Discovering Venice: A Guide to Exploring the City by Car

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The cultural heritage of Italy is staggering. The country features lots of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that attract over 40 million tourists annually. Usually, people start their journeys with an ancient capital. But those interested in more offbeat paths, head directly to Venice.

The Floating City is a mesmerizing Italian gem. It brags about its lengthy canals, ornate bridges, and romantic water tours. Travelers are accustomed to navigating the area on gondolas, traghetti, and vaporettos. Still, more and more visitors seek autonomy when venturing through Venice. Therefore, they opt for car rides. Is it possible to examine the municipality from behind the wheel? In fact, it is. And with this guide, you can expect a trouble-free drive.

Getting Ready for a Journey

Thorough preparation is a must both for rookie and seasoned tourists. When the key aspects of a trip are settled in advance, it is possible to fully immerse in the allure of the city.

Understand Driving Dos and Don’ts

The first thing to clarify when going to Queen of the Adriatic is local transport regulations. The megapolis has a vast network of canals and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. Besides, using motorized vehicles is prohibited in many cultural spots. Usually, such ZTL areas are marked with clear signs. Not to violate the law, make sure to research such zones beforehand and plan the route, omitting them.

Get Necessary Passes and Permits

How long does it take to explore Venice? It is up to you to decide. But usually, people want to spend at least several days as there are so many beguiling attractions worth popping in. However, the duration of a trip determines whether specific permits and passes are required. Besides, such documents are mandatory for entering cultural destinations.
Such papers are issued by local authorities or parking management companies. They usually provide temporary access to designated areas.

Rent a Suitable Vehicle

Moving around Venice in an auto may be a challenging endeavor. Streets are narrow and alleys are winding, so a choice of a vehicle can either make or break your holidays. It is recommended to favor compact and maneuverable variants like:

  • Fiat 500
  • Volkswagen Polo
  • Mini Cooper
  • Nissan Juke
  • Renault Captur
  • Citroën C1
  • Kia Picanto
  • Toyota Aygo

Fortunately, finding a perfect model is a no-brainer task. There are automobiles of all types in the catalog. Some sightseers opt for online booking, others decide to rent a car in Venice upon landing. Just choose a credible provider of car rental at Venice Marco Polo airport to have peace of mind.

Learn about Parking Options

Where to park a car in Venice? This question can drive crazy locals and guests alike. Since it is more natural to move around in water transport, there are not so many parking lots. But they are still available and with smart planning, it is possible to secure a convenient spot.
For instance, Piazzale Roman is a purpose-made parking area for non-residents. There are parking garages and lots within a short distance from the heart of the city. This is extremely convenient for visitors. Besides, there is Tronchetto on the other side of the Grand Canal. It houses some more parking options.
When searching “How to get to Venice by car and where to leave a vehicle?”, Mestre is bound to top the list of results. It is an adjacent mainland town near Venice. Stop there and inspect picturesque regions on foot.

Famous & Less Popular Destinations

Compiling a list of places to visit by car in Venice may be a delight and challenge simultaneously. On the one hand, there are so many wonderful locations with a genuine Italian allure. On the other hand, deciding which settings to check out first when pressed for time is a real conundrum. Anyway, experienced excursionists claim it’s a shame to miss the following venues.

Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square)

This is the main square in Venice and the lowest point in the urban centre. Getting here by car is forbidden, so drivers usually leave their autos in the nearby parking areas. Another strict regulation is related to food and beverages. Eating and drinking on the square is against the rule.
2 pink columns surrounded by white columns immediately catch an eye. In the past, they were used to announce death sentences. Currently, it is believed that going through the 2 columns brings bad luck.

Brenta Riviera

Brenta Riviera is famous for old elegant villas and historical estates previously owned by Venetian nobles. Being there is like spying on the aristocracy and gasping their rituals, beliefs, and living norms. The place is 46 km from Venice, so during a ride, you can also admire idyllic views.


This is a tranquil island with lush greenery and awe-inspiring landscapes. At first, it was a resort for the rich. Later, it became military depots, workers’ quarters, and even prisons. Rambling serene streets, make sure to stop by:

  • Chiesa del Redentore
  • Molino Stucky
  • Murano Glass Fine Arts
  • Punta della Dogana
  • Squero di San Trovaso
  • Casa dei Tre Oci

Car Trip in Venice – Is It a Good Idea?

Venice is The Pearl of the Adriatic with a labyrinth of canals. Many tourists are thrilled with the idea of having a romantic walk in a gondola. But some people still crave flexibility and freedom. Currently, inspecting the city by auto is a nice alternative to water transport. The process will be a breeze with these recommendations.

Featured image: Unsplash

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