The reality of water buses and a city of canals

Venice is vexing. It’s as beautiful as Google Images and all those cliché paintings and vacation photos I’ve seen in the past, even in what is now supposed to be low season when it’s colder and there are no blue sunny skies. But I just cannot imagine the idea of actually living in a place that has zero ways of getting around other than by foot or water taxis/buses. It’s one part charming and one part “holy crap, this is so inefficient and frustrating,” especially for someone who isn’t used to living in a place like this (which is pretty much most of the world).  Hauling luggage through Venice on our first afternoon was not fun, and that was only with carry-on size bags. Going up and down bridges here and there, rolling luggage on uneven cobble stones, and dodging dog poop everywhere was an adventure in itself. I cannot even imagine how vexing it would be for families with young children, strollers, and far larger checked luggage. We saw so many families like this, and I just felt sorry for them.

Leaving today was frustrating because we were at the last stop of the water bus that goes to the Venice airport, and the first three “buses” that arrived at our stop were all full. They just kept pulling in to say they were full, and then they would speed off.  It was raining and cold, which added to the misery of the situation of waiting. And we didn’t realize that the vouchers we got online had to be exchanged for actual water bus tickets, so Chris had to scramble to get to an ATM to pay cash when we boarded. The alternative to this water bus? Our hotel told us it would cost 120 euros for a water taxi that would stop directly on the canal in front of our hotel and take us straight to the airport. I guess that’s the premium price you can charge in a city where transport options are limited, and the only option you really have is to travel by water and water only.


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