When I suggested Venice as a destination on our Italian flying holiday, Paul was not overly impressed. "Landing and parking charges at Venice will be prohibitive and they probably won't have parking for GA aircraft anyway." was his response. That set me a challenge and much to my surpirse it didn't take too much digging on Google before I came across a discussion thread for an airfield on the Venice Lido. The more we looked at it the more it seemed too good to be true but true it was. Paul was now totally committed to the idea so our plans were set and after leaving Bergamo we headed off for Venice.
St Nicolo Airport is situated at the far north end of the Lido and was the first airport for Venice being opened by Moussellini in 1930. It has no special instrument approach so landing there is weather dependant. Our approach took us over the lagoon of Venice and up the west side of the Lido. You can't fly over Venice itself due to noise abatement. The airfield is a grass strip of 750m and kept in perfect condition and it was like landing on a very large golf tee, it was so smooth.
The terminal building is typical Art Deco and was fully restored last year. There is fuel available next to the terminal with prices consistent for most of Italy at 2.6 euros per litre. There is also a bar and restaurant.
Despite being in Venice the landing and parking fees were very cheap at just 35.59 euros including 3 days parking and tax. Not bad for Venice.
St Nicolo airport is open 7 days a week through the summer but as of the 15th October and through the winter it is closed on Mondays. Telephone number for the airport is +39 (0)41 770300 Fax +39 (0)2428714 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Being on the Lido meant it was about as close as we could get to Venice itself. There is a bus stop outside the airport and a short ride on this took us to the main water bus terminal where water buses run regular trips the the rest of the islands and up the Grand canal. Here we were able to buy a 3 day bus pass that covered us for as many bus rides as we wished on both water and land buses. We could have got a Water taxi from directly outside the airport but as we needed to get right to the far end of the Grand canal the cost of one journey with luggage on that would have been about 1/2 of what we paid for our two 3 day bus passes so we gave the taxis a miss.
There are two water bus routes, No.1 which is slow as it stops at every stop on route and takes an hour to go all the way from Lido to the far end of the Grand canal. The other is the No.52 with does it in half the time but only stops at a few stops. The buses run very regularly but they are crowded. Still, very good value for money if you buy a bus pass.