Venice’s Marco Polo airport is not only relatively new, but also recently remodeled and expanded. As it’s a destination rather than a hub such as Charles De Gaule or Altanta, you’ll find it fairly well-marked and easy to manage—even though very busy. Their website also provides a great deal of information: veniceairport.com.
ARRIVING BY AIR
Arrival is quite simple, even when the airport fills up during high season, which begins around Easter and continues right through to early November.
Once you pass though electronic passport control, You’ll find a number of overhead displays in Baggage Claim that will indicate onto which of the belts your flight will dump its luggage; again because of the airport’s size and relative efficiency, it usually appears in short order. You’ll also find restrooms at each end of the baggage claim area.
Once you retrieve your bags (if you’re missing any, just look for the bagagli smarriti-lost luggage service to the right before you exit baggage claim) head out into the terminal area.
WORTH NOTING: If you need euro cash, you’ll find an ATM (bancomat) to the right as you exit baggage claim at the far end of the terminal. Or, take the elevator or escalators located on either side of Departures entrance upstairs where you’ll find two more ATMs. Look for the bank branch offices along the front wall.
WORTH NOTING: If you have purchased a travel card or other pass through VeneziaUnica.com, you can retrieve them either at the counter in ground transportation to the left as you exit baggage claim, or at a ticket machine located outside the Ground Transportation door.
TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT
You have several choices for transportation to the Venice airport — which you choose will depend on where your lodging is located, your budget, and how big a hurry you’re in. You may already have received some advice from your lodging — compare the following info with that.
For transportation to and from the airport by water, you can use:
- Alilaguna water bus transfers – various pickup and drop off locations throughout the city, scheduled departure times, prices from €15 and up per person. They arrive in Venice proper from the airport in from 20 minutes to 1:40, depending on your precise origin/destination. Depending you where your lodging is located, you’ll either walk from there, or take an ACTV city water bus (vaporetto) from the Alilaguna drop-off location. Buy your tickets before boarding — at airport Ground Transportation, at Alilaguna ticket booths (in the airport and at the less-busy darsena docks); and in advance at €1 discount through Venicelink.com and VeneziaUnica.it
- Private water taxi, direct or as close as possible to your lodging; quick & glamorous but overpriced, unsustainable, and hard on small canals. €110 and up for four people and luggage; additional luggage will be more. Venicelink.com also offers shared water taxi options.
WORTH NOTING: Your taxi may not be able to get you close to your destination if the tide is high and he is not able to pass under bridges.
You can also travel by land to Piazzale Roma (last stop for wheeled motor traffic):
- ATVO Airport Shuttle motor coach – €8 (€15 RT), direct, 20 minutes PRoma-Airport, departs every 30 minutes, luggage storage underneath, climate controlled. Buy your ticket in advance from their their website (English, no need to print), at Ground Transportation counter in the airport just outside baggage claim, from an automatic machine in baggage claim area, at the bus departure point at the airport, or from the driver or the machine in Piazzale Roma at the bus departure point.
- ACTV Aerobus °5 – recent improvements make this a convenient and comfortable option: larger buses (though no luggage storage), frequent departures, about 25 minutes airport to Piazzale Roma. €8 regular ticket, €15 round-trip, or €14 Bus+Boat combo includes the transit to Piazzale Roma and a 90 min vaporetto ride to the landing nearest your lodging. Buy tickets at ground transportation or look for automatic ticket machines.
- Land taxi – about 20 mins, direct, about €30. Located outside ground transportation.
Transportation options between Piazzale Roma and your lodging are your feet, the ACTV vaporetto water bus, or a private water taxi.
ATTENZIONE: Taxi drivers will magically appear before you anywhere and everywhere to offer a ride to your lodging, not necessarily confirming the fare of €100 and up. There are several other less expensive and quite convenient options, however, so review them all and do what makes the most sense to you.
WORTH NOTING: Alilaguna is a private service and therefore not affected when public strikes occur and other transportation options are not available.
The earlier your flight departs, the more difficult it is to arrive a full two hours beforehand. Keep in mind that if you’re taking a water taxi for an early flight it’s impossible to have a traffic delay in an open lagoon; vaporetto and airport shuttles are reliable and run on time. That, and remember that each flight has its own dedicated check-in counters (not to mention auto-check in kiosks) so you’ll never have to wait behind someone who’s checking in for a different flight than yours. This means that often, for an early morning flight, 1.5 hours lead time is sufficient.
The departure level is upstairs. If you arrive on foot from the docks, or the on the ATVO or ACTV bus, just ride the escalator you’ll find at the entrance. At the top you’ll immediately spot the massive overhead board that displays all flight info, check in for yours (physically or at a kiosk) to the left.
Passport control and security are at the center of the airport, and there is plenty of opportunity for shopping and grabbing one last Italian caffè once beyond it.