Few visitors come to Venice without great expectations. And the great thing about Venice is that the city invariably lives up to those expectations. This is a city whose wealth and reputation were sealed by the sea (which may eventually seal the fate of the sinking city, too).

No ifs, no buts.... Venice is superb. If you have time for just one Italian city, make it Venice (Venezia in Italian). The city has a reputation for being formidably crowded, but Venice makes space for everyone. If you cut away from the main tourist trails, it’s always possible to discover quieter corners of the city. Make time for rides on vaporetti to the Lido and the islands of the lagoon.

The only railway station on Venice’s main island is Venezia Santa Lucia. To step out of Venice Santa Lucia station and see the Grand Canal makes for one of the most memorable moments of arrival in the world. Trains reach Santa Lucia over a long and rather uninspiring bridge from the mainland. Venice’s other station is called Venezia Mestre. It is on the wrong side of the bridge. Trains from major Italian cities all terminate at Venezia Santa Lucia. They include services from Naples, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Turin, Milan and Verona. Nearby cities such as Vicenza, Padua and Trieste all have direct trains to Santa Lucia.

Venice Santa Lucia is the starting point for many overnight and international services. Every evening overnight trains depart for Munich, Vienna, Paris and Rome. There is also one direct daily daytime train to each of Geneva, Munich and Vienna.

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