Venice: Transportation

Getting to the Island from the airport:

When you get off of the airplane at Marco Polo Airport (VCE), exit into the lobby and turn left. There is a ticket booth where you can purchase an ACTV’s pass for the length of your stay and this is well worth it. Make sure you purchase one for enough time to cover your ride back to the airport or train station. The pass will cover buses and vaporetto that are ACTV, which is Venice’s public transit system. Purchase a ticket for the airport shuttle bus to Piazzale Roma Venice’s bus station. When you get to the bus station exit the bus, cross the street, turn left and walk to the vaporetto stops. Validate your vaporetto ticket at the validation machine.

Venice vaporetta validationVenice vaporetta validation2

Board either line 2 which is the faster to Saint Marks Square area, or if you’re staying where we stayed, then line 1 is the vaporetto to get on and it takes you directly to Santa Maria del Giglio.  It takes a little longer because it makes more stops but it also gives you a good opportunity to listen to Rick Steve’s Audio Guide of the Grand Canal. Start the guide when you get to the train station and listen as you ride or just enjoy the sites and take the tour later. Pick up a free map when you purchase your pass at the airport that will show you all of the vaporetto stops or download one at for free. *See the end of this page to get directions to our hotel and Locanda De La Spada check-in.

vaporetto line map

You also have other options from the airport, which are:

1)   Take a taxi to the bus station and catch a vaporetto to the island

2)   Catch the Alilaguna water shuttle line to Saint Marks Square and then catch the vaporetto line 1 to Santa Maria del Giglio which is 2 stops from St. Marks.

3)   Take a water taxi direct to Santa Maria del Giglio or your hotel but be prepared to pay.

vaporetto line 1

If you arrive in Venice by train:

Just exit the station and walk down the steps to the vaporetto stop. Purchase a pass for the length of your stay at the ticket booth, validate your pass and board the vaporetto. If you are staying where we stayed or in the Saint Marks area then board line 1 to Santa Maria del Giglio or Saint Marks. Check the map and verify the direction and the stops before you get on board. You can hop on and off as many times as you want with your pass but remember to validate it each time. When you get to Santa Maria del Giglio exit and walk 22 steps down the ally look left and you will see Locanda De la Spada which is where you check in to Residenza Ae Ostreghe. That is where we stayed. If you want to spend the money for a better room with a view overlooking the Grand Canal, then you may be at your hotel. Check in here anyway, and the very helpful staff will take you to your room.

Look for this sign for the hotel:

Venice Locanda De La Spada

The Vaporetta is the best way to get around Venice. Use your map to find out where the stops are to hop of to tour the different regions. Venice is devided into the following six regions:

  1. San Marco- The hot spot: St. Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica…
  2. Castello- Stretches from the square to the public gardens.
  3. Cannaregio- mostly quiet residential area.
  4. Dorsoduro – The art museum and the Ponte dell-Accademia, the Accademia Bridge.
  5. San Polo- This is where you’ll find the Rialto markets, and the Rialto bridge.
  6. Santa Croce- The bus terminal.
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