The first water bus in Venice
PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN VENICE WAS BORN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, AND IT WAS INSPIRED BY THE SEINE WATER BUSES.
The city of Venice, the island of Lido and their citizens are deeply linked to water and to traveling on boats. Their buses are water buses, taxis glide over the water and even ambulances arrive along the lagoon.
The history of the first water bus (“vaporetto” in Italian and batèo, in Venetian dialect) begins in 1881. In that year, in fact, the “Regina Margherita” was launched, marked by the number 1.
It was the first to cross the Grand Canal, until then a monopoly of gondoliers, and it was born from the idea of Alessandro Finella, a Piedmontese based in Venice, who copied it from the French bateaux mouches, steamboats that at the time were already sailing on the Seine.
The Regina Margherita was built in France, thanks to the “Compagnie des Bateaux Omnibus de Venise” of Paris, and on 7th of May it left Nantes arriving on 11th of June 1881 in Venice, after having sailed along the Atlantic coast and circumnavigated Italy.
This is how public transport was born in Venice, and the following year another eight water buses were added to the Regina Margherita, all welcomed with enthusiasm by the population