Venice from the air: Heliair helicopter tours


ABOVE: This nine-minute video offers a great overview of the Venetian Lagoon, the Lido di Venezia, and the islands that surround Venice's historic center.

If you've seen our satellite-image orientation map at, you know that Venice is a cluster of islands in the Venetian Lagoon, which is separated from the Adriatic Sea by the Lido di Venezia (a long, narrow resort island). And if you've flown into Venice's Marco Polo Airport, you may have enjoyed a real-time overview of Venice and its Lagoon from the air.

For an even better birds'-eye view of Venice, you can book a private helicopter tour with Heliair, which offers trips of six minutes to half an hour from Nicelli Airport on the Lido di Venezia.

Rates aren't cheap--you'll pay anywhere from 75 to 330 euros per person, depending on the length of the tour--but if you've got the cash, Heliair can provide you with a breathtaking experience.

For details, visit the bilingual Heliair Web site.

BELOW: In a hurry? This YouTube video clip (taken by a passenger) is just over 3-1/2 minutes long and covers the high points of a tour.


Venice's new Vaporetto dell'Arte: A poor value at list price, but there IS a way to save.


ABOVE: Watch our short video of the Vaporetto dell'Arte on Venice's Grand Canal.

Update: Service on this route was suspended in October, 2013.

The new Vaporetto dell'Arte is Venice's aquatic answer to "hop on, hop off" sightseeing buses. It runs up and down the Grand Canal, stopping at many of the city's cultural sites.

Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, there's a catch: The price of a standard ticket is obscene. Unless you're rich--and a spendthrift, at that--you'd be foolish to pay the 24-euro fare.

Still, there is a way to save dramatically on the price of a ticket while extending the ticket's validity beyond the usual 24 hours. For details, read our new Vaporetto dell'Arte article (which includes photos and practical advice) at

'Aerial Venice' at Venice for Visitors

Aerial Venice banner

We've just launched a new section of Venice for Visitors. It's called "Aerial Venice," and it's designed to let you explore Venice from above before your visit.

The site makes use of Google satellite-photo maps. Each image measures at least 750 x 500 pixels (which is fairly large, as such maps go), and the typical page has two pictures:

1. A satellite-photo map that looks straight down and gives an overview of the featured location and its surroundings.

2. A close-up or "bird's eye" view, usually at a 45-degree angle, that matches what you might see in the final minute or two of a parachute descent.

To provide a more enjoyable experience, we've avoided the use of the teardrop-shaped markers and dialogue balloons that clutter and hide details so many Google-based photo maps. Instead, we've preceded each set of images with a description of what you'll see. (We've also included links to related Aerial Venice pages and Venice for Visitors articles in our descriptions.)

Aerial Venice topics range from major squares and sights to transportation hubs such as the Santa Lucia Railroad Station, the Piazzale Roma, Venice Marco Polo and Treviso Airports, and the Venice cruise port. We've also created pages for the Lido di Venezia, Murano, Burano, and several other islands in the Venetian Lagoon.

If you'd like to see our Aerial Venice gallery, simply click the link below or type the name into your browser:

Photo in banner: Matthew Dixon.