The fog of the Veneto had smothered the entire Venetian Lagoon with a cottony wall of cold vapor. There was nothing to see on this vaporetto ride out to the Lido—nothing outside the windows that is. Inside the cramped boat’s cabin, I stared at the back of a fellow passenger. He, in turn, was staring at the back of the person in front of him. And on it went from back to front of the boat. Like several hundred anchovies in a tin can—the salted kind from Sicily—we were jammed into the steel confines of this listing vessel. It seemed like a one-way trip to Purgatory.
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The vaporetto is Venice's public transit service. Venice being Venice, the public transit does not have tires nor rides on rails. It floats. This alone makes it superior to any public bus, train, or subway on earth. Add in the canals and lagoons of Venice and the comparison to public transit anywhere else becomes a bit silly. Riding a vaporetto is like nothing else that life has to offer.