Venice Marco Polo Airport
What you need to know before arriving or departing at Venice's international airport, including advice on reaching the city by boat, bus, or taxi.
For many foreign visitors, flying to Italy means booking a ticket to Milan or Rome. And that's a shame, because Venice's Marco Polo International Airport (VCE) is often a more convenient gateway.
Why? Distance to the city center is one reason. The Piazzale Roma is just 20 minutes away by land taxi or airport bus, and the Lido, the Piazza San Marco, and other locations in the historic center are easy to reach via the Alilaguna airport boat.
Marco Polo Airport is also more manageable in size than its counterparts in Milan and Rome, although it can feel like a Third-World airport if you're departing on a weekend or on a day when thousands of passengers have been disgorged by cruise ships.
Consider yourself fortunate if you arrive or depart on a clear day, when views from the air can be breathtaking. You'll see the Dolomites, the Adriatic, and the Venetian Lagoon. You'll see land that's submerged at high tide, suggesting a Northern Italian version of Atlantis. And if you're on the right side of the plane, you'll see the city itself, with instantly recognizable landmarks like the Campanile di San Marco and the Grand Canal.
Arriving at VCE
If you're renting a car, you'll find rental counters in the arrivals lounge. Other services include free luggage carts, public telephones, baggage storage, toilets, tourist information, hotel bookings, currency exchange, and tickets for local and regional transportation. (Scroll down to our Marco Polo Airport link if you have questions about passenger services.)
For information on airport buses, land taxis, Alilaguna water buses, and water taxis. (If you're going into the city by water, don't miss our illustrated directions to the boat piers.), see our articles on
Departures from VCE
If you take the water bus or a water taxi to the airport, leave the pier and take the moving walkway to the terminal building. (Free luggage carts are near the boats.)
Inside the departures lobby, you'll find limited seating and long rows of check-in desks to the left and right of the information counter and security gates. Each counter is assigned to a specific flight (shown on an electronic sign above the counter). If you don't see a counter for your flight, don't panic--it simply hasn't opened yet. (Check-in counters normally open two hours before departure.)
Once you get through security, Marco Polo's departures area is quite nice. You'll find bars and cafés, a good assortment of shops, and plenty of seating in an airy, modern, well-lit terminal. (To get away from crowds, take the escalator to the mezzanine, which has more shops, a large cafeteria, uncrowded lavatories, and tables that are handy for eating or using your laptop.)
Look for the deposito bagagli, or left-luggage office, in the arrivals hall.
Airport Web site
Europe for Visitors (including
Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl
Imboden in 2001.
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