I am traveling to Italy at the end of April/beginning of May and I am traveling alone. I have never been to Europe or traveled anywhere internationally (Canada and Mexico excluded). My flight takes me to Venice from New York (direct) and I will return from Rome to New York (direct). I will stay three nights in Venice, three nights in Florence, and three nights in Rome. I have read advice from many different sites but it appears to be conflicting. I am taking credit and debit cards and plan to pick up some money from an ATM once I get to Venice.
Question: What can I expect going through customs arriving in Venice and what is the best mode of transportation to get from the airport to the Venice Island Piazzale Roma area? Finally, is this area relatively central and safe?