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Venice > Planning > Medical emergencies

Venice's ambulances and hospital emergency room

Here's how to get help during a medical emergency in Venice, Italy.

Ambulance near Venice's hospital emergency room.

ABOVE: An ambulance speeds toward Venice's hospital emergency entrance on the Fondamente Nove. (Need help in a hurry? Call 112 for a multilingual dispatcher.)

If you have a medical emergency in Venice, you're in luck (relatively speaking): The city's public hospital is large and well-equipped, with a 24/7 emergency room.

How to call an ambulance:

Dial 112 (the single EU emergency number) and tell the multilingual dispatcher that you need an ambulance.

Or, if you prefer, you can call 118 (the older, dedicated Italian phone number for medical emergencies).

A water ambulance will speed to a canal near you, and emergency responders will rush the rest of the way with their portable equipment. If you need to be taken to the hospital, you'll be rolled or carried to the ambulance in a special wheelchair.

The ambulance will deliver you to the hospital's emergency entrance on the Fondamente Nove:

Going to the emergency room (pronto soccorso):

Venice's Ospedale Civile, or Civic Hospital, is a large complex that lies between the Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo (by the basilica of the same name) and the Fondamente Nove on the Venetian Lagoon.

The pronto soccorso or emergency entrance faces the water, but you can reach the emergency room from the Campo if you're walking from an inland location. Just enter the hospital via the historic entrance facing the square and tell the receptionist that you need pronto soccorso.

If you're coming by vaporetto or public water bus, get off at Ospedale and walk the short distance to the emergency entrance. (Click here and scroll down to "Public transport services to the hospital" for waterbus directions.)

From the Ospedale waterbus stop, turn right as you leave the boat platform and continue to the "Emergency + Pronto Soccorso" entrance by the ambulance pier.

Ospedale Civile, ambulance, and San Michele Cemetery in Venice

ABOVE: An ambulance approaches the pronto soccorso entrance of Venice's Ospedale Civile.

If you're on the Lido or the mainland:

Call 112 or 118 for an ambulance, or click here to see addresses and phone numbers of other hospitals and pronto soccorso locations on the Lido di Venezia, in Mestre or Marghera, or on smaller islands in the Venetian Lagoon.

Tips for using medical services in Venice:

  • If you're a resident of the EU, bring your national ID and your European Health Insurance Card to the emergency room.

  • If you're from outside of the European Union, bring your passport and whatever insurance documents you have. You may need to pay, get medical reports and receipts, and seek reimbursement from your insurer after your trip. Then again, you might get lucky: I once spent 18 days in an Italian hospital near Rome after an accident with a killer camera bag, and the hospital refused to accept payment when I left (probably because the nurse on duty couldn't figure out the paperwork).

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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