Would a cable car system for Venice be positive for transporting cruise passengers and others around the city?

Venice Cable Car

Any thoughts on this project to connect Venice airport and other parts of Venice with cable cars? See this article in Italian:


The cost is projected at €200M, it would take 26 minutes to get from the airport to Lido with other stations at Murano North, Fondamente Nove, Arsenale, Certosa and Santa Maria Elisabetta. It could supplement a Lido port for cruise ships so they do not enter the lagoon and passengers would move between Venice and the Lido by cable car. This would have advantages over moving passengers from a Lido cruise terminal into Venice by smaller boats, which would add to wave damage, pollution and could be impeded when Venice’s mobile dams are raised (due to be completed after 2016 as described here: VENICE’S MOSE DAM PROJECT FACING LEGITIMATE AND ILLEGITIMATE CRITICISMS).

Similar cable car systems exist in Rio, Israel and northern Europe. The drawings for this project in Venice have been submitted for examination by the Superintendent and the Environmental Impact Commission.

I think this project is quite interesting, although I’m not keen on the visual impact of the pylons across Venice’s skyline which would vary in height from 8 to 40 metres, as well as the cable cars themselves. In this respect, I still think constructing a subway train system would be a better solution for transporting people around the city and to the airport, as I have previously explained in this blog and in my Venice book. This would be faster, have less visual impact and could be used to transport merchandise as well as passengers. Therefore it would significantly reduce boat traffic, wave damage and pollution. Moreover, the subway system would benefit residents and local commuters in addition to tourists. By contrast, the cable car system and its proposed routes are clearly aimed at primarily serving tourists and would be less useful for other city users.

3 Responses to “Would a cable car system for Venice be positive for transporting cruise passengers and others around the city?”
  1. lizbert1 says:

    Its an interesting idea but I’m not sure how it would fit into the historic city? Would there need to be cables all round the city or would the cable cars go over the top of the city? Surely any solution needs to be environmentally sensitive both from an ecological point of view and a visual point of view but I don’t think this is visually sensitive at all and would want to see the science regarding the ecological impact to be convinced. Personally I think the right solution will need to also consider the numbers of visitors coming to the city as the streets just can’t handle many more people during peak season. I shall watch the discussion with interest, great post!

    • Dominic Standish says:

      Thanks for your interesting comments. Looking at the locations of the planned stations, they would be close to the water so I don’t think cable cars would need to go over central parts of the city. Yet I agree that the visual impact would still be negative. We will need to keep following this proposal & debating it to ensure public scrutiny.

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