There are 5 of us driving through Italy. Of course, one stop has to be Venice for a gondola ride. We're planning to stay overnight in the area. My dilemma is 1. parking; 2. hotel. I know the parking there is risky whether it be the Tronchetto or other facilities there. In addition, we don't want to schlep luggage around (been there, done that, not fun). I've read many suggestions to stay on the outskirts and take the train or some other mode of transportation in and out of Venice. What do you suggest? Thanks,
In your shoes, I would find a hotel in Mestre near the station and go back and forth by train (5 min). You'll save on parking (some hotels have parking) and on hotels charges, and no lugging luggage on boats and vaporetti. With this I am not saying that Mestre is pretty. As a matter of fact I would rather have a root canal every day than live in Mestre for a month, but for two days you'll survive and it's convenient.
Well, now, that's good info because I was looking at Mestre. Maybe we should go further out?
I know the parking there is risky whether it be the Tronchetto or other facilities there. Risky in what way, Lois? I prefer to not park at P Roma or Tronchetto because of the price but I've never thought of it as "risky". With 5 of you plus luggage that must be a big car or van. You might find one of the larger spaces at Tronchetto more to your liking. PS ... there's lots more to do in Venice than a gondola ride.
My understanding is there is a bit of pilferage at these parking facilities.
I fully know ther's more to do there than a gondola ride; however, 4 of the 5 have never been there and that's what they want to do. What can I say?
No go to Mestre, it's not pretty but very safe and convenient and cheaper (both hotel and parking). There is a train every five minutes going to Venice. All Venetians who work in Venice actually live in Mestre. Mestre is not actually a separate city, it's within Venice city limits so it's actually a district of the city of Venice (the more modern part). Even if it's not pretty, you will see Mestre only in the morning when you walk from your hotel to the station and at night when you return and walk back from the station to the hotel, so who cares if it's not as beautiful. They have nice hotels at half the price their equivalent across the bridge. Make sure you find a hotel with parking that way you don't have to worry about parking your car in the streets. I don't know if they have some parking restrictions in the streets. I'm sure they do close to the station otherwise everybody would park in the streets rather than spend 25 euro at Tronchetto. Many hotels are within 5-10 min walk from the station.
Park in Mestre but stay in Venice. Venice in the evening is magic, don't miss it. When we went, also five in a car, we parked at a recommended secure parking lot near the main public parking area. It was expensive, but at least our car was not prowled when we came back for it. The biggest downside was losing about an hour and a half both parking the car and picking it up. Next time I'll park on the mainland and catch the train in - safer, cheaper and easier. Once you get to the train station in Venice everything is walking, vaporetti, traghetti (for short trips across a canal) - or the more expensive gondolas and water taxis.
Is Mestre considered the 'main' land?
Mestre is not on islands, if that's what you mean.
If you stay in Mestre you'll never know the beauty and tranquility of Venice after the hoards of daytrippers leave the island. Some go back to the cruise port and others back to Mestre and other places. THEN is when Venice is magical. I wasted my first trip to Venice by staying in Mestre...because I had a stupid rental car and wanted to find a hotel with a parking facility.
If you have a car, Mestre is kind of ugly and has nothing to see but has the convenience of hotels with car parking and cheaper accommodations. Venice is much prettier and magical, but has the parking inconvenience, higher room prices, and also having to walk your luggage to the hotel, if it's not near the station or Piazzale Roma. That sums it up. The choice is yours. Regarding enjoying Venice in the evening, I don't know what time you'd normally go back to your hotel, but there are trains every 10-15 minutes and the last one back to Mestre is at 36 minutes past Midnight. The journey is 11 minutes long. If you miss the last train, and you don't want to party in Venice until morning (train service starts at about 5am), you can always take a regular taxi (with wheels) from Piazzale Roma. Taxis are available at Piazzale Roma, next to the station 24h/day. It's a 10 min. drive across the bridge to Mestre (9 km=5.5 miles). The cost of a taxi from Venice to Mestre is approx. 20 euro, so for 5 people it's not even prohibitively expensive. The train is of course cheaper than the taxi, last time I checked it was Euro 1.50 per person one way (on a Regionale). I gave you the data. The decision is all yours.
I've heard of the Tronchetto parking facility that has a people mover to or close to the Santa Lucia Train Station. Are there any other parking facilities near the train station?
There are several carparks in P. Roma.