Venice’s Marco Polo airport is new, small, fairly well-marked, and easy to manage. It’s not a hub, but a destination, and this helps significantly reduce the Foreign Airport Intimidation Factor. Their website also provides a great deal of information: veniceairport.com
You’ll find an overhead display in Baggage Claim that will indicate onto which of the five belts your flight will dump its luggage; again because of the airport’s size, 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) just 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 all the way at the end of the terminal. Should it be out of service for some reason, take the elevator or escalator located on either side of Departures entrance — upstairs to two more ATMs — look for the bank branch offices.
WORTH NOTING: If you have purchased a travel card or other pass through VeniceConnected.com, you can pick it up either at the counter in ground transportation to the left as you exit baggage claim, or at the big blue ticketing machine located just outside the 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 instruction from your lodging — compare the following info with those.
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 fromt he airport in from 20 mins to 1:40, depending on your precise 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. You must 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 VeniceConnected.com
- Private water taxi, direct or as close as possible to your lodging; quick & glamourous but overpriced, unsustainable, and hard on small canals. €110 and up for four people and luggage; Venicelink.com also offers shared water taxi options.
…or by land to Piazzale Roma (last stop for wheeled motor traffic).
- ACTV Aerobus °5 – recent improvements make this a convenient and comfortable option: larger buses, frequent departures, about 25 minutes airport to Piazzale Roma. €6 regular ticket, €11 round-trip, or €12 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.
- ATVO Airport Shuttle motor coach – €7, direct, 20 minutes PRoma-Airport, departs every 30 minutes, luggage storage underneath, climate controlled. Buy your ticket in advance from their their website (English), 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 at their office in Piazzale Roma (open 6:35 – 7:30 pm., use automatic machine outside if the office is closed).
- Land taxi – about 20 mins, direct, about €30. Located outside ground transportation.
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.