Day in Venice and free parking in Mestre

On our Italy road trip, we also visited Venice for a day. It was our first major place to visit on our 3-week long road trip throughout Italy. Surely- one day is not enough time to get a full feeling about Venice, but enough to know that we would like to go back there.

We visited Venice at the end of April and we were blessed with warm and clear spring weather. Ideal for walking around in Venice and cross many of the beautiful bridges. There are over 400 bridges in Venice crossing over 150 canals.

We were in luck to find places where there were no other tourists yet. Only some locals doing their morning errands. We were able to take some photos with only us on the picture which is always a plus on major tourist destinations. It was like the calm before the storm when we walked back towards the center and Piazza San Marco.

Free parking near Venice

When you are going to Venice with a car, then there are 2 main spots where people usually leave their cars – to the parking lot in Mestre train station or to one of the parking garages in Venice. The parking garage will cost you about 24-32€ and it is possible to book it online. We were already planning to park in Venice, so we didn’t worry much about finding a parking lot (as we understood, the parking garage in Venice should be pretty easily findable) or driving into the ZTL zone in Mestre (we visited Venice before we found this ZTL Radar mobile app). But the night before the Venice, we accidentally heard a recommendation to park free in Mestre. FREE!

We found this idea tempting to try out. And if everything will fail, we can still park in Venice.

So, we ended up parking free on the street of Mestre, in Marghera district. It was a 10-minute walk from the train station. Considering the hours that we walked in Venice, it was literally nothing. Since we were planning to leave Venice on daylight, and Marghera district looked quite safe, we were not overly worried about our car or our safety.

Nice neighbourhood near Venice - Mestre, Marghera
Nice neighbourhood near Venice – Mestre, Marghera

We paid only 1.30€ per train ticket, so in total 5.20€ (there was 2 of us). Train drove to Venice for approximately 10 minutes and they are running very often.

Train ticket from Venice St Lucia train station to Mestre
Train ticket from Venice St Lucia train station to Mestre

The charm of the Venice

We have different opinions on Venice- Kätlin finds that Venice is really charming, Janar is not as impressed as She. But we both agree on one thing- to see the real beauty of Venice, you must visit the side areas, where there are much fewer people. After we had been wandering around on the sides of Venice, we decided to look around in the center as well.

When we reached Piazza San Marco it was afternoon already and there was a massive crowd. And it was not even the prime season- we visited Venice in April. Felt an instant urge to leave as soon as possible. It seems that there is a tourists “highway” between the train station and San Marco.

Charming Venice canal
Charming Venice canal
Floating market in Venice
Floating market in Venice

PS. Most of the charming cafes/restaurants seemed to be on the left side of the center (when you are coming from the train station and are facing the prime canal). Or maybe it’s just less crowded and feels more authentic.

Boat riding on canal in Venice
Boat riding on canal in Venice

Riding on the canals

When people are thinking about Venice, one of the first things that will come to your mind are gondolas. Gondola ride will cost 100€ on day time and 120€ in the evening. Besides the gondolas, there are also several other boats that will offer tourists a ride.

If you want to get the experience of riding on the canals of Venice, but you don’t want to spend 100€, you can always ride with more affordable public transportation water buses (Vaporetto). A ticket will cost about 7.50€ per 1 ride or around 20€ for a 1-day ticket.

Vaporetto ride along Venice canal
Vaporetto ride along Venice canal
Boat and gondola on Venice canal
Boat and gondola on Venice canal

Not so charming Venice

Venice is not only a charming- at the same time, it can also be very dirty. But only when looking very close 🙂 It’s probably due the heavy traffic that spins up mud and other debris. Luckily overall look didn’t feels so dirty.

A boat docked front of the door in Venice
A boat docked front of the door in Venice

The experience you get from Venice depends on a lot of the weather. We were lucky and it was warm and sunny – so our feelings were mostly positive. But everything looks a little greyer on a rainy day, and constant rain can definitely pull down the good emotions about Venice.

People have been worrying over smell from canals, but we didn’t notice anything. When doing some research about it, it seems to be an urban legend that should be debunked. It was more problematic about 20 years ago, but the city has made some improvements on sewerage and smell shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

Violin music in Venice

In the movies, there is always playing violin music in the street of Venice. We have a bummer for you- it is not real! And since we didn’t get our romantic dinner with violin music in Venice- we just made one by ourselves 🙂

Dinner in Cornuda with violin music
Dinner in Cornuda with violin music

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