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Every year, millions of tourists enter Venice through the Piazzale Roma. This utilitarian square, with its parking garages and lines of orange ACTV buses, lies on the Venice side of the long causeway from the mainland.
The Piazzale Roma is Venice's gateway for several categories of travelers:
1) Tourists who arrive by public bus from the airport or parking lots on the mainland. (Note: If you're flying into Venice, the airport boat is a slower but more interesting way to reach the city.)
2) Motorists who are naïve enough to endure long lines at the Piazzale Roma's garages instead of using the more manageable Tronchetto parking island on busy or weekends or during high season.
3) Members of tour groups (although many tour buses discharge passengers at Tronchetto for transfer to vaporetto, water taxi, or private waterbus).
After arriving at the Piazzale Roma, look for theoffice, which is a tile-roofed building near the tree-lined side of the square and the modern Calatrava Bridge. It sells tickets for public water buses (vaporetti) and land buses, along with Tourist Travel Cards (12 hours to 7 days) for longer visits.
If the lines at the Hellovenezia office are long, bypass them by purchasing your transit tickets at the(see photo above) in the middle of the square. This is also a good place to buy tickets for ATVO airport buses.
After you've bought your tickets, walk down the steps on either side of the small garden near the ACTV office to reach the landings for water buses and water taxis. (Vaporetti or water buses are far cheaper than water taxis, although the latter may be convenient if your hotel is on a side canal and you can split the fare with other members of a group.)
You can save money--and avoid crowded boats during high season--by simply walking to your destination. Before setting out, buy a good map at one of the newsstands in or around the Piazzale Roma.
Are you heading directly for a cruise ship at the Marittima cruise basin? See our People Mover article. (The People Mover will get you from the Piazzale Roma to the port entrance in less than two minutes, and it's cheaper than taking a water bus or taxi.)
If you have an early airport departure, are staying in Venice overnight before or after a cruise departure, or are visiting the city for only a day or two, a hotel near the Piazzale Roma may be convenient.
Three hotels are directly on the square, and others are close by. Click here for hotel suggestions.
Venice is served by two airports: Venice Marco Polo (the main airport), and Treviso Airport (used by Ryanair and at least one other budget airline). Buses to both airports leave from the center of the Piazzale Roma. See our Venice Airport Buses article for details.
Alternatively, you can hire a four-wheeled land taxi, but the fare will be much higher (and the trip won't be any faster) than with the bus. Land taxis are also useful if you're transporting heavy luggage to the cruise terminals. Look for cabs at the taxi rank on the tree-lined side of the square.
Again, parking at Tronchetto is easier than struggling with the confusion at the Piazzale Roma--at least on weekends or in high season, when lines can be horrific.
An even better option during high season is to park on the mainland and take public transportation into the city. For more information, including links to the parking facilities' Web sites, see our "Parking in Venice" article.
Look for a deposito bagagli, or left-luggage office, near the People Mover station and the Pullman Bar. To check hours and prices ahead of time, phone the Cooperativa Trasbagagli at 0415231107 or e-mail [email protected]
Venice transportation index
This page has links to our articles on Venice's vaporetti (water buses), airport boats and buses, car ferries, gondolas, and Marco Polo Airport.
7 hotels closest to airport buses
These hotels are on or extremely close to Piazzale Roma, where buses offer service to the Venice Marco Polo and Treviso airports.
10 hotels closest to cruise ships
Seven of these hotels are on or extremely close to Piazzale Roma, and three are near the San Basilio and Santa Marta cruise piers.
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