Transportation

Can you trust ACTV vaporetto timetables?

Venice San Zaccaria ACTV stop

ABOVE: The No. 7 water bus offers direct service from San Zaccaria (near the Piazza San Marco) to the glassmaking island of Murano, but when we took it in April, the ACTV's official published timetable didn't even show the route (although the ACTV map and station timetables did).



V
enice's ACTV transit system offers a convenient (if expensive) way to get around Venice's historic center. It's also the most practical way to reach Murano, the Lido di Venezia, and other islands in the Venetian Lagoon.

At our travel-planning site, Venice for Visitors, we include a page with links to the ACTV's official route map and timetables, which can help you figure out how to get from point A to B when you're in Venice. But we do feel compelled to share a warning:

The ACTV Web site can be slow to update published timetables!

If you're visiting Venice at the beginning or end of a season (say, in spring or fall), you may find that some routes are missing from the published timetable and some routes have stopped operating for the season.

Fortunately, the ACTV's route map is more reliable than the timetables are. Here's a workable strategy to prevent disappointments or unpleasant surprises when the ACTV's published timetable hasn't been updated quickly enough:

1. Look for routes of interest on the ACTV map. (You can download the map or view it at any ACTV vaporetto station.)

2. Check the ACTV published timetable for information about the route (which may or may not be shown, depending on the time of year).

3. When you're in Venice, go to one of the stations on the boat line that interests you. Look for the route timetable near the waterbus platforms to confirm that the boat is in operation.

The captioned photos below will help you check ACTV route numbers when you're in Venice.



At ACTV waterbus stations, you'll see route numbers displayed above the pontili or floating platforms:

ACTV pontile

ACTV route numbers



Larger stations may have four or more platforms, with station maps to help you find the right pontoon:

ACTV Rialto station map



Once you've found the pontile or platform for the vaporetto line that interests you, look for a route timetable:

ACTV station map and timetable



Tip:
You'll often find a route sign inside the pontile's waiting area. This sign shows the stations where the water bus will stop, so you can plan where to get off before you board the boat.

ACTV vaporetto line map



F
or more information about public and private transit in Venice, see the Venice Transportation and Parking guide at Veniceforvisitors.com.


Mestre hotels for cruise passengers

T1 tram in Piazzale Roma

ABOVE: From the T1 tram's terminus in Venice's Piazzale Roma, it's only a short walk over level ground to the Venice People Mover (an automated tram that runs to the Marittima cruise basin).

Mestre, on the Venetian mainland, is popular with cruise passengers for two reasons:

  • Hotels in Mestre are usually cheaper (or offer better value) than hotels in Venice's historic center; and...

  • From a hotel in Mestre, you can take a land taxi directly to the Venice cruise terminals at Marittima (used by large ships), San Basilio, and Santa Marta.

If you're considering a hotel in Mestre and are willing to pay 30 euros or more for a taxi to the port, any of the hotels in the article below should meet your needs:

Mestre & Marghera Hotels Guide

However, if you'd rather take public transportation, you need to consider your options:

1.  You can stay near the Mestre railroad station and take a train to Venice's Santa Lucia station, then cross the Calatrava Bridge to the Piazzale Roma and take the People Mover to the Marittima cruise port.

2.  You can stay in a hotel on a public bus line in Mestre that runs to Venice's Piazzale Roma. This may sound like a practical choice, but city buses can be crowded, and you may regret trying to board a bus filled with daytrippers or commuters when you're hauling bulky luggage.

3.  Your best bet (if you're departing from the Marittima cruise port) is to stay in a hotel on the new tram line that runs between central Mestre and Venice's Piazzale Roma:

Mestre Hotels on the T1 Tram Line

The tram is roomier and easier to board than buses are, and from the tram stop in Venice, you can walk a short distance to the People Mover. (The People Mover station has escalators and an elevator, so it's easy to manage even with a large, heavy suitcase.) See:

People Mover to the Venice Marittima Cruise Terminals

  • Note: If you've already booked a hotel in an inconvenient location (or if you've let a travel agent make that mistake for you), we suggest that you cancel the reservation unless you're willing to splurge on a taxi.

For more information about cruising from (or to) Venice, see the Venice for Cruisers section of our travel-planning site, Veniceforvisitors.com:

Venice for Cruisers

 


Airport train to Venice

Venezia Santa Lucia Railroad Station

ABOVE: By the time the boy in this photo is a teenager, you may be able to take a train from Venice's Marco Polo Airport to the Venezia Santa Lucia Railroad Station.

A trade publication, Railway Gazette, has just announced that Italy's rail network, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, and SAVE (the management company for Venice's Marco Polo Airport) are planning a new airport rail link from VCE to the Venezia Mestre and Venezia Santa Lucia railroad stations.

The link also will provide rail service to Trieste, approximately 116 km or 72 miles northeast of Venice.

The project, which will cost an estimated 450 million euros, involves laying a new stretch of track from the existing Venice-Trieste line, with a new tunnel connecting to an underground station at Marco Polo Airport.

Assuming that financing falls into place and there are no significant project delays, service could begin by 2024.

In the meantime, you can reach Venice from Marco Polo Airport by airport bus, airport boat, or water taxi. (If you're staying on the mainland, a Mestre airport bus or a land taxi will take you into town.)

For more information, see the Railway Gazette news story.