A Day Trip from Venice to the Dolomites Using Public Transportation

David Landau

February, 2017

We were looking for a day trip from Venice to the Dolomites for the middle of December 2016. Apparently, the only tours that operates in the winter are those that leave Tronchetto Waterbus Stop at 09:00. Different companies offer somewhat different programs for somewhat different prices. One itinerary seemed to be more appealing and although it was more expensive we purchase it. The ticket cost 139 euros per person. However, as we discovered later, what this has advertised in its Internet page was misleading; in fact, all those who leave Tronchetto Waterbus stop at 09:00 get on the same van.

As a rule of thumb, I suggest that even with a somewhat lower price offered by other retailers, this day trip is way too expensive. Had I studied the topic properly, I probably would have chosen public transportation. LINEA 29 leaves Venice P.le Roma at 07:50 and reaches Cortina d'Ampezzo at 10:35. It leaves Cortina at 14:30 or 15:30 and is back at P.le Roma at 18.25 or 19.25. The price for a one way ticket is € 12,90


That gives enough time to take a ride on a cable car near the resort, walk around town, do shopping, eat a decent lunch, and have a cup of coffee with a delicious cake. The tour we took arrived at Cortina in the afternoon when most of the shops were closed for siesta.

Another alternative to reach Cortina is the bus of the Cortina Express which leaves Mestre twice a day. The price for a one direction ride is 27 euros.


One also can reach Cortina from Venice by train and bus. The nearest railway station to Cortina is at Calalzo di Cadore, 35 km away. There is a bus service from there to Cortina. The through journey from Venice to Cortina takes about 3,5 hours (train+bus). In earlier days, until 1964, the train reached Cortina. The last section of the rail route was turned into a bicycle track and someone organize bicycle tours from Cortina to Venice:


One of the attractions of the van tour that leaves Tronchetto offers is a visit at the foot of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. It may happens during late spring, summer and early fall when the road is open and when the weather enables this visit. However, even if the van indeed reaches this place, the timetable of the tour doesn’t allow more than a short stay there. If I understand correctly, the charm of Tre Cime di Lavaredo is the possibility of walking for several hours in the various beautiful trails there. One can see beautiful dolomite mountains all over this area without traveling to this site.

During the summer one can reach Tre Cime di Lavaredo by public transportation from Cortina. The timetable I could find is from 2014, but my guess is that the line is still active:


It’s hard, maybe impossible, to combine a day tour from Venice with a proper visit to Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Instead, with the money saved from not buying an expensive van tour but using public transportation, I dare to suggest that enough money is left for staying overnight in Cortina and taking the bus to Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the next morning.

The Dolomites take their name from the carbonate rock dolomite, itself named for 18th-century French mineralogist Déodat Gratet de Dolomieu (1750–1801), who was the first to describe the mineral. With an appropriate sun illumination, the mineral give these mountains a yellowish and magnificent color.