Lay of the Land
For the purposes of this book, northeastern Italy comprises two regions: Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto. The former is as far northeast as you can get in Italy's “corner” before you cross the Italian border and enter Austria and Slovenia, while Veneto, to Friuli-Venezia Giulia's west, is the region that includes Venice. It receives 20 million tourists a year who are drawn there because of the city's history, charm, and beauty.
Venice Marco Polo Airport serves the region, including some international flights from the eastern United States on Delta Air Lines and US Airways. Local airlines also make connecting flights here from Rome and Milan, and you can get to in-country and international trains via a bus service that runs between the airport and the nearby Venice-Santa Lucia and Mestre-Venice railway stations. Full schedules, as well as links to train operators, are at the airport's website,
If you plan to fly to Venice and stay for a few days, skip the rental car. There are ferries that can get you and your vehicle to some places, but even the locals use small boats and a good pair of comfortable shoes to make their way amid the dozens of canals.
If you want to experience Venice as a city of water from the moment you arrive, then consider taking a water taxi instead of a traditional one with wheels from Venice Marco Polo Airport to your hotel. The fee is 98 for four passengers: not cheap, but certainly scenic. You can make reservations via the airport's website,
If you are visiting Venice as a day trip from another part of Italy and already have a rental car, you can leave it at one of two parking lots/garages that serve the city: Tronchetto and Piazzale Roma. The cost is about 25 per day for parking, and the lots are open twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year. Ferries and public transport boats will get you from the lots to the city itself, and from there you can explore as the locals do: on foot. For directions and reservations, the Trochetto website is