ABOVE: Two No. 12 water buses pass each other in the Venetian Lagoon.
When you're ready for a break from the crowds and urban atmosphere of Venice's historic center, take the ACTV's No. 12 motonave (water bus) from Fondamente Nove to Murano, Burano, and Torcello.
The No. 12 line (formerly "LN," for "Laguna Norte" or "Northern Lagoon") uses widebody boats that can accommodate several hundred passengers.
Boats normally run at least twice per hour during the daytime, with stops at the glassmaking island of Murano, the lacemaking island of Burano with its brightly-painted houses, the bucolic island of Mazzorbo (connected to Burano by a footbridge), the historic island of Torcello with its ancient basilica (check the timetable for boats that stop at Torcello), and--of less interest to tourists--the park-and-ride lots at Treporti and Punta Sabbioni.
If you aren't in a hurry, you can take a self-guided tour of the Lagoon islands and return to Venice's main waterfront above the Piazza San Marco on another ACTV waterbus line. For details, see our Venice Islands Tour article at Veniceforvisitors.com.
To whet your appetite for a tour of the Lagoon, here are more photos of Linea 12:
1. A No. 12 motonave with the Italian Alps in the distance:
2. The interior passenger compartment on a Linea 12 water bus:
3. Arriving at Faro, on the island of Murano:
4. The ACTV boat pier on Burano:
5. A sailor or marinaio prepares for the boat's arrival at a waterbus stop:
6. The lavatory on a Linea 12 boat, starting with a view from the window:
For more information about public transportation in Venice (including 12-hour to 7-day Tourist Travel Cards), see our Local Transportation Index and our Venice Water Buses article at Venice for Visitors.