I love a good caravan holiday – after all it’s in the blood! So when EasyJet announced they were starting to fly from Belfast to Venice I took this as an omen to book my next caravan holiday to Italy. I had heard and read much about the5* Marina di Venezia that I didn’t even contemplate any other site in the area and I wasn’t disappointed!!
On arrival in Venice myself and my husband picked up our hire car (after a long wait and search to find the actual car in the car park!) and made our way to the campsite which was about a 50 minute easy drive through fine Italian countryside from the airport. Once checked into our 2 bedroom Rosini Lounge caravan we headed off to do some grocery shopping and to explore the surrounding area. Marina di Venezia is at the end of a long, sandy piece of coastline with numerous campsites dotted along between small villages and just a 4 minute drive to Punte Sabionni the closest water taxi stop with departures every 30 minutes into Venice.
Once we had our supplies unloaded we headed off to get our bearings around this vast site. The list of facilities is endless including a supermarket, green grocer, fish monger, bakery, news agents, chemist, salon, doctors surgery, hair dressers, ice cream parlour, snack bar, 2 restaurants, numerous gift shops, camping accessories shop etc the list goes on and that was only along the main promenade!! Then you have the aqua park with slides and water fountains to keep the kids busy for ages and the whirl pools and heated swimming pools for the adults to relax at. There was crazy golf, mini train rides, adventure play grounds, I could go on but I think you get the picture – this park has everything onsite that there really is no need to leave at all! Please note a lot of the activities incur an extra charge – including the sun loungers around the pool so remember to budget for this!
We visited in late September so the entertainment programme had finished for the season but looking at an advertising flyer it looks like there is a pretty packed programme from morning to evening to keep young and old entertained.
With so much on site we did find it difficult to find a reason to leave but then with Venice on your doorstep it would be rude to go all this way and not take a peep!
We bought an all day ticket for the water taxis (EUR 20pp) and headed off to St Marks Square. We were a little under prepared for the amount of people we were about to encounter in Venice – there were thousands! Venice is a popular cruise ship port and on the day we were in the city a local said there had been 14 cruise ships in Venice in the space of 2 days. Great for local businesses I am sure but not for a leisurely stroll around the city! With very long queues to get into St Marks Basilica we decided to follow the hoards and go to Rialto the home of the famous Rialto bridge for the obligatory photos and again we were met with huge crowds. It was hard work so we decided to cut our losses and come back another day. I am so glad we did! Two days later we went back to Venice this time with a better plan!! We booked a walking food tour online and met our guide who took us to places were the locals eat – away from the tourist masses. We walked down quiet back streets and seen parts of the ‘real city’ where the local Venetian people live and this is when I fell in love with Venice. It’s a remarkable feat, a city built on a maze of canals and bridges, goods being transported by boat to businesses across the city, rubbish being collected on a barge it’s a logistical masterpiece.
Of course, when in Rome…. we had to do a gondola ride! This was a real highlight and gives you a completely different vantage point of the city, you get to see up close the crumbling facades of buildings merging from the water and washing lines strung across the canals as a reminder that this is a living breathing floating city.
I would go back to Venice and Marina di Venezia in a heartbeat.
Mandy’s Tops Tips:
Pack insect repellent – the mosquitos around the campsite are little buggers!!
Car Hire was handy to get from the airport to the campsite but we felt we could have actually survived without it as the facilities were so good on site and got a transfer instead.
This is a great family caravan park but if like me you are just travelling as a couple, come in the shoulder season when the swimming pools are quiet and the beach almost deserted.
Marina di Venezia operates a siesta time where some of the shops and the main gate into the site closes from 1 – 3pm. During this time, you are not allowed to drive your car around the site – so time your arrival carefully.
There are a lot of extras to pay for on site especially families with children so make sure to budget some spending money for this. Sun Loungers around the pool cost EUR2 for a half day (this was based on September pricing) but they do offer weekly discounts.
If sight seeing in Venice make sure to book tickets in advance with skip the queue passes otherwise you will be waiting for hours in line.
In the winter time take waterproof shoes as this is when Venice experiences the high tides and much of the city gets flooded.