Operator peddles Venice pass

NEW YORK -- Tour and FIT operator Select Italy, based in Wilmette, Ill., became the first U.S. distributor of the new Venice Card visitors' pass.

The card, which offers access to public transportation and facilities in the city, as well as entrance to some museums, is available in two versions and age categories. The card is offered for one-, three- or seven-day periods.

The basic Venice Blue Card, which offers free passage on the municipal transit system, including all buses and lagoon boat lines, and access to public facilities such as restrooms, is priced from about $7 for a one-day junior card (those under age 29) to approximately $41 for seven-day senior cards.

The Venice Orange Card adds admission to 11 attractions -- such as the Doge's Palace on St. Mark's Square, the Glass Museum on Murano, the Lace Museum on Burano, and the Venice Casino -- and is priced from about $16 (one-day, juniors) to around $58 (one week for those over 29).

Select Italy charges $10 to reserve cards (children up to age 4 are free), and provides clients with confirmation codes to collect their passes at one of six locations in Venice.

The company does not pay commission on Venice Card sales, but agents have been tacking on their own additional service fees, said a spokesman.

For more information or to book, call (800) 877-1755 or visit www.selectitaly.com.

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