How to get around the city
The constant presence of water is the peculiarity and the point of strength of Venice: the city is made up of 121 islands linked by 435 bridges, so at Venice there aren't streets, but waterway and walk ways (called "calli"): therefore it is possible to visit Venice only on foot or by boat.
For its size, it is possible to Visit Venice completely on foot: maybe it is the best way to know it in depth and to discover the most particular spots. Buying a good map and "loosing" through bridges, calli and campi (the venetian squares) out of the most popular routes, you could appreciate the venetianity.
The principal routes are signaled by yellow road signs placed on the buildings and they indicate the principal reference points: San Marco, Rialto, the railroad station (Venezia Santa Lucia) and the bus station (Piazzale Roma).
In the days of acqua alta (that is when the level of water passes 80cm above sea level) you can visit the city anyway thanks to the footbridges placed on the principal ways. You can consult the Institution Centro previsioni e segnalazioni maree or phone at 041.2411996 for more information.
If you want to receive an SMS in case of high water, you can register at the Servizio maree service: the service, that is free, send you an SMS when the high water pass 110cm above sea level.
If you don't want to walk, you can catch the vaporetto (waterbus): waterbuses are the public means of the public-service corporation of transports ACTV.
You can find information about timetables, lines and fares in the ACTV website and you can buy your tickets ahead in the VeneziaUnica website.
There are many fares, remember to inform you of the more appropriate fare.
Tickets are sold on board, too. If you find yourself on board without a ticket, inform the ACTV crew immediately so as to avoid paying a fine.
NB: Respect the rules and not to hinder with luggage the exit and the entrance to the cabin on water buses. Control the direction of your route, seeing the maps that are at bus stops.
Download the line map of Venezia water buses!
However, there aren't only water buses as transport mean: there are also some special gondolas, the traghetti, which they can cross you the Canal Grande in some areas. Traghetti are placed at San marcuola, Santa Sofia, San Tomà, San Samuele, Santa Maria del Giglio and the Dogana. The traghetto costs 0,70€ for residents who have the VeneziaUnica card, whereas it costs 2,00€ for who is not resident and has not the VeneziaUnica card.
Another transport mean, symbol of Venice, is the gondola, a romantic transport mean that permits you to see Venice with another point of view. You can find the history and fares in the official site of the Istituzione per la conservazione della gondola e la tutela del gondoliere.
When people think on Venice, they immediately think about calli, bridges, thinking about the difficulties of move not only for people with reduced mobility, but also for elderly men, citizens carrying shopping, parents pushing a pram and visitors with their luggage. Thanks to the public transport policy and the interventions in order to increase the level of accessibility, it is now possible to delimit the problem and the situation is much more satisfying than you might imagine. In this section of the Municipality of Venice website tourists can find every info about the opportunities offered by the city.
Barrier free itineraries are also suggested for visiting the city. These itineraries do not presume to cover all the possible routes or to completely satisfy the cultural interests of all visitors, but we aim to add to them and keep them as up-to-date as possible, partly on the basis of feedback from each one of you.
And in the occasion of great events the Municipality grants the maximum accessibility to the events even to people with reduced mobility.
Finally, you can virtually visit Venice, islands and the venetian mainland searching for churches, theatres, museums, gardens and you can locate your addresses looking the Municipal Venice Map.
A form will signal you all the reference points in order to know and visit all the city.