When in Venice, unless you go on foot through the maze of calli, the public transport service waterbus vaporetto is the way to go.
We have completed the mapping of Venice’s vaporetto waterbus lines. The lines are split into three separate maps (due to Google Maps’ limitations – sorry!). Here they are:
VAPORETTO LINES 1 through 5.2 which covers the main vaporetto lines in Venice and beyond;
VAPORETTO LINES 6 through 11 which covers vaporetto lines linking Venice to other islands of the lagoon;
VAPORETTO LINES 12 through 22 which covers more “exotic” lines, connecting the mainland to Venice and other islands of Venice’s lagoon.
– To cruise along the Grand Canal, you can choose between two lines: Line 1, which stops more frequently (longer travel time) or Line 2, which stops less frequently (shorter travel time).
– If your destination is Piazza San Marco, the closest stops are those that read like SAN MARCO or S. MARCO and those that read S. ZACCARIA DANIELI (SAN ZACCARIA DANIELI) or S. ZACCARIA JOLANDA (SAN ZACCARIA JOLANDA). If you look at the map, you’ll see that all the other SAN ZACCARIA stops are relatively close to Piazza San Marco.
– If you arrive by car and park at the Tronchetto, Line 2 is the fastest connection to Piazza San Marco that also provides a Grand Canal cruise.
– If you are going to visit any of the Biennale exhibitions, get off at the GIARDINI (BIENNALE) stop for the main exhibit area, and at the ARSENALE stop to visit the Corderie and Arsenale exhibit area.
– For on-request stops (e.g. CERTOSA), when on board, ask one of the crew members to stop there. If you are at one of the on-request stops, dial the free-of-charge number 800845065 and ask for the boat to stop.
If you are interested in discovering curious stories about the Grand Canal and its beautiful palaces, we recommend this book:
Alberto Toso Fei’s The Secrets of the Grand Canal
which provides little-known, interesting stories and legends on many of the most remarkable palaces and places along Venice’s Grand Canal, on the people who built them and called them home. Concise but well-documented. Also provides a map of the Grand Canal with reference.
If you are interested in curious itineraries and good eat-outs to explore when in Venice, we highly recommend
The secret Venice of Corto Maltese by Lele Vianello and Guido Fuga:
Following the imaginary footsteps of the world-renown comics character Corto Maltese, and the real likes and promenades of his creator, Hugo Pratt, this book suggests seven itineraries, seven doors that provide access to some of the most intimate places, venues, and eateries in Venice. The itineraries are pivoted on good places where you can eat true Venetian food and the text is interspersed with historical and literary information, providing anecdotes about curious artifacts, ancient relics from Venice distant past that have survived to this day and have an interesting story to tell, and which you would never imagine existed unless you are a local.