Where and What to Hire
Even though there is no driving on Venice there is still an Avis and a Europecar available on the Ponte della Liberta for those who have decided after a long few days of walking that they want to drive themselves back to the mainland. Back on the mainland, there are a few international companies to choose from like Sixt and Avis next to the main Venezia Train Station, Firefly on the way to the airport and Europecar, Avis, Sixt, Hertz and Maggiore are all available at Venice Airport. All types of vehicles are available for hire including scooters and vans, small city cars and larger four and five-door family cars to some luxury vehicles.
Venice can be reached by car via the main A4 Autostrada that runs east and west across Northern Italy. To reach the island, car drivers take the causeway called the Ponte della Liberta to the Piazala Roma which is on the island itself. This is the only area of Venice accessible by car. Note that summers and weekends are much busier than at other times of year and what parking there is may be completely full – so decide whether driving there by car is absolutely necessary before making the journey.
Obviously there is no parking on Venice apart from at the Piazzale Roma where cars come off the causeway. Here there are garages and car parks that will cost between €21 and €29 per day. For a cheaper option, leave the car at Mestre then take a short bus journey to Piazzale Roma then the rather fun vaporetto over to the island of Venice. Parking at Mestre will only cost around €5 for the day.
Where to Go and What to See
While driving in Venice is not possible, it is certainly worth having a car in order to explore the beautiful surrounding area. Just 40 minutes west of Venice is the stunning city of Padua has several claims of fame to its name from Giotto’s masterpiece Renaissance cathedral to the oldest botanical gardens in the world and the second oldest university in the world. Two hours west is the spectacular Lake Garda where pristine waters glisten beneath the mountains and where walkers, hikers and cyclists can explore some of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy, not to mention soaking up the city’s cultural sights, mouth-watering restaurants, lively theme parks for kids and blissful spas for adults. Those with a fancy for Prosecco wine should make the 40 minute journey north of Venice to Treviso where this famous bubbly is grown in the lush green hills and locally made. Treviso is a beautiful town in its own right with canals and gothic architecture to admire. Anyone wanting to explore Bologna, the largest city in the Emilia-Romagna region, will not be disappointed. Two hours south of Venice, the dreamy red-roofed city of Bologna boasts elegant architecture, colonnaded medieval streets, glitzy boutiques, opera, galleries, theatre and museums, some of the country’s finest trattorias and a down-to-earth yet vivacious atmosphere.