Venice / Surroundings


Mestre and surrounding

Mestre is a part of the administrative territory of Venice and represents the expansion of the waterbound city onto the mainland. Together with the more recent Porto Marghera, an industrial centre which arose in the first decade of the last century, it is the realisation of the urban development which the precious lagoon city has never permitted itself.

Separated from the historic seabound city by only 10 km, the populous Mestre (with more than 175000 inhabitants, compared to Venice's 70000) also reveals certain elements of artistic and historical interest, vestiges of an important past unfortunately now almost completely eradicated owing to the necessity of modernisation and urban development.

All the most important remains are today to be found in Piazza Ferretto, a wide pedestrian area perfect for high-quality shopping. Here we can find the 18th century Duomo of San Lorenzo - a monument which acts as a sort of symbol for the city - accompanied by the earlier Gothic belltower, the Scoletta dei Battuti and the beautiful Palazzo da Re; while on the opposite side of the square, at the main entrance from the road, lies the Clocktower dating from 1108 and at one time forming part of the walls of an important castle.

The square is also endowed with a fountain by the Mestre-born Alberto Viani, one of the most important sculptures of the 1900s. Within the surrounding area of Piazza Ferretto are the Toniolo Theatre, renowned for its tireless activity and the famous names with which it is emblazoned, and the new Canadian Cultural Centre.

The city also contains the two large parks San Giuliano and Albanese Bissuola.

Various other urban centres are to be found in the mainland area of Venetian development, such as Altino, with its interesting archaeological museum imspired by its antique origins, Dese, Favaro Veneto, and Tessera, home to Venice Marco Polo airport and also the Forte Bazzera, a magazine constructed at the beginning of the 1900s.