"Mestre 2013: Working Class Town Close To Venice" Top 5 Page for this destination Mestre by TooTallFinn24

Mestre Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 148 photos

Overnight Alternative in Venice Area

If the ridiculously high prices of Venice during the spring have you spinning, Mestre is a pleasant alternative. Mestre is located on the mainland as compared to Venice and the n Located just minutes by bus or train from Venice nice hotels can be had for about a third to half of what you would pay in Venice. True you might be missing out on that Venice charm but after twelve hours in Venice the allure of Venice gets stale.

When originally researching Mestre I ran into a tip by VT member Leics about a hotel there. Checking it out the Hotel Cris, located a short walk from the train station was a perfectly pleasant place to spend four nights. Nice rooms and a great breakfast made it a good place to rest at days end. For those that need a car while in the area the hotel even offers free parking on-site. More on the Hotel Cris later.

Aside from saving money the Mestre Train Station is less crowded than the one in Venice and also a convenient place to catch a quick train to close by Padova. Advantage Mestre again!

Mestre: The Place

Mestre and its neighbor Carpenedo, which is visible as you leave the Marco Polo Airport, is one of the six boroughs of Venice. Mestre/Carpenedo located on the mainland is also the most populous area of Venice with a population of nearly 90,000 people according to Wiki but another source has the population as high as 140,000.

The area has grown significantly over the last century for a number of reasons. Growth from the adjacent port as well as new industry has fueled growth. Chemical plants taking advantage of the port location in Marghera have also addfed significant jobs and new residents. In addition, many residents from Venice proper have left the town either through eviction or high prices and moved to Mestre and other areas of the mainland.

Mestre is a very spread out town. This is important because in choosing a hotel there are many places advertised that are without public transportation or near the train station. Fortunately the hotel we chose was near to both.

Mestre: The Charm

While many including Rick Steves argue that Mestre has no charm I disagree. Starting from the hotel Cris we took a walk down the Via Piave to the first major traffic circle. Turning left on the Via Carducci, the Plazza Ferretto is a big plaza with many historical buildings and places to eat. There is a historic belltwoer and theatre that will be reviewed separately. Walking there on a Friday evening we saw many Italian families out either walking, getting dinner, or having a gelato. A charming and pretty square. The Galleria Mattteoti a 19th century enclosed glass mall was also a stunning surprise.

Mestre also has a nice regional park along the water in Parco San Guiliano. Great views of the surrounding area and a unique view of the Venice Lagoon. Where was my camera then! This is also the location for many of the summer concerts in the Venice area. At close to 700 acres in size it is one of the largest public parks in Europe.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Inexpensive alternative to stay, close to Venice
  • Cons:Less charm than Venice
  • In a nutshell:Great alternative to high cost Venice
  • Last visit to Mestre: May 2013
  • Intro Updated May 22, 2013
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Reviews (10)

Comments (3)

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Nice page.

    I usually get off the train in Mestre and take another one. I have never visited it.

    Ciao!

  • spoiledexpat's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    We visited Venice a couple years ago and left our car in Mestre right across from the station. It was an extremely convenient alternative to taking a train across Italy from Tuscany (cheaper with four of us in the car) especially because Venice is already overpriced, yet charming, and while I'd love to visit again (especially getting in another visit to Burano) I now also want to add Mestre to the list! The downtown piazza looks charming to me - forget Rick Steeve's and remember the Latin 'suum cuique' - to each his own. :)

  • AngMimi's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Mestre, another place to visit, close to Venice. Nice pictures and excellent tips. Thanks for sharing, Steven.

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