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Venice Aerial Views: Where to sit on the plane

Aerial view of Venice from airplane

ABOVE: This photo was taken from a KLM jet as it approached Venice Marco Polo International Airport from the south. Through the haze, you can see Venice's historic center and the causeway that links the city to the Italian mainland. The city appears to float in the Venetian Lagoon, and the Adriatic Sea is visible in the distance.

Henry James wrote that Venice is best approached by sea,  but we beg to differ. In the jet age, the best views of the city are from the air, and they're free (except for the price of your airline ticket) if you've reserved the correct seat and have a bit of luck with the weather and flight pattern.

Below is our advice on where to sit if you want the best chance for a spectacular view of Venice, Italy when you're arriving or departing by commercial airliner.


Lufthansa airliner arriving in Venice with Campanile di San Marco

ABOVE: A Lufthansa jet descends toward Marco Polo Airport with the Campanile di San Marco in the foregroumd. On a clear day like this, passengers on the right side of the plane are enjoying a great view.

Inbound flights to Venice Marco Polo International Airport typically approach from the south, flying on a path just west of Venice's historic center. (The airport is located north of central Venice, on the edge of the Venetian Lagoon.)

Because of this, we recommend sitting on the right side of the plane,  preferably toward the front or back to avoid having your view blocked by the wing.

BELOW: This aerial photo was taken from a window seat on the right side of an arriving plane. The Piazza San Marco is next to the Campanile di San Marco (the tallest bell tower in the photo). In the foreground, you can see a railroad bridge leading into Venezia Santa Lucia Railroad Station and the Ponte de la Libertá road bridge to Piazzale Roma and the parking island of Tronchetto.

Aerial photo of Venice and the Ponte de la Liberta


Departure from Venice Marco Polo International Airport (aerial photo)

ABOVE: In this image, a departing plane flies over the northern end of the Venetian Lagoon.

In our experience, flights from VCE normally depart to the north, passing briefly over agricultural land on the mainland with glimpses of the Venetian Lagoon's northern reaches. Occasionally, however, planes depart to the south.

On balance, we'd probably choose seats on the right side. But the choice is really a toss-up, so we'd suggest taking potluck if the airline is charging extra for seat reservations.

BELOW: Venice and its neighboring island of Giudecca are in the upper half of this photo. The populated island in the lower right quadrant is the glassmaking island of Murano.

Aerial photo of Venice, Murano, and the Venetian Lagoon

Related articles:
Arriving in Venice
Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE)
Venice Airport Buses
Alilaguna Airport Boat
Water Taxis
Land Taxis
Mestre Airport Bus
Treviso Airport Bus
Ryanair's Venice Airports
Venice Airport Hotels
Early-Morning Flights from Venice Airport

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden has written about Venice, Italy since 1996. He covered Venice and European travel at for 4-1/2 years before launching Europe for Visitors (including Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl Imboden in 2001.

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