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Our No. 1 Venice Hotel Warning

Venice Vaporetto Routes

A guide to ACTV public waterbus lines in Venice

ACTV motonave in Venice

ABOVE: An ACTV motonave passes a cruise ship in St. Mark's Basin. (See our Vaporetto Water Buses article for more information on boat types.)

By Durant Imboden

Venice's waterbus routes change from time to time. This means that printed maps and guidebook descriptions of boat lines, which are operated by the transit agency ACTV, are frequently out of date.

Please note that routes are subject to change and seasonal variation. When in doubt, check the timetables at the vaporetto stops.

Things to know:

1. At smaller stops, boats will come from both directions. Pay attention so you'll board the right waterbus!

2. Occasionally, a boat will ignore certain stops or will terminate its run before the end of the line. The placard or electronic signboard on the boat will indicate any such deviations. (Either that, or the conductor will shoo you off.)

3. Some lines are seasonal (typically summer or, occasionally, spring through fall).

ACTV No 1 vaporetto4. ACTV has a Web site where you can download a printable route map and a detailed timetable in PDF format. Click here for details.

5. In theory, if you board at a stop that doesn't have a ticket office or machine, you can approach the conductor immediately after boarding and ask for a biglietto. Otherwise, you could be fined heavily for traveling without a ticket. But read this first.

imob ticket reader6. Be sure to validate your ticket before boarding the boat. Hold your ticket close to the electronic reader (see inset photo) until you see a green light flash or hear a beep.

7. You can save money on public transportation by purchasing a 12-hour to seven-day ACTV Tourist Travel Card from any vaporetto ticket booth. A more expensive option is the tourist office's Venezia Unica Tourist Pass (formerly the Venice Connected card) which has a complicated pricing scheme but offers services beyond transportation. We recommend the ACTV Tourist Travel Cards, which are easier to buy and are a better value for most visitors.

8. If  you're staying in Venice for an extended period or plan to visit several times within a five-year period, consider buying a Venezia Unica long-term stored-value card, which will let you purchase vaporetto tickets at cheap residents' rates.

Vaporetto and motoscafo9. For convenience, "vaporetto" is often used as a generic synonym for "water bus," but technically there are three types of boat: the "vaporetto," a flat-decked boat used on routes such as No. 1 (Grand Canal) and No. 2; the "motoscafo" (used for routes that go into the Lagoon; see photo at top of page); and the "motonave" (a larger vessel, sometimes with two decks, that is used for commuter service to locations such as the Lido, Punta Sabioni, and Treporti).

10. Most ACTV boats are now wheelchair-accessible. Vaporetti on the most popular routes (1 and 2) are flat-decked boats where wheelchairs, strollers, and baby carriages can roll on or off easily, with a hand from the boat conductor if necessary. In recent years, motoscafi (which have cabins inside the hull) have been redesigned with wheelchair areas on the entry decks.

For more information on specific boat lines, see the "Line Numbers" table below.

Also see our articles on Venice Vaporetto and Bus Fares, Buying Vaporetto Tickets, and ACTV Ticket Machines.

The tables on this page show public waterbus routes that are of most interest to tourists. Unless otherwise indicated, boats are operated by Venice's public-transit authority, ACTV. (Thanks to Brendan Fox for his suggestions regarding the tables below.)

Please note:

Line Numbers:

City Center

The No. 1 local line (see Vaporetto Line 1 - Grand Canal) zigzags between 20 stations on its way from the Piazzale Roma to the Lido. It's popular with tourists because it offers a leisurely tour of the Grand Canal and offers a quick way to get from one side of the canal to the other , but its open decks tend to be jammed from April through October and on weekends.
  • Tip: To avoid crowds of daytrippers, take the No. 1 toward San Marco late in the evening.
This semi-express line runs from San Zaccaria (just above the Piazza San Marco) through the Giudecca Canal to the Piazzale Roma, and the railway station. During the day, boats continue up the Grand Canal to Rialto, with a smaller number continuing to San Marco (Giardinetti). 
  • Note: This line also runs in the opposite direction, so read the placards or electronic signs before boarding.
Linea 2/ is separate from Linea 2. It runs between Piazzale Roma, Ferrovia, and Rialto (or vice versa) and is a convenient way to reach hotels in the Rialto Bridge area from airport buses, taxis, and the railroad station.

Circolare (Circular) Routes

No. 4.1 is a counterclockwise circolare route that runs from Fondamente Nove to the San Michele cemetery, Murano, the railroad station, Piazzale Roma, Giudecca, San Zaccaria, then back to the Fondamente Nove and Murano with more than two dozen stops along the way.

No. 4.2 covers the same route in a clockwise direction.

  • Note: Early in the morning and late in the evening, the routes are abbreviated. See the timetables at the boat stops or the Actv Web site for details.

Motoscafi lines 5.1 and 5.2 cover the same route in two directions:.

No. 5.1 is a counterclockwise route that connects the Lido to Fondamente Nove, on the northern or lagoon side of Venice's historic center. From there, it continues through the Cannaregio Canal to the railway station and Piazzale Roma before heading up the Giudecca Canal and continuing on to San Zaccaria, Giardini, and S. Elena on its way back to the Lido.

No. 5.2 is a clockwise route that serves the same stops.

  • Note: Early in the morning and late in the evening, the routes are abbreviated. See the timetables at the boat stops or the Actv Web site for details.

No. 6 runs from Piazzale Roma to the Lido via the Giudecca Canal with stops at Zattere, Giardini Biennale, and S. Elena. (Boats also go in the opposite direction.) It runs seven days a week during the main tourist season; before late May and after early September, it doesn't operate on Sundays.

The "Diretto Murano" boat service connects the Piazzale Roma and the railroad station to the five boat stops on the glassmaking island of Murano.

This small-boat passenger ferry runs between Burano and Torcello.

Seasonal Routes (spring to early fall)

The No. 7 water bus runs from San Zaccaria (platform "D") to several stops on the glassmaking island of Murano.
Linea 10 operates between Lido SME and Zattere via San Marco Giardinetti. (No service on Sundays.)
Boats of Linea 18 connect Murano with the agricultural island of Sant'Erasmo and the Lido di Venezia. Service is infrequent, and the line operates only during a short period each summer.

Lagoon Routes (Burano, Torcello, etc.)

From the Fondamente Nove, widebodied vaporetto-style boats run to Murano, Torcello, Mazzorbo, Burano, Treporti, and Punta Sabbioni. These are the boats you'll ride if you take our do-it-yourself Venice islands tour, which uses public transportation and is far cheaper than guided tours.
Boats on this line depart from San Zaccaria Pietà above the Piazza San Marco, go to the Lido, and continue to Punta Sabbioni in the Venetian Lagoon. Like route 22 (see below), route 14 is convenient for guests at campgrounds near Punta Sabbioni.
Line 15 is identical to Line 14, minus the Lido stop. (It's a direct express service between Venice and Punta Sabbioni or vice versa.)
Linea 22 runs from Punta Sabbioni to Ospedale, Fondamente Nove, and Tre Archi (Cannaregio Canal) in Venice's historic center. Service is extremely limited, but the boat is worth considering if you're staying at a campground on Punta Sabbioni and want to catch a boat for Venice early in the morning.
No. 20 connects San Zaccaria with the islands of San Servolo and San Lazzaro degli Armeni, where the Armenian monks offer a monastery tour.
This off-the-beaten-path motoscafo line starts at Fondamente Nove in Venice, stops in Murano, and then calls at the untouristed islands of Vignole, Lazzaretto, and San Erasmo. Some boats continue to the commuter park-and-ride lot at Treporti. Boats also run in the return direction.
This route offers a coordinated autobus and waterbus service from the Lido to Pellestrina and Chioggia. See our Venice to Chioggia article.

Car Ferry

17 No. 17 is an automobile and passenger ferry between Venice's Tronchetto parking island and the Lido di Venezia.

Night routes

N The ACTV runs special "Night Routes" that offer abbreviated services during the wee hours. For details, visit www.actv.it.

Special routes

Terminal Fusina runs two pedestrian boat lines from its parking lot at Fusina, on the mainland to the south of the Mestre-Marghera industrial zone. One line (16, Linea Fusina-Venezia) connects with Zattere (on the Giudecca Canal, side of Dorsoduro. The other (Linea Venezia-Alberoni) runs to the Lido's Alberoni beach.
Linea Clodia leaves Chioggia for Venice in the morning, with return service to Chioggia in late afternoon. It's useful if you're staying in Chioggia or the resort of Sottomarina and want to make a day trip into Venice.
See our Venice Airport Boat article for information on Alilaguna, which connects Marco Polo Airport to the city center, Murano, the Lido di Venezia, and the Marittima cruise terminal.

Also see:
Vaporetto Line 1 (Grand Canal)
Venice Vaporetto and Bus Fares
Buying Vaporetto Tickets
ACTV Ticket Machines
Venice Tourist Travel Cards
Venice Transportation Index

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