Celebrating the New Year in Venice is amazing with the lights and festive events. Music and people sipping Prosecco flow from every bar. There are really highbrow dinners and the grand finale, the fireworks over the lagoon. The predictions are for a very cold and maybe rainy night, so get out your warm and waterproof gear to still enjoy the fun.
- New Years day there will be a concert which will be broadcast live on RAI.
- Palazzo Ducale, Museo Correr, Ca’Pesaro, Museo del Vetro and Ca’Rezzonico will be open on New Years Day.
But there are a few things to note and some preparation for your party to go smoothly. Namely, getting there and getting out. If you are not staying in Venice, then you need to think about transportation, parking if you plan to arrive by car, which it difficult on any day. If you are driving, payment on the AVM app will allow you to pay through your phone for parking.
The people mover will operate until 3 am every 10 minutes if you are parked at Tronchetto.
The parking garages at Tonchetto and Piazzale Roma will be full by midday mandating the closing of the causeway between Venice and Marghera, known as the Via della Libertà or SR11. If you are not already familiar with driving in Italy, it’s a sport you should leave for another day.
Trains and buses will be over crowded as thousands of youngsters from the surrounding areas head to Venice to celebrate.
And almost as important is how to get out of the city in the New Year. The vaporetto lines along the area shown below, basically any vaporetto which travels the Grand Canal or the Giudecca Canal will not run during the fireworks. Then they will start again a few minutes after the fireworks end, but expect them to be jam packed. The night boats “N” lines will run every 10 minutes.
Thousands will be walking to the train station and Piazzale Roma (to catch buses, pick up cars, etc) through every possible route. Note that there will be police attempting to force a senso unico (one way traffic) before the fireworks and after the fireworks to avoid real Venetian style gridlock.
If you are taking a bus the 2, 4L, 5, 6 and 7 will be operating to/from Venice from Mestre and Marghera.
Once you arrive in Venice at Piazzale Roma or the train station (Santa Lucia) you’ll want to head for the best viewing spots, just follow the signs to Piazza San Marco. For viewing from the island of Giudecca, you’ll need to take a vaporetto. If your choice is from the fondamenta along the Basilica Santa Maria della Salute, you will want to consult this map. It says ~26 minutes…but that doesn’t include the time you spend being lost!
Afterwards there will be the younger crowd heading to Lido to the beach to finish out their revelry awaiting the sunrise. To arrive in Lido, take the #1 vaporetto in the direction of Lido which is the end of the route and follow the crowd walking to the beach along the Grandviale Santa Maria Elisabetta. There are little food stands, more to drink and a really good party in store for them I am told by those who have welcomed the sun on New Years Day on the beaches of Lido. As beautiful as this sounds, I think a warm bed is more appealing!
Celebrating In Mestre?
And just in case you think Mestre is just as good as being in Venice (clearly I don’t), there are planned celebrations in Mestre at the Piazza Ferretto with a DJ, a local favorite Any Mancuso, and live bands along with lots of open restaurants and bars. The festivities begin as 10 pm, so you will need to be there well in advance. Finding parking is going to be difficult and there are so many one way streets and cameras for fines, you would be best to bus/train in and hike to the Piazza. Additionally for security many streets will be closed to traffic and there will be check points along the way. To walk, it is less than 2 KM ~ 1.2 Miles from the train Station in Mestre. Click Here for the Map of Mestre.
Note to all: Watch your belongings, don’t carry large purses, large sums of money.
Leaving Mestre, just remember that the trains arriving from Venice Mestre will be full when they arrive in Mestre – ticket or no ticket. But it is wise to buy your ticket in advance so you don’t miss a chance of a train with enough space to squeeze onto or have to stuggle through the crowd and try to buy a ticket, a challenge without all the confusion.
Buon Anno to everyone!