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Why rent a car in Venice?

Think Venice and you probably visualise the magnificent Piazza San Marco, the Basilica of San Marco, and travelling on gondolas and vaporettos. A sightseeing tour through Venice’s waterways will no doubt make great memories to take home. But the area surrounding Venice in northeast Italy is so packed with attractive places to visit, a Venice hire car is essential for you to make the best of your journey.

How to get to and around Venice?

Flights into Venice arrive at Venice Marco Polo airport. With a rental car, you can drive into the town centre in a quarter of an hour.

With a Venice car hire, you can reach several towns of interest within a short time. Marcon, only a 20-minute drive, is a good alternative place to go for affordable shopping away from the inflated tourist prices in central Venice. While on the subject of shopping, the perfect place for hunting for beautiful souvenirs could be Mirano, famous for its glass making. Mirano lies less than a half-hour journey to the west of the province of Venice.

Other towns nearby are Dola (27 minutes) and Noale (35 minutes), further west from Mirano, where there is a medieval festival every June.

What brands are available?

There is a wide choice of companies to hire your car from in Venice:

  • Alamo
  • AutoClick
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar
  • Firefly
  • Goldcar rental
  • Hertz
  • Interrent EU
  • Keddy By Europcar
  • Thrifty EU
  • Must-sees within an easy drive of Venice

    With a Venice rental car, you can drive to Padua in under an hour, where you can see Giotto’s fresco in the Scrovegni Chapel, Italy’s second oldest university (the oldest being Bologna) and medieval marketplaces. Alternatively, you can head southwest towards vibrant Bologna, a major cultural centre in Italy, with a young population of students from Bologna University. Stop for a coffee at the Piazza Maggiore, binge on high-profile art exhibitions at the Palazzo Fava and shop for Italian brands in Via dell’Indipendenza.

    Less than an hour and a half in your Venice rental car, will get you to Verona, setting of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. A 13th century building named ‘Juliet’s House’ features the balcony where Romeo promised Juliet his eternal love. Opera lovers must visit the Verona Arena, a Roman amphitheatre built in the 1st century Roman amphitheatre, used for large-scale performances, which admits up to 15,000 people.

    Tips and tricks for driving in Italy

    Most hire cars in Italy come with manual transmission. Automatic transmission cars have limited availability and could cost more so book as far in advance as possible. You must be over 18 to drive in Italy. Carry your driving licence, insurance papers and ID (passport) with you at all times. You may have to pay for several tolls (“pedaggio”) while travelling on motorways.

    Drive on the right. There are exclusion zones in city centres called “zona traffic limitato” and “zona pedonale” which are for pedestrians only. Changing lanes happen quite often in Italy, and drivers will quickly enter into any gaps in the traffic. The speed limit on motorways is 80mph but it goes down to 70mph when it is raining. Remember speed limit signs will be written in kilometres, not miles per hour). In cities and marked intersections those coming from the right have priority.

    Driving in Italy trying to follow Italian signs can get confusing. Drive with a GPS device, or rent one with your car. Use of mobile phones is prohibited but hands-free and Bluetooth devices are allowed.

    Ready to plan your Venice city break?

    Feeling excited about planning your trip to Venice and other parts of Italy? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.

    Hire a Car From Marco Polo Airport (VCE)

    You won’t find any car hire facilities in Venice itself, so if you’re looking to rent a vehicle do so at the airport. Venice’s Marco Polo Airport takes a vast range of international flights, and is around four miles north of the city. Car hire agencies such as Firefly, Hertz, Thrifty EU and Sixt all operate here, leaving you with a wide choice of vehicles to hire. To get an idea of prices and car models, you can use the Expedia search tool.

    Driving in Italy

    To get your Venetian road trip started, motorways such as the SS14 and the A57 take you through Veneto and wider Italy. These have higher than average speed limits, allowing drivers to travel at up to 80 miles per hour. If you’re planning on travelling on a Sunday afternoon, it’s worth noting that some smaller service stations close between 13:00 and 15:30. However, there are many self-service pumps where you can top up the tank unassisted.

    Exploring Veneto by Car

    The great thing about discovering Veneto by car is the immense choice of attractions you’ll come across. The ancient Roman city of Aquileia sits at the head of the Adriatic coast. Here, visitors can step back into the Roman era through its historic architecture. It’s located an hour and a half’s car journey from the city – the perfect day out which gets you back in time for a delicious Venetian dinner.

    Equally charming, the city of Verona draws in thousands of tourists each year thanks to its enriching cathedrals and world-famous Arena. On summer nights, the opera is held here. If you’re lucky enough to visit this time of year, then enjoy an unmissable evening. Take the Austrada, a northern Italian motorway, on your way here. Fast and enjoyable, its only 70 miles from Venice via this route.

    Driving the Adriatic Coast

    Venice is the perfect base for drivers looking to explore the Adriatic coastline. Parco San Bartolo, home to the highest sea cliffs of the Italian Adriatic, is a three-hour drive from Venice. Relaxing and secluded, you’ll be rewarded with a rare and unrivalled view of the coastal waters.

    A short drive north from here is the idyllic port of Cesenatico. For anyone looking to unwind to the tranquil charms of a fishing village, there is no better location. The capital of Veneto, Venice makes the perfect starting point for those exploring the wonders of the region and beyond.

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