Executive summary by darmansjah
Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world for its celebrated art and architecture. The city has an average of 50,000 tourists a day (2007 estimate)In 2006, it was the world's 28th most internationally visited city, with 2.927 million international arrivals that year. It is regarded as one of the world's most beautiful cities.
A gondola and a gondolier in the Grand Canal.
Tourism has been a major sector of Venetian industry since the 18th century, when it was a major center for the Grand Tour, with its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness, and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage. In the 19th century, it became a fashionable centre for the rich and famous, often staying or dining at luxury establishments such as the Danieli Hotel and the Caffè Florian. It continued being a fashionable city in vogue right into the early 20th century. In the 1980s, the Carnival of Venice was revived and the city has become a major centre of international conferences and festivals, such as the prestigious Venice Biennale and the Venice Film Festival, which attract visitors from all over the world for their theatrical, cultural, cinematic, artistic, and musical productions
Today, there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark's Basilica, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics, celebrities, and mainly people in the cinematic industry. The city also relies heavily on the cruise business.
However, Venice's popularity as a major worldwide tourist destination has caused several problems, including the fact that the city can be very overcrowded at some points of the year. It is regarded by some as a tourist trap, and by others as a "living museum". Unlike most other places in Western Europe, and the world, Venice has become widely known for its element of elegant decay. The competition for foreigners to buy homes in Venice has made prices rise so high that numerous inhabitants are forced to move to more affordable areas of Veneto and Italy, the most notable being Mestre.
Venezia is a city of small islands, enhanced during the Middle Ages by the dredging of soils to raise the marshy ground above the tides. The resulting canals encouraged the flourishing of a nautical culture which proved central to the economy of the city. Today those canals still provide the means for transport of goods and people within the city.
The maze of canals threaded through the city requires the use of more than 400 bridges to permit the flow of foot traffic. In 2011, the city opened Ponte della Costituzione, the fourth bridge across the Grand Canal, connecting the Piazzale Roma bus terminal area with the Stazione Ferroviaria (train station), the others being the original Ponte di Rialto, the Ponte dell'Accademia, and the Ponte degli Scalzi.
Azienda del Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano (ACTV) is a public company responsible for public transportation in Venice.
The main public transportation means are motorised waterbuses (vaporetti) which ply regular routes along the Grand Canal and between the city's islands. The only gondole still in common use by Venetians are the traghetti, foot passenger ferries crossing the Grand Canal at certain points without bridges.
The Venice People Mover (managed by ASM) is a cable-operated public transit system connecting Tronchetto island with Piazzale Roma. Water taxis are also active.
Lido and Pellestrina islands
Lido and Pellestrina are two islands forming a barrier between the southern Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea. In those islands, road traffic is allowed. There are bus services on islands and waterbus services linking islands with others islands (Venice, Murano, Burano) and with the peninsula of Cavallino-Treporti.
The mainland of Venice is composed of 5 boroughs: Mestre-Carpenedo, Marghera, Chirignago-Zelarino and Favaro Veneto. Mestre is the center and the most populated urban area of the mainland of Venice. There are several bus routes and one tramway line. Several bus routes link mainland with piazzale Roma, the main bus station in Venice, via Ponte della Libertà, a road bridge connecting the historical center of the city of Venice, that is a group of islands, to the mainland.
Venice is serviced by regional and national trains which can connect the city to Rome in 3.5 hours and to Milan in 2.5 hours. Treviso is thirty-five minutes away. Florence and Padua are two of the stops between Rome and Venice. There are two main stations:
The St. Lucia station is a few steps away from a vaporetti stop in the historical city next to piazzale Roma; it is a terminal station; the station is the terminus and starting point of the Venice Simplon Orient Express from or to London Victoria and Paris;
The Mestre station is in the mainland and it forms the border between the boroughs of Mestre and Marghera.
Both stations are managed by Grandi Stazioni, and are linked with each other by the Ponte della Libertà (English: Liberty Bridge) between the mainland and the island.
Others small stations in the municipality are: Venezia Porto Marghera, Venezia Carpenedo, Venezia Mestre Ospedale, Venezia Mestre Porta Ovest.
Morning Impression along a Canal in Venice, Veneto, Italy. by Rafail Sergeevich Levitsky.(1896) The Di Rocco Wieler Private Collection, Toronto, Canada
Venice is served by the Marco Polo International Airport, or Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo, named in honor of its famous citizen. The airport is on the mainland and was rebuilt away from the coast. From the Venice airport, it's possible to reach by public transport:
Venice Piazzale Roma by ATVO (provincial company) buses and by ACTV (city company) buses (route 5 aerobus);
Venice, Lido and Murano by Alilaguna (private company) boats;
Mestre, the mainland and Venice Mestre railways station (convenient for connections to Milan, Padova, Trieste, Verona and the rest of Italy) by ACTV lines (route 15 and 45) and by ATVO lines;
regional destination (Treviso, Padua, beach, ...) by ATVO buses and by Busitalia Sita Nord buses (national company).
Some airlines market Treviso Airport in Treviso, 30 kilometres (19 miles) from Venice, as a Venice gateway. Some simply advertise flights to "Venice", while naming the actual airport only in small print. To reach Venice from Treviso airport people can catch a public bus from the company ATVO.
Venezia Lido, a public airport suitable for smaller aircraft, is found on the NE end of Lido di Venezia. It has a 1000-metre grass runway.