Mestre Italy Shopping District

Mestre Italy, A Wonderful Summer Vacation

This summer we decided to rent an apartment for a month in Mestre Italy. 

Mestre is part of the municipality of Venice but a 15 minute bus ride across the causeway on the mainland. We love Venice but in my opinion, a little goes a long way.

Waiting to get on our train at the Mestre Train Station
Waiting to get on our train at the Venezia Mestre Train Station

Mestre is almost the opposite of Venice

Mestre is much less touristy, less hustle and bustle, has better food, cost of living is more reasonable, and one can actually relax and enjoy a different experience of Italy. Mestre also has a great train station and is well connected with bus stops throughout town, which gives you good access to the entire country.

We like to take the Frecciarossa or red arrow when possible. The Frecciarossa is not the cheapest option but worth the money in my opinion. They are quite fast and even have a Business Area Silenzio (silent) car that is very nice if you don’t want to hear everyone listening to music on their devices without headsets. This is something I hadn’t noticed until this year. It is very popular right now for some reason.

I also recommend downloading and using the Trenitalia app on your phone. You don’t have to validate your electronic tickets like you do with paper, and contrary to may opinions on line, the app works quite well.

Mestre Shopping District

Our time in Mestre was mostly spent in and around the Shopping District. There are so many wonderful bars and restaurants in this area that we feel we could have spent another month or two.

We love Gelato

I’m not sure I need to say much more about this subject. We have had Gelato all over Italy. It is interesting how each city or region has some special flavors that you may not find elsewhere. We may have actually had Gelato more than once a day on some occasions.

A gelato di Doria in Mestre
Our favorite gelato place in Mestre. A gelato di Doria.

Gelato in Mestre

We bought gelato all over town and you just can’t go wrong with any of the stores. We did finally pick a favorite. My wife doesn’t eat dairy so she got the dark chocolate gelato which was dairy free. I enjoyed the pistachio and my son enjoyed the amarena flavor.

This guy was so much fun. You can tell he was enjoying the show.

A walk to Forte Marghera

One morning we decided to talk a walk to Forte Marghera and see the largest cat colony in Europe. It was a fun walk although it started getting quite hot. We decided to use the taxi app to get back home later in the day. Since there is no Uber in Italy, we used an app called appTaxi. It doesn’t have very good reviews but we used it 4 or 5 times and it seemed to work fine.

Mestre Street Market

We were able to shop at the Mestre Street Markets a few times during our stay. The market appears to be open on Wednesday and Friday in the mornings. It was nice to see some of the local wares and we bought a few items to use during our stay and to take back with us.

Old Wild West – Mestre Italy

One evening my son decided that he was in the mood for a good burger. After a bit of searching we found Old Wild West and it was in walking distance. The reviews were just so so but we decided to give it a try anyway. You know how in the states we have the Olive Garden with fake Americanized Italian Food? Well in Italy, they have American chain restaurants with burgers and fries that are actually quite good.

I am happy to report that we had a great dinner and the burgers were great! I think their ratings get dinged by tourists who expect fast service. You shouldn’t expect fast service or over attentive servers in Italy. Just relax and enjoy your meal and the experience. Plan to spend a couple hours.

Ristorante Al Progresso – Mestre

Our apartment was quite close to Ristorante Al Progresso, and lucky for us, it was a hidden gem. We ate Dinner at Al Progresso at least 3 times and had takeout pizza a few times for lunch. The staff is very helpful and friendly and the food is good and reasonably priced. It seems to be a local favorite and is always busy. My son ordered the Schumacher Pizza as you can see above. I thought it was fitting as my grandmother’s maiden name was Schumacher.

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