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Venice Airport to tour hotel Feb 13 - looking for company

I know this is a long shot, but are any of you on the Best of Venice, Florence & Rome in 10 Days tour that starts Feb 14, AND are you flying into Venice the evening of Feb 13? I'm looking for company to help find my way from the airport to the tour hotel. The directions that were provided are a bit intimidating, especially since I'm traveling solo and arriving at night. (My flight from Heathrow arrives in Venice at 8:30pm.)

Rick Steves' office doesn't have arrival info on the other travelers in the group and hasn't provided their contact info; the office suggested trying this forum. Thanks!

Posted by
8410 posts

I suspect it will be 11 or later before you get to the hotel. I would be surprised if any other tour members are arriving so late, especially on the night before the tour starts.

If you cannot arrange to arrive earlier, I would contact the hotel and explain your situation and find out what they might suggest, or be able to arrange, to make the trip from the airport go smoothly.

Posted by
171 posts

I did this tour just before the Covid bug hit.

It was my first RS tour and I was ignorant and thought getting there in the afternoon was enough. Should have remembered the short days that time of year. :)

The Hotel then was something like "La Fenice" and was right next to the Opera House. They had pics of famous singers on their walls that used to stay with them. The sun was setting as the Water Bus from the Airport came into the Grand Canal and then the San Micheal stop (IIRC).

I was using what looked like a block hand drawn map from the hotel web site and had to cross 2(?) canals on my way to it. But the worst was I had to go down this narrow dark alley from one of the Plazas to cross one of the canals on the way to the Hotel. I was sure I was going to have problems. But as I found out later Venice has very low crime of that type and I finally made it to the Hotel.

Was definitely out of my comfort zone there. :)

Posted by
963 posts

In three trips to Venice, I always had to wander around looking up for the street names to find the hotel. It might be easier with Google maps, but still possible to find yourself in a canyon with no internet.. It's probably not a favored idea, but if you are tired from flying long distances, you might consider an airport hotel. Get a good night's sleep and then up during the morning to see Venice in the light and find the hotel....

Posted by
212 posts

Reach out to the hotel. Arrange for a water taxi to meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel.

It will be expensive. When we did it 7 years ago it’s was $135

It will also be worthy every euro: the view coming into Venice from a water taxi, going into the smaller canals to get to your hotel is fascinating. If the hotel doesn’t have a water door the boat driver will walk you to your hotel. You won’t be sorry

Posted by
1890 posts

There is a Marriott Courtyard five minutes from the airport, and there's a shuttle. The short distance isn't walkable due to the airport layout. We did this, and it was nice not to think, get to the hotel easily, have a hot shower, and sleep.
For the next morning, right in front of the hotel there's a city bus that takes you to Piazzale Roma, the entrance to Venice. Buy your vaporetta pass, and enjoy your beautiful morning wandering and finding your hotel.
Safe travels!

Posted by
1094 posts

You have gotten some good advice above. If you devide to go to Venezia in the evening, remember to download an offline map to Google Maps (or whichever app you use) before you leave home (while you have wifi). Then you don't have to care about internet while you walk.

Posted by
4740 posts

You haven’t heard from another tour member, but you have received good advice about staying near airport, resting, and starting to the hotel in the morning.

If getting to the same hotel in Venice that same evening is a priority for you, and it may be, you need to explore all the options. An expensive water taxi is likely to get you closest to the hotel.

There are many videos on you tube about how to get from the airport to Venice. Take a little time to watch them. These will be a help to you when you transfer to Venice. Personally, I would make this transfer after some sleep and in day light.

Posted by
27424 posts

which hotel is it? I know a few of them and can usually decypher more complicated ones for folks new to my favourite city.

If it is either the Ala or the Guerrato I can do those in my sleep. It usually sounds a whole lot worse than it is...

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks, everyone, for the great advice!

I just got an email from my travel agent saying my flights have all been changed or cancelled, so I'll be changing my itinerary and will take your great advice into consideration.

The hotel is Pensione Guerrato. The directions provided by the hotel from the Marco Polo Airport: take the orange bus ACTV #5 or the blue bus ATVO to Venezia-Piazzale Roma. Then from the Piazzale Roma park terminal, take the boat #1 (vaporetto line 1) with direction Rialto and get off at the Rialto Mercato Stop. After disembarking from the boat stop, walk under the archway directly in front of you and then turn right. Continue in this direction and turn on the second left – Calle drio la Scimia (you’ll see the sign Pensione Guerrato). The reception is on the first floor.

The directions provided by Rick Steves:
This document provides you with the most convenient option(s) for transportation to your first tour hotel. For
additional transit information refer to your Rick Steves’ guidebook. We strongly recommend using Google
Maps to preview your route, as Venice is can be a challenge to navigate. We want to be sure these directions
are as accurate as possible. Please send any corrections or updates to us at

By Bus & Water Bus
Buses between the airport and Venice are fast, frequent, and cheap. They drop off at the square called Piazzale
Roma. Two bus companies serve this route: ACTV and ATVO. ATVO buses take 20 minutes and go nonstop.
ACTV buses make a few stops en route and take slightly longer (30 minutes). The service is equally good
(either bus: €8 one-way, €15 round-trip, runs about 5am-midnight, 2/hour drops to 1/hour early and late).

Venice Marco Polo Airport to Piazzale Roma
Buses leave from just outside the arrivals terminal. Buy tickets from the TI, the ticket desk in the terminal, the
kiosk near baggage claim, or ticket machines. ATVO tickets are not valid on ACTV buses and vice versa.
Double-check the destination; you want Piazzale Roma. If taking ACTV, you want bus #5. From Piazzale Roma
it is about a 15-minute vaporetto ride and a 1-minute walk to your hotel.

Piazzale Roma to Hotel
Venice’s public transit system, run by ACTV, is a fleet of motorized bus-boats called vaporetti. Purchase
tickets (un biglietto) at the dock. One ticket is €7.50, or you can buy a pass for unlimited use for 24 hours
(€20), 48 hours (€30), etc. You must validate your ticket by scanning it at the small white machine on the dock
before boarding or risk a fine. Take vaporetto #1 (direction Lido) to the Rialto Mercado stop. From here, it is a
one-minute walk to the hotel. Disembark and walk straight under the archway in front of you, then turn right.
Turn on the second left (Calle Scimia), and look for the Pensione Guerrato sign ahead on the left at #240A.
Reception is up the stairs on the first floor and open 24 hours.

By Shuttle Boat
Venice Marco Polo Airport to Rialto Bridge
Alilaguna shuttle boats and water taxis both leave from the airport’s boat dock, an 8-minute walk from the
terminal. Exit the arrivals hall and turn left, following signs along a covered sidewalk. Alilaguna boats depart
roughly twice an hour and take about 55 minutes to reach the Rialto stop (closest to the hotel). Tickets are
€15 (one-way) and can be purchased at the airport TI, the ticket desk in the terminal, the ticket booth at the
dock, online, or from the driver (€1 surcharge).

Rialto Bridge to Hotel
Take the orange line (“linea arancio”) to the Rialto stop. From here it is a 4-minute walk to the hotel. Upon
disembarking, walk across the Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal. Continue straight through the market area
on Ruga Dei Oresi (also spelled degli Orefici). Turn right on Calle Scimia (also spelled Calla Simia). Look for the
Pensione Guerrato sign ahead, on the right at #240A. Reception is up the stairs on the 1st floor.

Posted by
9478 posts

For once I'm glad your flights have been changed, lol!! This may work out in your favor.

I'd definitely want to arrive to Venice the day before and in the daylight!

Posted by
1294 posts

I guess I’m more adventurous than most folks here. I had a look at Google maps satellite view. It appears to be a pretty straight forward walk from the vaporetto dock to the hotel. No visible bridges to cross and not too many twists and turns. I would probably attempt it. Even at night. But I have been to Venice before and have meandered it’s little lanes and gotten lost. I’m pretty comfortable walking around there.

Please note that I am not suggesting anyone attempt this if you are unfamiliar with Venice or if it is outside your comfort zone. I was simply saying it looks like an easy straightforward walk from the dock. Of course the situation on the ground may be different.

Have a great trip and enjoy the tour! RS tours are great.

Posted by
5 posts

It is looking like the flight change is working in my favor -- now I fly from the U.S. to Rome (then Venice) without having to deal with any security/custom/Covid checks in Heathrow and I arrive in Venice in the morning, so will have a much easier time navigating to my hotel in daylight. Thanks for the reassurance on the route!

Returning home, I now have an overnight at JFK, but am booked at the TWA Hotel, which should be interesting.

Now we'll see if more changes are in store between now and my departure. Best wishes to all travelers!

Posted by
808 posts

I would try to view the directions using google earth so you are familiar with the various options provided. They might sound complicated, but are not really. You got this!

Also, when boarding the vaporetto, there will always be a worker standing at the gate on the boat. You can ask “Rialto?” to confirm you are getting on the boat going in the right direction.

Posted by
3586 posts

The detailed directions to Pensione Guerrato that you posted are absolutely spot on with regards to the bus and vaporetta combination. We have stayed there several times and have always used that method. The only thing I can add is this: When you go throught the archway you will be in a small plaza type area. If it is full of vendor stalls, keep them on your right as you turn right and make your way toward the second street. That way you will not miss the street you want. It is very small and narrow so keep your eyes peeled. It will be just before a building juts out from the left in front of you. You might try to use Google Maps street view to "walk" the route before you leave home. Enjoy!

Posted by
9478 posts

"now I fly from the U.S. to Rome (then Venice) without having to deal with any security/custom/Covid checks in Heathrow and I arrive in Venice in the morning, so will have a much easier time navigating to my hotel in daylight."

This is good! I used to always try to change planes in Europe BUT with Covid it seems easier to try and change in the US right now!

Poo on the overnight in NYC...but maybe that will change as well.

Posted by
27424 posts

TC and the directions you have are exactly correct.

As I said above, I could do it with my eyes closed.

Bear in mind that the Italian fist floor (and the same for all of Europe and most of the world other than North America) is the first floor that you get to after climbing the stairs. The one you come in on is the ground floor. Expect to go up to the reception desk.

I have stayed several times there and would stay there again...

Also, there are two similarly named vaporetto stops near the Rialto bridge. The first one you get to on the number 1 from the train station or P. le Roma is Rialto Mercato (translates as Rialto market, because of the market stalls mentioned above) which is on the right hand side of the Grand Canal before the bridge, and that is the one you want.

If you miss it and go under the bridge to the stop on the left which is called simply "Rialto" you will be on the wrong bank of the canal and will have to hoik you and your stuff over the bridge and turn right to your destination.

Don't do that. Get off at Rialto Mercato ...

Posted by
362 posts

Since your RS tour is in less than a month, I'm curious as to what kind of information you're receiving from the company as to new regulations in Italy. Have they advised you that you must have a covid vaccine booster given within 6 months of arrival in order for your CDC card to constitute a "super green pass?" From what I understand, if you haven't been boosted, but the shot constituting "full" vaccination was done within 6 months of your arrival, that seems to give you the super green pass status too. Without the "super green pass" you can't use public transportation, stay in hotels or eat in restaurants. I'm just hoping for a reply saying, yes, RS is keeping us well apprised of these new'ish rules. I've been trying to stay current as to the rules but our trip is far enough away that it's pointless. They'll change a lot between now and then.

Posted by
7447 posts

Lucky you getting to stay at the historic TWA Hotel at JFK! Designed by Eero Saarinen and it has his office and studio on display. So much history there! Make sure to walk around the historic 1960 architecture. We planned our last itinerary to Europe to be able to stay there overnight. Restaurant is a Jean-George’s, Paris Cafe, and perfect for an overnight stay.
Since you are redoing your flights, try to add at least an extra day on each end of your time in Italy.

Posted by
5 posts

To Vickie's question, I can't say that the company has been very good about this, but I also can't blame them too much because things are changing so much. What I'm hearing basically is that it's my responsibility to know what the U.S. and Italian governments and airlines require and to comply. However, one kicker is that Rick Steves has an additional requirement: we have to have a negative Covid test within 48 hours of the tour starting. For those of us who leave the U.S. more than 48 hours before the tour starts (in order to arrive a day or two early) that means getting another Covid test when we arrive. Rumor has it that Covid tests are readily available in Europe so that shouldn't be too difficult.

Another thread on this forum goes into the details, with people feeling that communication about this additional requirement has not been handled well by the company.

Posted by
4740 posts

I suggest you bring a Binax proctored home test with you to Europe "just in case" you arrive in Venice and find that testing sites are not as easy to find as you had hoped. I've done these twice now for travel and it is quite easy and the whole process, beginning to results in an email takes about 20 minutes.

I am glad that a test pre-tour is required.