Saturday, June 30, 2012
Though Venice's narrow calles and passages teem with picturesque curved bridges that provide passage over the rios and inner canals, there are few bridges that cross the Grand Canal itself, so if you want to take a short cut, you have to go by boat.
A traghetto looks like a gondola, even the boatmen row standing up and wear striped jerseys like gondoliers. But traghetti don't have the cushy seats for romantic relaxing - they maximize floor space. There's a plank bench if you need to sit down, but most people ride standing up.
It looks perilous, but when you're in a traghetto it feels remarkably stable. Even the wake of a passing vaporetto or swift-moving water taxi doesn't make it rock - much.
It goes from one side of the canal to the other - that's it. It costs a euro.
Everyone uses them - businessmen in suits, housewives shopping, tourists. Even Venetian dogs are used to traveling by boat.