The taxi acquei (water taxis) of Venice

How to take a motoscafo taxi acquei (water taxi) in Venice, Italy

A taxi acquei (water taxi) stand near the Rialto Bridge in Venice
A taxi acquei (water taxi) stand near the Rialto Bridge in Venice.
Venice's taxi acquei, or water taxis (often called motoscafi), are essentially just speed boats—of the genteel, burled-wood variety—put to public use.

They provide an excellent and speedy—but very expensive—way to get you and your luggage down the canal without the headache of crowds on the slower public vaporetti.

You may not be the only passenger on board, as captains take on as many travelers as they can fit who are going in the same direction (most taxis fit up to 10 and as many as 14 passengers).

They also charge dizzyingly steep fares—on the order of €100–€110 for trips to or from the airport, or about €60 to get from the train station or Piazzale Roma to Piazza San Marco.

Standard taxi fares in Venice

The flag fall—the initial charge for merely stepping aboard the taxi boat—is €13, plus another €1.80 for each minute of travel (€1.20 per minute of sitting around idling).

Up to five passengers, the fare remains unchanged. Six or more people pay an additional €10 per person.

For more than 5 bags, each piece of luggage costs €5.

The night supplement (for rides between 10am and 7am) is €8–€10.

On Sundays and holidays, an extra €5.90 is tacked on to the fare—though note they aren't allowed to charge you both the Sunday and the night fare supplements.

Where to find a water taxi in Venice

Just make you patronize an official taxi boat (with a yellow stripe down the side and a registration number).

There are taxi stands/docks near every major tourist destination:

You can call ahead for a taxi, but it'll add another €6 to the rates (tel. +39-041-522-2303, www.motoscafivenezia.it; see the sidebar on the right for more numbers.)

When to bother taking a taxi acquei

Unless you're in a monstrous hurry, getting to and from the airport with luggage is really the only time to indulge in the overpriced splurge of a Venetian water taxi. Sure, it's way pricier than the airport bus (€100 versus €7), but for sheer romance you can't beat arriving in Venice by boat. (Plus, the bus lets you off in Piazzale Roma, so you would still have to catch a vaporetto to get you and your luggage to your hotel.)

However, do note that the public traghetto ferry from the airport is a far cheaper (€15 versus €100), albeit slower (45–100 minutes versus 30–40 minutes), way to arrive by water.

Honestly, I've only ever twice used water taxis in Venice. Once was free (I bumped into a couple at my hotel also headed to Murano for the day, and they invited me to ride with them), and the other was for the the experience of getting from the airport to the chic Hotel Danieli downtown and it was sent by the hotel to pick me up (I was on assignment).

Related pages

Consorzio Motoscafi Venezia
tel. +39-041-522-2303
www.motoscafivenezia.it


Other taxi numbers:
tel. +39-041-522-2303
tel. +39-041-522-8637
tel. +39-041-723-112
tel. +39-041-522-1265


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This article was written by Reid Bramblett and was last updated in May 2013. All information was accurate at the time.

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