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The price of a single vaporetto ticket in Venice is outrageous if you're a casual tourist: You'll pay a whopping €7,50, which is more than the cost of a pizza margherita in some restaurants.
The local transit authority's Venice Tourist Travel Cards are worth considering if you you're in Venice for a short time and plan to use the boats frequently, but they're expensive overkill for longer stays.
Fortunately, there's another alternative: the "frequent users" version of thestored-value city pass and travel card. This card replaces the card (shown in the photo below) and its predecessor, the CartaVenezia.
Although this pass is intended primarily for residents of the Venice region, non-residents can buy it for a fee.
As a non-resident, you'll pay €50 for the "frequent users" version of Venezia Unica, but your card will be valid for five years, and you'll be able to add stored-value fares to the card whenever you're in Venice. (Technically, the card itself is free, but there's an "ACTV activation fee" of €40 for the waterbus or "navigation" network and €10 to use land buses and trams, or €50 overall.)
With this stored-value card, you can save money in either of two ways:
By purchasing individual paperless waterbus "tickets" at the resident fare of €1,50, or even less if you buy 10 rides at a time. You can recharge your Venezia Unica card online.
By purchasing a monthly or annual commuter pass, which offers even bigger savings to students and other visitors who use the vaporetti and motoscafi daily.
You can't share a Venezia Unica card, with one exception: If you and a companion both have Venezia Unica cards and one of you has run out of stored fares, the other can pay two fares. (But both of you must have valid imob.venezia cards and present them to the ticket inspector if asked.)
You can use the Venezia Unica card for public transportation on ACTV water buses (vaporetti) and the People Mover elevated tramway (which connects the Piazzale Roma with the Marittima cruise terminals and the Tronchetto parking island).
Venezia Unica also entitles you to a discount of about 50 percent on Alilguna airport boats and an even bigger discount on traghetto gondola ferries across the Grand Canal.
Where to buy a Venezia Unica card:
You can apply for a Venezia Unica card at larger Hellovenezia ticket offices and licensed agents. We suggest using the main Hellovenezia/ACTV office at the Piazzale Roma, where you'll find a ticket counter inside the building.
On page 2, we provide illustrated step-by-step instructions for buying the Venezia Unica card at the main Hellovenezia office (a.k.a. the ACTV ticket office) in Venice's Piazzale Roma.
Don't confuse this "frequent users" card with the "tourist" version of Venezia Unica, which is a different product that's geared more to museum and church visits.
You can have your imob.venezia card enabled as a "Venezia Unica" card by signing a contract at any licenced Hellovenezia office or ticket point.
Using the card:
Simply swipe the card on the electronic ticket reader at any ACTV waterbus stop and listen for the confirmation "beep."
Go to the official Venezia Unica Web site and see the "Venezia Unica City Pass for frequent users" page.
For a list of Venezia Unica discount fares, go to the ACTV's "Fares" page and scroll down to the "Venezia Unica City Pass" section.
Next page: How to buy a Venezia Unica card
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|Venezia Unica city pass for long-term visitors and residents (formerly imob.venezia)|
|How to buy a Venezia Unica city pass|
|Venice transportation index|
|Vaporetto water buses|
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