Arrival in Venice

This item appears on page 50 of the September 2011 issue.

On the classical music tour “From the Alps to the Adriatic with KDFC” in May-June ’11, our tour bus, chartered by Earthbound Expeditions (Bainbridge Island, WA; 800/723-8454), traveled through several countries, but when it arrived at Venice we encountered all sorts of red tape.

At the bus arrival area, the Piazza di Roma, passengers must debark from the buses and proceed on their own by taxi or vaporetto (water bus) to Venice.

It seems that an access fee is charged to allow buses to discharge and later pick up passengers at the piazza. A delay arose because our tour operator had been quoted an access toll of €240 but, on arrival, the Venetian officials demanded €490. It took an hour to sort that out.

After our stay of several days in Venice, a different charter bus came to pick up our group to continue the tour. However, the printed receipt for the entrance fee had been retained by the original bus driver and could not be presented, thus the officials demanded that both the entrance and departure fees be paid before our bus left the piazza. It took another hour to sort that out.

During a prior trip, by train, we avoided the vehicle tax and our arrival went much faster. The stazione ferroviaria (train station) is right on the Grand Canal in Venice, and from there you can easily transfer to a water taxi or a vaporetto to reach your hotel.

Berkeley, CA