ABOVE: The face on the card above may not be handsome, but the Venice transit system's Cartavenezia card is a beautiful way to save money on vaporetto fares.
by Durant Imboden
We've written previously about the imob.venezia Cartavenezia stored-value card, which lets visitors pay resident rates on Venice's waterbus system. The savings can be significant, once you've shelled out 40 euros for a three-year card: You'll pay about one-sixth the tourist fare, or a maximum of 1,20 euros per ride compared to 6,50 euros for a standard boat ticket.
When Cartavenezia was made available to non-residents a few years ago, the card wasn't especially convenient to obtain. That's changed. Now, you don't even have to bring your own photo, as you did until recently. Reader George Edwards of the UK bought the card earlier this month, and he reports:
"I have just returned from Venice and while there I purchased an imob card (7th November 2011). It is still 40 euros but you no longer need to take a passport type or any other photo with you. The clerk will take a photo of you with the computer camera, as she did with a young lady in front of me. I did take a passport photo and she took a photo of it!"
For an updated version of our imob.venezia Cartavenezia article at Venice for Visitors, click here. (The article is accompanied by step-by-step instructions on how to buy the card when you're in Venice.)
- Tip: For shorter or less frequent stays, consider purchasing an ACTV Tourist Travel Card, which offers significant savings if you plan on using water buses frequently. Cards are available for periods of 12 hours, 24 hours, 36 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, or a week.