Subject: Re: luggage lockers in Venice airport

While I don't consider myself an expert in dealing with the Marco Polo shuffle, my wife and I recently(end of March 2003)had the pleasure of going from Marco Polo airport into San Marco and back. By far the quickest and therefore the most expensive way from the airport and return is to take the bus shuttle immediately in front of the airport main exit to the boat dock and catch any of a large number of private taxis speedboats(check for the license plate prominently displayed). It takes about 20mins and was 80 euro for the two of us, more for six. Negotiate a price with the driver before you get aboard. It will take you from that boat dock directly to San Marco next to the Doge's Palace. It should cost about the same to return.

Another alternative if money is an issue, is to take what is called an Alilaguna water bus. You must go to the left in the airport when you reach the main exit hall and go to the end where you will find a booth selling tickets for the Alilaguna line ( about $10 per person). Once you have a ticket go out the exit and wait for the shuttle to the dock ( I think the shuttles were blue, but check at the ticket booth). When you reach the boat dock you will see a small dock with benches at the bottom of a ramp below where you leave the shuttle. The waterbus ( about a 50' boat) arrives about on every hour and leaves at ten after every hour from 6:00am to midnight. It does take a rather circuitous route(about an hour), but does give you a good impression of the layout of the lagoon and it also deposits you at San Marco and back to the airport with a few more euro in your pocket.

The same boat returns to the airport from where you got off at about ten after every hour. Be sure to allow for time on the shuttle bus at the end of the boat ride inorder to get to your flight. Marco Polo is a relatively easy airport to negotiate and security was pretty quick. We made it from entrance to check-in to security to the gate in under 10 mins.

One last means of getting to San Marco is to exit the airport and catch the blue ATVO airport shuttle bus (takes about 20mins to Piazzale Roma) or the orange ACTV #5 bus (takes about 20 to 30 mins to Piazzale Roma). Once at Piazzale Roma one goes down some stairs from the bus stop and locates the #82 Vaparetto (6 stops about 25 mins) or #1 Vaparetto(lots of stops about 45 to 50mins) to the San Marco dock. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half to do it this way. It costs about $3 on the blue bus and $.90 on the orange plus about $3 per person on the vaparetto. Tickets can be purchased for the buses at the airport bus ticket booth and for the vaparetto at the vaparetto stop at both Piazzale Roma and San Marco or on board.

Each way will get you there, and each is a very different experience. The airport does have a left luggage place in the main exit hall which I think cost 3 euro per bag, and well worth it. There is also an ATM at the right hand end of the exit hall as well as other services.

We spent about 6 hours in Venice on the way to Vienna and found you can cover quite a bit of territory around San Marco in that time. We also spent a week there on the way home and got to see quite a bit more, but the first stop gave us the nickel tour. I'm sure you will enjoy your time there. We find it is always worth the effort if we are close.

Sam Strait Crescent City, CA