Venice is world-famous for its canals. It is built on an archipelago of 118 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon. The islands on which the city is built are connected by about 400 bridges. In the old center, the canals serve the function of roads, and every form of transport is on water or on foot. In the 19th century a causeway to the mainland brought a railway station to Venice, and an automobile causeway and parking lot was added in the 20th century. Beyond these land entrances at the northern edge of the city, transportation within the city remains, as it was in centuries past, entirely on water or on foot. Venice is Europe's largest urban car free area, unique in Europe in remaining a sizable functioning city in the 21st century entirely without motorcars or trucks.
The classical Venetian boat is the gondola, although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies. Most Venetians now travel by motorised waterbuses (vaporetti) which ply regular routes along the major canals and between the city's islands. Many gondolas are lushly appointed with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs. Gondoliers typically charge between 80 and 100 euros for a 35 minute "giro" or excursion around some canals. The city also has many private boats. The only gondolas still in common use by Venetians are the traghetti, foot passenger ferries crossing the Grand Canal at certain points without bridges. Visitors can also take the watertaxis between areas of the city.
Azienda Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (ACTV) is the name of the public transport system in Venice. It combines both land transportation, with buses, and canal travel, with water buses (vaporetti). In total, there are 25 routes which connect the city. A one way pass good for one hour costs 6.50 €; longer term passes for 12 to 72 hours are available, costing 14 to 31 €. An even better deal is the "Venice Card" for 7 days, starting at 47.50 €, which includes unlimited vaporetto travel.
Venice also has water taxis, which are fast but quite expensive.
Venice is served by the newly rebuilt Marco Polo International Airport, or Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo, named in honor of its famous citizen. The airport is on the mainland and was rebuilt away from the coast; however, the water taxis or Alilaguna waterbuses to Venice are only a seven-minute walk from the terminals.
Some airlines market Treviso Airport in Treviso, 20 km from Venice, as a Venice gateway. Some simply advertise flights to "Venice" without naming the actual airport except in the small print.
Venice is serviced by regional and national trains. One of the easiest ways to travel from Rome or other large Italian cities is to use the train. Rome is only slightly over four hours away; Milan is slightly over two and a half hours away. Treviso is thirty-five minutes away. Florence and Padua are two of the stops between Rome and Venice. The St. Lucia station is a few steps away from a vaporetti stop.
Venice is a no car zone, being built on the water. Cars can reach the car/bus terminal via the bridge (Ponte della Liberta) (SR11). It comes in from the West from Mestre. There are two parking lots which serve the city: Tronchetto and Piazzale Roma. Cars can be parked there anytime for around €30 per day. A ferry to Lido leaves from the parking lot in Tronchetto and it is served by vaporetti and buses of the public transportation.