The only wheeled traffic in Venice are the trolleys used to take things from barge to shop. And prams. There are no cars and very few bicycles, because of all the steps. It seems obvious to say that there are no cars but there was once a plan to fill in the canals of Venice and bring cars to the city. Thankfully that failed, but some of the wider streets you encounter in Venice are actually filled in canals from the days of this ill-conceived plan.
It was Mussolini who connected Venice to the mainland by the Ponte Littorio, a road vehicle bridge opened in 1933. When Italy rid itself of Mussolini and Fascism, this was renamed Ponte della Liberta. All cars have to park at the Piazzale Roma car park. So the ways to get around Venice are on foot or by boat. Walking is wonderful because the city is so interesting, but it is easy to get lost in Venice, very easy. And it is tiring to walk because all the streets are made of stone. So the best solution is boat. Gondolas are wonderful, but expensive. Traghetto are cheaper, communal gondolas, but run very few routes and only across the Grand Canal. Water taxis are elegant, but are also expensive. That leaves us with the Vaparetto which are cheap, efficient and reliable. The routes are very simple:
1 – This runs along the Grand Canal and stops everywhere along the way from Piazzale Roma to the Lido. It’s great for tourists but busy. Ride it from start to finish and back when you first arrive to get oriented.
2 – Is an express line from San Marco to the station and Piazzale Roma which avoids the Grand Canal (in that direction).
4.1 & 4.2 are circular routes passing all the main sites: San Marco, railway station, Giudecca etc and going all the way out to Murano in the lagoon.
5.1 & 5.2 are similarly circular, but go to Lido rather than Murano.
The other lines are seasonal, peak times only or shorter runs to specific destinations. The ACTV map is very easy to understand and you can buy tickets on board from the attendant.
Single fare is 6.50, or you can buy travel cards. The prices are as follows:
16 € – 12-hour travelcard
18 € – 24-hour travelcard
23 € – 36-hour travelcard
28 € – 48-hour travelcard
33 € – 72-hour travelcard
50 € – 7 days
18 € – 3-day youth card, ages 14 – 29