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Venice > Transportation | Bicyles

Bicyling in Venice, Italy

In central Venice, riding or even pushing a bike is illegal--but you're free to cycle on the Lido di Venezia, Venice's island beach resort.

Bicyles in Venice, Italy

ABOVE: A clueless bicylist poses while a passerby documents his crime.

Most visitors to Venice know that the city's historic center or centro storico is car-free. But it's important to emphasize that bicycles are also forbidden. If you ride, push, or carry a bike through the streets of central Venice, you'll be risking a 100-euro fine.

There is one exception: You can push or carry your bike between the Venezia Santa Lucia railroad station and the Piazzale Roma via the Ponte di Costituzione or Calatrava Bridge. This is handy if, for example, you arrive in central Venice by train and want to park your bike at the Piazzale Roma.

Bringing a bicycle to Venice:

For a trouble-free visit, choose one of these options:

  • Stay at a hotel on Venice's island beach resort, the Lido di Venezia, which you can reach by the Venice-Lido car ferry or by from Chioggia at the southern end of the Venetian Lagoon.

    If you're coming from Chioggia, you have two options: Take the Linea 11 public water bus all the way from Chioggia to the Lido, or (for more scenery) take the Linea 11 water bus from Chioggia to Pellestrina and cycle the remaining distance to the Lido. (This route involves a short ferry crossing at Alberoni, south of the Lido.) Click here and scroll to download a map and timetable for the Linea 11 water bus, and see this page about the bicycle route.

    Alternatively, you can reach the Lido via the Linea 14 motonave or public water bus from Punta Sabbioni at the northern end of the Venetian Lagoon. Click here and scroll to download a map and timetable for Linea 14.

    Warning: On Linea 11 and Linea 14 water buses, bicycles are transported at the captain's discretion (based on how many passengers and bicycles are competing for space on the boat). This is likely to be more of a problem on Linea 11, since Linea 14 uses double-deck vessels that carry up to 1,200 passengers.

More photos and facts:

Couple with bicycle in Venice

ABOVE: In central Venice, bicyclists are even less welcome than pigeons. (And unlike pigeons, illegal cyclists can be smacked with 100-euro fines.)

Fat-tired bike in Venice, Italy

Boy with bicycle on Venice bridge

ABOVE: If you see a bicycle in central Venice, it probably belongs to a child. (Local kids can get away with using bicycles, tricyles, roller skates, hoverboards, and other wheeled transportation.)

Man on unicycle in Venice, Italy

ABOVE: Riding a unicycle, with or without training wheels, is a risky workaround for Venice's "no bicycles" policy.

Bicycles on Ponte di Calatrava, Venice

Bicycles at Venezia Santa Lucia Railroad Station, Venice

ABOVE: It's okay to push your bike from the Piazzale Roma to the Venezia Santa Lucia railroad station (or vice versa). But don't get on the bike, or the police are likely to pounce.

Tip: If you arrive on a folding bicycle and have a bag for it, you can take the bike (in its bag) on local water buses upon payment of a second fare.

Quadracycle on Lido di Venezia

ABOVE: On Venice's island beach resort, the Lido di Venezia, it's legal to ride bikes. You can hire standard bikes, tandems, and quadricycles from Venice Bike Rental, which is 400 meters from the Lido Santa Maria Elisabetta waterbus stop (shown above).

Also see:

Venice transportation index

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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