Hitchhike from Bologna to Venice
Hitchhike from Bologna to Venice
The most difficult thing about the hitchhike from Bologna to Venice was reaching the hitchhiking spot. Once we had negotiated the out-of-town bus and reached our destination (Bentivoglio Zona industriale Barche) things got a lot smoother. We had to wait only 20min until a lovely Czech family, who were driving home from Italy from their holidays, picked us up and took us all the way to Mestre.
When hitchhiking to Venice, you have to remember that it is a city set on a group of 117 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. So hitchhiking directly into Venice city centre is neigh on impossible. Your best bet is getting a lift to Mestre, which is a town on the Italian mainland connected with Venice by bridge. From there you can easily get to Venice using public transport. The same rule applies to Couchsurfing, you are more likely to find a host in Mestre than in Venice itself, but its still worth it.
From Bologna you will be going on the A13 motorway and if your driver is not going directly to Mestre, ask to be dropped off at 45.497561, 12.229954, there is a motorway inlet and stairs that would allow you to get off the busy flyover and onto a small roundabout below. From there you have a short walk to the centre of Mestre.
Number of lifts: 1
Estimated journey time: 2h 30m
Estimated waiting time: 20m
Alternative transport costs: Bus: €15 Train: €19-30
The medieval city of Bologna is perhaps under-appreciated by most tourists but is known within the country as being one of the most attractive cities in Italy. The hundreds of porticoes and elegant medieval terracotta buildings give the city an alluring medieval feel and there are plenty of sites to justify spending more than a couple of days. Bustling Bologna defines itself by: its cuisine (la cucina Bolognese); its historic university, which is the oldest in the Western world and helps ensure a lively nigh-time scene; and its left-wing politics, so expect a buoyant street vibe.
Venice is not exactly a well kept secret, and has been known to divide opinion, but it is a unique place and you have to see it for yourself. The centrepiece is the luscious, if horrendously crowded, St. Mark’s square and the surrounding monuments to architecture: Doge’s Palace, Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Clock tower, which can be climbed for fabulous views across the winding canals that make up the city. The Grand Canal, with the stunning Rialto Bridge, is great but prepare to take your photos quickly as the crowds are thick. Walking the streets helps you appreciate just how beautiful Venice is, it is just a shame the world already knows it too.
What to visit on the way?
Another city curiously overlooked by foreign tourists, elegant Ferrera, with its medieval palaces, arch-lined boulevards and imposing squares makes a great destination a little less touristy. The Castle attracts most of the attention but Palazzo dei Diamanti & the Cathedral are also stunning buildings, although it is enough to merely to walk the streets of the lovely UNESCO listed old town.
Where to stand: From Bologna central bus station take #446 or #447 in the direction of Castel Bentivoglio, getting off at the bus stop Bentivoglio Zona industriale Barche (an interactive map can be found here). After leaving the bus, go left, following the line of the factories down until you reach the 2nd right.
Don’t try and cut across before as there are fences and it is impassable. After turning right, there is a gate (that was open when we passed through it) which leads directly onto the petrol station. Hitchhike from the exit or ask around for a lift.