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Located just outside of Venice on the mainland, the train station Venezia Mestre is the gateway from Venice to the rest of Italy. Mestre itself has a larger population than Venice proper, with around 90,000 inhabitants. The city has beautiful churches and plazas, as well as, like in all Italian towns, good food and wine. It is also a good place for tourists visiting Venice to stay if they are put off by high hotel prices in the city itself and is well connected to the city on the water. Mestra is connected to the city of Venice by a 3 mile (3.8 kilometer) road and railway bridge, the Ponte della Libertà - the bridge of freedom.
There are two main ways to get from Venice city center to the train station Venezia Mestre with public transport: the bus and the train. Trains run every five to ten minutes between Santa Lucia station in the northwest of the city center to Mestre. These are regional trains and are cheap, with some journeys only costing around EUR1.50 (October 2019). The other main option is the bus. There are three routes connecting Venice city center to Mestre: the 2, 6 and 6L. Each service runs around every ten minutes from Piazzale Roma, five minutes walk south of Santa Lucia train station. The service is run by ACTV, Venice's main public transport provider. It's also possible to drive or catch a taxi.
The train station Venezia Mestre is just under four miles (nine kilometers) from Venice city center. With a car, the journey can take as little as 11 minutes if traffic on the bridge is light. There are no train stops separating Santa Lucia from Venezia Mestre, so the train journey is rapid too. Usually, whichever train passengers board will take no more than 10 minutes from station to station. The time it takes to get from Venice to Mestre station varies more with the bus. This is mainly because not all the bus routes go direct to the station, with the numbers 6 and 6L stopping near but not at the station. Even so, the journey should not take more than 15 minutes from boarding the bus to getting to the station. Venice is a small place, so if passengers are staying further east on the island, getting to the bus or train shouldn't take more than half an hour. If staying either near the east coast of the island or in the middle near the Grand Canal, then passengers can take the water bus to the bus or Santa Lucia station: either the 5.1 or 2 line. This should only add 20 or 25 minutes to the overall journey time.
Venezia Mestre station is fully accessible for disabled passengers or those with limited mobility. There are wheelchair elevators and access ramps at all appropriate areas in the station. There is also a center where passengers can request further assistance free of charge if they need it. Trains to Mestre depart from Santa Lucia, which is fully accessible. There are no stairs within Santa Lucia station, with all platforms and concourse on one level, however the station does have a large set of steps leading up to the main entrance. But, the station has fitted a ramp to the left of the main steps for wheelchair access, and a sloping entrance to the station from a side door (located near platform one). The buses that connect Venice city center to Mestre are fully accessible with elevators or ramps for passengers to use when boarding.
There is not a great deal to do at Mestre train station, but if you have a few hours Mestre itself is well worth exploring. For one, the city is home to the San Guiliano Park, which is one of the largest parks in Europe. It is a massive 700 hectares and is on the water, so has beautiful views of Venice itself, the bridge, and the lagoon. There are walking trails and places to picnic aplenty. It's also worth exploring Forte Marghera, one of a series of abandoned forts constructed in the 1800s with the aim of protecting the region. Left to decay for a long time the forts have recently been restored and can now be visited with an appointment. There are 11 other forts that it is also possible to explore. As with all Italian cities and towns, there is good gelato to be had as well, with Gelateria Chocolat serving up gelato of all flavors, and all from organic, high-quality ingredients, too.