket will be valid for the duration of your Tourist Travel
Card. (The €10 price and extended validity also apply to visitors from
ages 14-29 who are using the 3-day
Rolling Venice Card.)
Bottom line: If you're
buying a Tourist Travel Card for a few days or a week, the extra €10 for the Vaporetto dell'Arte
may be worthwhile. Otherwise, the Vaporetto dell'Arte card isn't likely to
be a good value.
For more information, or to buy tickets, go to any
ACTV/Hellovenezia ticket booth or visit
BELOW: Click the "play" arrow to watch a
51-second video of the Vaporetto dell'Arte on the Grand Canal.
The premier travel-planning site
for Venice, Italy since 1997