The rail link to the Venice Airport Marco Polo is set to help improve train links to Milan and Venice, as well as improving access to the Verona Arena, in the build-up to the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

A first meeting between the managing director of the Milan Cortina 2026 Foundation, Andrea Varnier, and the Mayor of Verona, Damiano Tommasi, focused on the accessibility of the Verona Arena that will host the Olympic Closing Ceremony and the Paralympic Opening Ceremony.

"The possibility of celebrating the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics and the Opening of the Paralympics in Verona is a project on which we are working intensely and requires careful evaluation with a great sense of responsibility," Varnier told

"Any investments in terms of structural adaptation of the Arena, which are being discussed together with all the parties involved - especially on the subject of accessibility - will be a strong, characterising legacy element that the Games will leave to the territory.

"This extraordinary monument today represents a great visiting card which tells the story of our nation in the world and which, tomorrow, will prove to be even more inclusive, ready to respond to the needs of the Veronese and the hundreds of thousands of tourists and spectators who visit it every year."

Last month, a consortium was chosen to construct a rail link to Venice Airport Marco Polo, with a goal to have the project completed in time for the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympic Games.

It would see the airport, which welcomed around 3.5 million passengers in 2021, become part of the Milan-Trieste line, with the contract awarded to Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, which is part of the FS Italiane Group.

Venice will be an important hub for Cortina d'Ampezzo too, being only two hours' drive away from co-hosts Milan.

As part of the works, there is set to be a new eight-kilometre double-track railway line, with 3.4km of this being underground.

This connection is to start from the Mestre-Trieste line, and arriving into a new underground through the main Venice train station, which continues underground towards the airport terminal.

It will also create a better link to the city of Verona as a result of the terminal link.

Other issues discussed in what will be the first in a series of meetings included logistics and the timing of the two Ceremonies due to take place in the region.

"A dialogue has begun on an exciting project that will see the whole city as the protagonist, in its various areas and its territory," Tommasi added.

"A great challenge not only in the complex organisation of an event of international standing but also in the collective commitment to make every space in Verona truly more accessible to everyone."