Venice is a popular tourist destination in Italy, as it has many wonderful sights to see. There’s the fabulous Piazza San Marco, aka Saint Mark’s Square and known as the drawing room of Europe with its Campanile and newly restored clock tower. There are hundreds of churches, many campi, several must-see museums, and elegant palazzi along the grand canal, just to name a few.
It seems that most tourists are day-trippers, arriving early in the morning, running from one sight to the next in their exhausting 8-10 hour day, and disappearing from Venice when the sun goes down.
If you such a person, here’s my advice for getting around: Purchase a 12-hour vaporetto pass so you can get to different parts of Venice quickly (especially if you want to visit the colorful island of Burano or the glass making island of Murano). And, skip the expensive gondola ride and hop on board one of the gondole traghetto, those sleek, slightly larger black gondola’s manned by two gondolieri that cross the Grand Canal at various locations. Residents of Venice use this form of transportation on a daily basis.
There are seven “traghetti” stops that you can use as a short cut, thus saving you precious time. For €2 (€0.70 for residents) you can have yourself a quick gondola ride crossing the busy Grand Canal.
On a recent trip to Venice, I was near the Frari Church with a friend and we wanted to go to the top of the Campanile in Piazza San Marco. From our location, we had three choices: Walk in one direction to the Rialto Bridge, walk in the other direction to the Accademia bridge (both in a roundabout way and making for a longer walk to the Campanile), or take the traghetto from the San Toma stop.
We did as the locals do, and stood while crossing the canal. It definitely takes a lot to stay balanced on the gondola while taking pictures. If you are unsure, then go ahead and sit.
Once on the other side (at the Sant’Angelo stop), with a wave and “Ciao!” from one of the gondoliers, we were off to our destination.
Wow!! What a quick, easy, inexpensive, and fun Venetian experience. Don’t miss this opportunity when you’re moving about in Venice.