One of the best things about Venice is that there are no cars. None. Zero. All the traffic happens on the water, by boat. This makes visiting Venice a unique experience. It is much quieter and more relaxed than other cities with their cars, congestion, noise, pollution and accidents. – I wish more of the millions of visitors to Venice would take that lesson home with them and get rid of their car.
Mail and all other supplies come by boat:
The DHL and UPS boats were one of my first sightings of boats after I arrived in Venice. I first found it funny or cute that the express companies have boats with their logos instead of the trucks that I had so far seen everywhere else. But after strolling around Venice, one quickly realises that this is of course the only mode of transport that makes sense here. – Even James Bond and Superman have been spotted using the boat in Venice.
Most of the passenger transport happens on boats too, of course. I had the impression that the proportion of public transport was much higher than in street-and-car cities. The following photo is of a vaporetto which make up the main public transport system. There are 19 scheduled routes, (water) bus stops and machine readable pre-paid cards as you may know them from the London Underground or other sophisticated public transport systems around the world.
Some lines also run at night.
The prices for vaporetti are quite steep for tourists: 6.50 € for one trip. Locals get it much cheaper. But the price for the water bus is nothing compared to that for a ride in a gondola, which are therefore hired exclusively by tourists. (I travelled without a female companion, so I was able to forego this experience.)
You don’t need to worry about falling into the water because the ambulance will quickly be there to take you to the hospital:
I first thought that this boat traffic is great because there is no congestion, no traffic jams, none of the car-related problems. It turned out though that Venetians have a problem with parking space, too:
When you are moving house in Venice, it looks like this:
Even the last journey is done by boat:
(C) for all photos: Andreas Moser, January 2012