Italian in Italy

Water Transportation

A row of gondolas

Although Venice is a city famous for its gondolas, the gondola itself is more of a tourist attraction than a practical mode of transportation for city residents. Residents, rather, use vaporetti, small ferries that travel from canal to canal or to the small islands, which are also tourist attractions. For a vaporetto, one buys tickets in the ticket booth or at the tobacconist, then gives the ticket to the conductor once the ride is underway. Residents of Venice often travel via privately owned motorboats.

One can travel between various Italian cities by ferry. The quality and size of ferries varies. On all ferries, passengers drive their cars into the lower decks and leave them there. Passengers without cars simply board. Large ferries provide private compartments for first class passengers and have restaurants, movie theaters, and bars. Smaller ones might be limited to a snack bar and several large seating areas. Although one can arrive at the dock and purchase a ticket on-site, it is advisable to make reservations especially if a car is involved or it is high travel season.