Set on the mainland at the other end of the causeway from Venice, Mestre could hardly offer more of a contrast. Where Venice dazzles with history and extraordinary beauty, Mestre is modern and ordinary. Although there has been a town here since the Middle Ages, Mestre only really began to develop in the 1920s, when migrant workers flocked here to work in the nearby industrial complex of Porto Marghera. Then in the 1960s, as tourism took off in Venice, Venetians too crossed over to the mainland, abandoning their historic home for Mestre’s modern amenities and car-filled streets.

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