When you think of Venice, you think of canals, obviously. But other than the canals, there are no motorised vehicles in Venice. No cars, motorbikes, trucks. Nothing. And the narrow laneways lead to steps and bridges, making any form of wheeled or motorised vehicles impractical. So how does the business of Venice get done?
Given the difficulty of traversing the streets of Venice with wheels, everything goes via the narrow and sometimes crowded canals. An excellent documentary called Venice 24/7 looks at the practicalities of life in Venice – including street names and numbers that are non-continuous, making finding addresses for emergency services vey difficult. (I was unable to capture a fire brigade boat, but Venice 24/7 also follows the fire brigade.)
My other big question, is how on earth have they retrofitted an electricity grid system, running water and sewerage in an ancient town with established buildings, water all around, sinking an average 1cm per year into the mud flats (but not evenly), and regular flooding that also fills the basements and ground floor rooms of buildings, houses, hotels and shops.
Delivery boat on the Grand Canal
And this is how goods and supplies are delivered to and from shops and businesses – handcarts. (above and below)
Police boats (above and below)
Delivery boat unloading in the narrow canals
Police boat in dock
Early morning hand-cart deliveries, as the garbage waits to be collected (also using hand-wheeled trolleys)
TNT postal deliveries
Delivery of building materials – sand, concrete, bricks – also comes via boat
More early-morning deliveries – preparing for the day before the tourists are up and about and the canals are crowded with gondolas. Note the crane on the boat furthest away, for unloading heavy goods.
Buses leaving bus-stops on the Grand Canal.
The boat on the left is the Magistrato Alle Acque – Servizio Informazione (Magistrate of the Waters)
A row of Ambulance boats in dock near the hospital (above) and an ambulance on its way to a job (below)
Waterbus driver – or pilot? captain?
Bus route around the Islands of Venice