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Venice > Local transportation > Waterbus stops > Station types

Types of Venice Waterbus Stations

From: Venice Waterbus Stops

ACTV operates Venice's public waterbus stations, including many stops that also are used by Alilaguna airport boats. ACTV stations mostly fall into two categories:

Traditional "pontile" (pontoon) stops

In the satellite photo above, you'll see two pontili, or pontoons, at the San Toma station on the Grand Canal. The floating platforms have benches inside where passengers can wait for water buses.

Most ACTV stops are like San Toma, with variations:

  • Stops may have one, two, or more pontili or floating platforms, each serving different routes or boats going in different directions. (Look for signs on the platforms and water buses.)

  • Some stops have ticket booths, ticket vending machines, or both, while others don't. (Here's what to do if you arrive at a waterbus stop without a ticket or a pass such as the Tourist Travel Card.)

Large modern stations

At a few larger stops, such as San Marco Giardinetti, Lido Santa Maria Elisabetta, and the Pietá substation at San Zaccaria (shown here), ACTV has built large new stations with ticket offices, waiting rooms, and either traditional floating platforms or modern boarding piers.

How to board your water bus

1. Upon arriving at the ACTV stop or station, look for the number of the line you need. (Pontili or floating platforms are clearly marked, and you'll also see route timetables on the pier.) Be aware that:

  • At single-platform stations, boats will come from both directions. (For example, on the popular No. 1 vaporetto route, boats headed up the Grand Canal are usually marked "Lido," while boats headed down the Grand Canal are marked "Piazzale Roma.")

  • At multiple-platform stations, boats of the same line may depart from different platforms, depending on which direction they're headed. (Check the timetable near the platform to confirm that you've picked the right pontile.)

2. Look for an electronic ticket reader on the walkway leading to the floating platform or a the entrance to the waiting area.

actv ticket reader3. Hold your ACTV waterbus ticket or Tourist Travel Card up to the electronic reader and wait for a "beep" and the flash of a green light. Keep your ticket or travel card handy in case inspectors are doing spot checks on the the water bus.

  • Note: As we mentioned above, smaller stops don't always have ticket booths or vending machines. If you need to board a water bus without a ticket, follow these instructions to avoid a fine.

Back to: Index of Venice ACTV and Alilaguna waterbus stops

Also see:
Introduction to ACTV & Alilaguna boat stops
Types of Venice waterbus stations
What to do if you don't have a ticket

Related articles:
Venice water buses (what you need to know)
Vaporetto routes
Vaporetto Line 1 (Grand Canal)
Vaporetto fares
ACTV ticket machines
ACTV 24-hour to 7-day travel passes
ACTV maps and timetables
Alilaguna airport boats
More Venice transportation articles

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden has written about Venice, Italy since 1996. He covered Venice and European travel at for 4-1/2 years before launching Europe for Visitors (including Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl Imboden in 2001.

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