Mestre has a population of 182,956 inhabitants and
is located 8 km. away from Venice. Mestre was municipality until 1926.
It has enjoyed a remarkable economic development in the twentieth century
due to the proximity of nearby chemical plants of Marghera and for the
demographic shift of many Venetians to the mainland (due to the high
cost of housing and consequent evictions). Among the city center and the
train station there are three long parallel main roads: Corso
del Popolo, Via Cappuccina and Via Piave. The public
park of San Giuliano, near the lagoon, is the real lung of
Mestre with about 700 hectares of extension (one of the largest city
parks in Europe). It was inaugurated in 2003.
Mestre had an important role in the Middle Ages for its location
along the river Marzenego and the proximity to the
lagoon. That made it a strategic point for trade and transport of goods.
It was protected by a massive fortified wall (XI century) to defend the
area called Castelnuovo (destroyed during the age of the
League of Cambrai, 1513), of which remains only the
Tower (also known as "dei Collalto" from the name of the noble family
from Treviso that there had a palace), which is visible from Ferretto
Square. Unfortunately it was also demolished the nearby Belfredo Tower
(in 1876), of which are still visible some vestiges in the homonymous park.
Mestre was under the rule of Treviso until 1337, when
it was conquered by the Serenissima. Since then the Salso Canal that
connects the lagoon became a vital artery for water transport. Until
1797, date of the fall of the Republic, Mestre followed the history
and vicissitudes of Venice. It fought heroically the assaults of Austrians
during the period 1848-49, then strenuously resisting with its patriots
within Marghera Fort.
You can reach Mestre from Venice by car or by bus
(ticket 1.10 euros, lines Actv 2-4-7-12). You can go to Mestre by train
(fare 1.00 euros), virtually all trains stop at the station which
is called Venezia-Mestre (customer service phone: +39 041 784319).
The luggage room of the station is located along the
track 1, after taking up 100 metres to the right. It's open 6am-11pm and
offers the following rates in euro per piece: 3.80 for the first five hours,
0.60 per hour for the following seven hours and costs 0.20 per hour after
the twelfth hour. For more information contact the +39 041 784446. For
lost objects in the Venezia-Mestre station phone at
+39 041 784482.
Restaurants in Mestre
The most celebrated restaurant in Mestre is called Trattoria
dall'Amelia, Via Miranese 113. Phone +39 041 913955. This
restaurant is rightly appreciated for its specialty plates of fresh
seafood. The family Boscarato manages it since 1961.
"Pizzeria Corte Sconta", Piazzale Candiani, 17.
Phone +39 041 970156.
"Osteria Vecia Posta", Mestre - Piazzetta S. Francesco, 1
(between V. Piave e V. Cappuccina). Ph. +39 041 962961.
"Ristorante da Bepi Venesian", Mestre - Via Sernaglia 27.
Phone +39 041 929357.
"Hostaria Trattoria Dante", V. Dante, 53.
Ph. +39 041 959421.
"Valeriano Restaurant", Via Col di Lana,
18. Phone +39 041 929053.
"Brek Restaurant", V. G. Carducci, 54.
Ph. +39 041 940297.
Piazza Barche (whose exact name is currently
XXVII October Square) is important as a gateway for traffic
in the city because here comes the Corso del Popolo. In this long
route was held for many editions the famous cycling competition for
professionals called "The Kilometre of the Corso." In Piazza Barche
you see the column where once ended the Salso Canal.
Where since 1964 rose the department stores Coin is actually located
the mall "Le Barche". It has the following opening
hours: Mon. 14-20, Tuesday-Saturday 9-20, Sun. 10-20. For information
tel. +39 041 977882. Behind the building that houses the department
store, in A. Coin Square, takes place the Mestre market on
Wednesdays and Fridays (7am-1pm).
The centre of Mestre is located in Piazza Ferretto,
formerly called Major Square, which has been renovated with new
flooring and a fountain with a sculpture (1998). It has always been the
function of preferred meeting place by Mestre inhabitants. Piazza
Ferretto has become many years ago a pedestrian zone. From the square
you can see the Cathedral of St. Lorenzo (eighteenth
century), built to replace a Church destroyed by fire. Over the river
Marzenego, you can admire the Clock Tower (XII century).
The Mestre Tower was carefully restored in 2003, and is accessible via
external staircase, the entrance is free. Not far away you see the cinema
Excelsior (style Liberty, 1915).
Also in Mestre is the Centro Culturale Candiani (1999),
opening hours 10am-10pm except Monday, tel. +39 041 2386126, seat to many
interesting exhibitions. Another interesting place can be considered certainly
the Teatro Toniolo, since 1912 the main theatre in Mestre.
Beside it is located the Galleria Matteotti, crowded and full of shops. The
Church of St. Jerome is the oldest of the city still visible
(fourteenth century), open 7.3am-12am and 4pm-7.30pm: there are some remarkable
paintings from the Renaissance age.
Cinemas in Mestre
Cinema Excelsior, Mestre - Piazza Ferretto 14, telephone +39 041 988664.
Uci Cinemas, V. Colombara 46, tel +39 041 2527826.
Cinema Multisala Palazzo, V. Palazzo 29, tel +39 041 971444.
Multisala Corso e Corsino, Corso del Popolo 30, phone +39 041 980771.
Cinema Dante d'Essai, V. Sernaglia 12, tel. +39 041 5381655.
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