Santa Lucia Train Station
Santa Lucia Train Station, in the historic centre of Venice, is one of the city’s two railway stations. The other, “Venice Mestre” is a mainline junction station on the Metropolitan city’s, mainland district of Mestre.
The two stations form one of Italy’s main transport hubs, providing suburban, regional, national and international rail services.
Also known as “Venezia Santa Lucia”, the rail terminus is located in the northern district of Cannaregio; overlooking the Grand Canal, close to its western end.
Construction began under the Austrian Empire, with demolition of the church and associated convent of Santa Lucia in 1861. The current low “modernist” building, completed in 1954; was subject to a substantial modernisation programme in 2012.
Until 1933, with construction of the Liberty road bridge and the Piazzale Roma terminus; Venice’s historic centre, could only be accessed by boat or rail.
Also known as “Venezia Santa Lucia”, the rail terminus is located in the northern district of Cannaregio; directly overlooking the Grand Canal, close to its western end.
Address: Venezia Santa Lucia – Fondamenta Santa Lucia – 30121 Venezia.
At the eastern end of the station, a bridge over the Grand Canal, the Ponte degli Scalzi (English: Bridge of the Discalced or Barefoot), links the concourse in front of the station with the district of Santa Croce. Once over the bridge, it’s only a few minutes in a westward direction, along the south bank of the Grand Canal; to get to the Piazzale Roma road terminus.
At the western end of the station concourse is the modern “Ponte della Costituzione” (Constitution Bridge); one of only four bridges over the Grand Canal and the latest to be built. This brings you directly into the Piazzale Roma road terminus complex; with road access to and from the mainland, car parking and the ferry and cruise ship terminus.
Santa Lucia Train Station to the left, situated on a wide concourse, with the late baroque “Chiesa degli Scalzi” (centre) and bridge over the Grand Canal to the Santa Croce district. The other bridge, the “Ponte della Costituzione” (Constitution bridge) linking the station to the Piazzale Roma bus terminus, is just out of the picture to the bottom left.
Santa Lucia Train Station – History
Construction of Santa Lucia railway station, began in 1860 under the Austrian Empire. In order to make room for both the station building and its forecourt, the Church of Santa Lucia and a convent were demolished in 1861. The station was named after this church.
The current station building, is one of the few modernist buildings facing the Grand Canal. It is the result of a series of plans, first conceived by the rationalist architect Angiolo Mazzoni in 1924 and developed by him over the next decade. In 1934, a contest for a detailed design for the current station was won by Virgilio Vallot. Between 1936 and 1943, Mazzoni and Vallot collaborated on the construction of the station building; with Mazzoni also designing the train hall. The final implementation, however, was undertaken only after the Second World War. In 1952, the station was actually completed, to a design by another architect, Paul Perilli.
In November 2009, work began on the renovation of Santa Lucia station. The renovation programme would include improvements to the use and flow of internal spaces. In addition, certain architectural elements were recovered and restored and the atrium altered to house retail spaces. This project was completed in 2012, at a cost of 24 million euros.
Aerial view. Road/Rail bridge coming into Venice. Santa Lucia train station, the Piazzale Roma road terminus, car parking facilities and port with cruise ship terminals.
As the current station building is low and wide, it does not dominate its surroundings. The flanks of its facade are decorated with Venetian lions.
The station main entrance sits on a wide concourse, the Fondamenta Santa Lucia; overlooking the Grand Canal.
Behind the facade, there are good facilities over the ground and first floor, which include: Ticket office and self-service machines, a Travel Agency, Tourism Office, Currency Exchange, Luggage Storage, Restrooms (both public and executive) and Cafe-Bar-Restaurant facilities.
Please note, if you buy tickets through the Travel Agency facility, you will be charged a booking fee.
A Sala Freccia Club, for travellers with a Gold or Platinum CARTAFRECCIA card or an Executive or AV Salottino ticket, is on the platform level, as is the Sala Blu, for passengers with disabilities who need special assistance. Other levels of the station building are largely used for offices.
The station has 23 platforms, numbered from right to left as you look at them, i.e., with platform 1 on the east side. Long-distance trains use the eastern/central platforms and the regional and suburban platforms are located to the west.
Management and Traffic
Both Santa-Lucia and Mestre stations are managed by Grandi Stazioni.
Grandi Stazioni S.p.A. (Great Stations), is a member company of Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato (State Railways) group. It was created to reorganise and manage, the 13 biggest Italian railway stations.
Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy. A subsidiary of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, also owned by the Italian government; the company was established in 2000, following a European Union directive, on the deregulation of rail transport. Another company called Italo, also operate some services.
***Please note: all trains coming into and from Venice Santa Lucia also stop at Mestre. The “Official Website of the Train Station”; is at bottom of page in the links section.
The station is used by about 82,000 passengers per day, or a total of around 30 million passengers per annum.
Every day, approximately 450 trains stop at the station. Long-distance trains use the central platforms, and the regional and suburban platforms are located to the west. The station is the terminus of several famous trains, including the Venice Simplon Orient Express.
Something like 85,000 workers commute by some means, into the historic centre every day; mostly to service the tourist industry. The cost of housing, rentals and maintenance in the historic city, is just prohibitive for most people and the car free environment too restrictive.
Venezia Mestre on the mainland, has all the usual facilities, including ticket office, ticket machines, food outlets & shops, and a Freccia Lounge for Trenitalia Executive class passengers. The station has 9 platforms, currently being expanded to 13.
Getting to your destination in Venice or the Lagoon
For most people, the station is connected with the rest of Venice by using the Vaporetto service (public water bus), or by walking; or a combination of both. Private water taxis are readily available, but be warned – they are very expensive and your destination/hotel may not be near to a canal. The Station to St Mark’s Square might be around Euro 70; compared to the vaporetto at Euro 7!
Venetians tend to be fit, as they are used to walking everywhere and over many small bridges. Nowhere in Venice is more than an hour away on foot.
Looking onto the Grand Canal, the waterbus stations are along the concourse. Start walking to the left and immediately next to the station is the impressive late baroque “Chiesa degli Scalzi” or Church of the Discalced (barefoot) Carmelite religious order. You are on what is Venice’s main through-route, leading to the Rialto Bridge (20 mins) and on to St Mark’s Square (27 minutes).
Near the church, you can see the “Ponte dei Scalzi”; which crosses the Grand Canal to the Santa Croce district. It is one of only four main bridges crossing this canal.
The “Ferrovia” vaporetto stop complex, is served by eight ACTV (Azienda del Consorzio Trasporti Veneziano) Vaporetto lines ; spread out over about two hundred metres. It can be very confusing stop, for those not used to using the service here. If you are not sure which line to get on, just go to the nearest one and ask – they all seem to speak English and are helpful.
- 1 P.le Roma – Ferrovia – Rialto – San Marco – Lido
- 2 San Zaccaria – Giudecca – Tronchetto – P.le Roma – Ferrovia – Rialto – San Marco – (Lido)
- 4.1 Murano – F.te Nove – Ferrovia – P.le Roma – Giudecca – San Zaccaria – F.te Nove – Murano
- 4.2 Murano – F.te Nove – San Zaccaria – Giudecca – P.le Roma – Ferrovia – F.te Nove – Murano
- 5.1 Lido – F.te Nove – Ferrovia – P.le Roma – San Zaccaria – Lido
- 5.2 Lido – San Zaccaria – P.le Roma – Ferrovia – F.te Nove – Lido
- 3 Murano – Ferrovia – P.le Roma (direct line)
- N San Zaccaria – Giudecca – Tronchetto – P.le Roma – Ferrovia – Rialto – San Marco – Lido (night line)
Leaving Venice other than by train
The alternative way back to the mainland and beyond is to go to the nearby “Piazzale Roma” – the terminus and departure-point for all buses, car services and taxis to and from the mainland.
From the western end of the Station concourse, cross over the new “Ponte della Costituzione” (Constitution bridge), directly to the Piazzale Roma bus terminal and accessing car parking, ferry and cruise terminal facilities.
The “Ponte della Libertà” (Liberty Bridge) is the road bridge connecting the islands that form the historical centre of the city of Venice to the mainland part of the Metropolitan city.
“Ponte della Costituzione” (Constitution bridge), directly accessing the Piazzale Roma bus terminal and access to car parking, ferry and cruise terminal facilities.
Designed in 1932 by engineer Eugenio Miozzi, it was opened by Benito Mussolini in 1933 as “Ponte Littorio” (“Lictor’s bridge”) – a name used during the Fascist era for several other Italian bridges. At the end of World War II it was renamed Ponte della Libertà; to honour the end of the Fascist dictatorship and of the Nazi occupation.
The western end reaches mainland Venice and becomes the Via Libertà”,which divides the Venetian boroughs (municipalità) of Mestre (north) and Marghera (south). It is the final section of the old Public Road 11, the Padana Superiore.
It is 3.85 km (2.39 mi) long and has two lanes each way, which includes a single tram track; but has no emergency lane. There is also a pedestrian and cycle path on the southern side. It was built alongside the Venice Railway Viaduct, which had been constructed in 1846. This has two rail tracks each way.
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