Venice by Boat
When I visited Venice ten years ago I arrived via train and stayed at a budget pension close to the station. The only time I went on water was for my overrated gondola ride, which I think was about 30 lire back then. (I think they running rate is about 70 euros right now.)
This week I spent two days in Venice, while staying with relatives in nearby Mira on the mainland, and took only water tranport to get to and around the island city. Twice we took the Fusina ferry — it costs 10 euros round trip or if you’re lucky and wait to buy your ticket on board, the young crew might just let you ride for free (it happened to us twice!) We also took a cheap vaporetto (water taxi) to get from one side of the island city to the other, and although it was slow and crowded, it was a lot cheaper than a gondola and got us where we wanted to go.
Consider staying in the Riviera del Brenta area when you visit Venice. There are some excellent villas and hostels (called ostelli) that are off the overcrowded Venice tourist track, a nice alternative and still really easy to get to the Pearl of the Adriatic when you want to. It truly is a magical city, but there are some great other places to explore that are not too far away…only a boat ride, in fact 🙂