Friday, 29 July 2011

Venice: Pedestrian City

Venice is the world's only pedestrian city: Great for walkers. Bad for bikes (banned), buggies, wheelchairs (although some vaporetti are wheelchair-accessible, there is the small matter of all those bridges), hydro-phobics, petrol heads and traffic engineers, not to mention Google Streetview (no streets for that Google camera car). Map P1070332 As well as getting around on foot, Venice does have public transport in the form of the water buses run by ACTV (vaporetti are the larger variety, while the slimmer and faster boats which ply the inner canals are motoscafi. Real Time P1070554 The double-decker motonavi, more like small ferries, ply the Lido). Most canals in the city are too small for public transport and the larger craft can only pass around the outskirts of the city or through the central, wider canals. Vaporetto  P6290336 All other areas can only be reached by foot, or the eye-wateringly expensive water taxis. Sometimes known as La Serenissima, Venice may be quiet, but it isn't silent - the main canals are commercial arteries, full of chugging boats delivering passengers and supplies, removing garbage, ferrying the living and the dead (we saw a coffin on a water-borne hearse). The boatmen shout out, engines throb, horns hoot and toot (this is Italy) and an occasional speedboat passes by with a sound system set to max (pimp your keels?).
Pictures by Yours Truly show tube-style map of the actv public boat network, real time boat stop information, and a motoscafo approaching a stop.

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