Mestre hotels for cruise passengers

T1 tram in Piazzale Roma

ABOVE: From the T1 tram's terminus in Venice's Piazzale Roma, it's only a short walk over level ground to the Venice People Mover (an automated tram that runs to the Marittima cruise basin).

Mestre, on the Venetian mainland, is popular with cruise passengers for two reasons:

  • Hotels in Mestre are usually cheaper (or offer better value) than hotels in Venice's historic center; and...

  • From a hotel in Mestre, you can take a land taxi directly to the Venice cruise terminals at Marittima (used by large ships), San Basilio, and Santa Marta.

If you're considering a hotel in Mestre and are willing to pay 30 euros or more for a taxi to the port, any of the hotels in the article below should meet your needs:

Mestre & Marghera Hotels Guide

However, if you'd rather take public transportation, you need to consider your options:

1.  You can stay near the Mestre railroad station and take a train to Venice's Santa Lucia station, then cross the Calatrava Bridge to the Piazzale Roma and take the People Mover to the Marittima cruise port.

2.  You can stay in a hotel on a public bus line in Mestre that runs to Venice's Piazzale Roma. This may sound like a practical choice, but city buses can be crowded, and you may regret trying to board a bus filled with daytrippers or commuters when you're hauling bulky luggage.

3.  Your best bet (if you're departing from the Marittima cruise port) is to stay in a hotel on the new tram line that runs between central Mestre and Venice's Piazzale Roma:

Mestre Hotels on the T1 Tram Line

The tram is roomier and easier to board than buses are, and from the tram stop in Venice, you can walk a short distance to the People Mover. (The People Mover station has escalators and an elevator, so it's easy to manage even with a large, heavy suitcase.) See:

People Mover to the Venice Marittima Cruise Terminals

  • Note: If you've already booked a hotel in an inconvenient location (or if you've let a travel agent make that mistake for you), we suggest that you cancel the reservation unless you're willing to splurge on a taxi.

For more information about cruising from (or to) Venice, see the Venice for Cruisers section of our travel-planning site,

Venice for Cruisers


Take an opera cruise from Venice


ABOVE: La Bella Vita cruises in Italy's Po River Delta between Venice and Mantua.

In 2015, European Waterways is offering two opera-themed cruises aboard La Bella Vita, a luxury hotel barge that cruises between Venice and Mantua.

Each opera package will include a pre-cruise "Night at the Opera" with premium seating in the Arena di Verona, a former Roman amphitheatre in Verona (an easy drive from Padua, where you'll spend a night before boarding the hotel barge in Venice).

The dates of the two opera-themed cruises are:

  • July 11-18, featuring Puccini's Tosca.

  • September 5-12, featuring Verdi's Nabucco.

Other opera-related activities include:

  • A visit to the Arena Museo opera museum in Verona.

  • A private performance by an opera quartet aboard La Bella Vita. (We've heard the quartet, and they put on a great show.)

  • Shore excursions to baroque theatres and opera houses such as Venice's Gran Teatro La Fenice.

imageIn addition to the opera performances and activities, you'll enjoy the experience of cruising from Venice to Mantua via the Venetian Lagoon and the Po River, with a memorable overnight stay on Venice's historic waterfront.

USD prices for the cruise, pre-cruise overnight stay in Padua, and opera performance in Verona start at $5,140 per person, double occupancy.

For more information, see the La Bella Vita - Opera Cruise itinerary and La Bella Vita Barge pages at the European Waterways Web site

We also suggest reading our illustrated La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Review at, which describes our own cruise from Venice to Mantua with European Waterways.

BELOW: Outside the Roman Arena in Verona, where you'll see Tosca or Nabucco during your opera-themed La Bella Vita cruise.


People Mover: Skip the ticket line

People Mover - Piazzale Roma station

ABOVE: Passengers wait for a People Mover tram at the Piazzale Roma station.

Venice's People Mover has wildly successful since it entered service in 2010, and with good reason: The elevated tramway whisks passengers between Piazzale Roma (the gateway to Venice's historic center), Marittima (the main cruise port), and Tronchetto (the city's artificial parking island) in less than three minutes.

Until recently, the fare was only one euro, making a trip by People Mover one-seventh the cost of a local vaporetto ride. The fare has just risen up to €1,30, but that's still less than the cost of using Venice's public toilets. It's now exactly the same as the fare on a four-wheeled land bus in Venice's ACTV transportation network. And that's good news, for a simple reason:

  • Thanks to the People Mover's new integration with ACTV transit, you no longer have to stand in line at a ticket machine on days when crowds of cruise passengers and Tronchetto parking patrons are using the People Mover. Instead, you can buy an ordinary ACTV bus ticket from an ACTV booth, a Hellovenezia office, a tobacconist, or a newsstand and use it to pay for your ride.

For more information about the People Mover, see these two articles at Venice for Visitors:

Venice People Mover (article with photos and video)

People Mover to Marittima cruise port (illustrated step-by-step directions with satellite map)