“If Venice had no bridge, Europe would be an island.” (free translation)
The western arm of the lagoon separates Venice from the rest of the world. No matter what means of transportation you use – either a car, motorbike, bicycle, airplane, bus or train -, you will first approach the city from the Ponte della Libertà. Once on the bridge, you will catch sight of the city and its lovely terracotta color. Then, as you get closer, its skyline will divide in bell towers, domes, buildings and more colors will appear before your eyes… pink, grey, white, etc.
How to get Venice and Piazzale Roma
Ponte della Libertà is almost four kilometers long, and takes you from Marghera to Piazzale Roma, or even to Santa Lucia train station, should you arrive by train. Piazzale Roma is quite lively, with cars, taxis, motorbikes, buses and trams going back and forth all day.
From there onwards, means of transportation change to become “more Venetian”, so you will need to plan carefully your itinerary. Do so according to the type of luggage you brought along. Our advice is to assess the situation based on the fact that Venice is an island, and that you will need to carry your bags yourself… unless you call on the services of a porter.
Should you prefer a backpack over a trolley case, you will find the former a lot more practical to get around among the crowded streets. It might contain less stuff, but hey, better be safe than sorry, no?
Getting to Venice by plane at Marco Polo airport
The most convenient way to get to Piazzale Roma is to take the bus. There are two options: 1) travel with ATVO with an express bus service, or 2) take city bus no 5 with ACTV. They offer more or less the same service at the same price (8 euros), and will take you to Piazzale Roma in about 20-25 minutes.
Getting to Venice by car
Should you arrive by car, our recommendation is to park the car before Ponte della Libertà. There are various parking lots asking a fair price (5 to 8 euros per day). Once parked, you will find a bus stop on the main road since all ACTV city buses passing by go to Piazzale Roma. You can buy the bus ticket on board by directly asking the driver – it will be rather cheap -, or you can buy tickets at the parking lot. In about five minutes, you will reach your destination.
Parking lots are also available at Piazzale Roma and marine terminal. However, being the only parking lots in Venice, rates are quite high and available parking spaces, rather limited.
Getting to Venice by train
The train certainly remains the best option to arrive in Venice given its convenience, low price, and low environmental impact. Moreover, once you get off the train station, a stunning view will appear before your eyes: the beauty of the Grand Canal, the main waterway of the city.
Watch out though not to get off at the wrong train stop. The right one will be the train terminal, Venezia Santa Lucia. During the last stretch (the one going from Mestre to Venice, on the Ponte della Libertà), you will be able to enjoy peacefully one of the greatest view of the lagoon and Venice without being disturbed. In fact, most people get off at Mestre station.
So, have you chosen your means of transportation? Good! All you need now is to enjoy your stay in the Serenissima. Make it unique by trying some activities designed to experience the city in a truly authentic manner.