The determination of trace elements in atmospheric particulate is affected by a number of problems that arise from some critical points such as the blank of the filters, sample heterogeneity and pre-analytical treatments. In the framework of a monitoring campaign conducted in the Venice Lagoon the analytical methodology for the determination of 20 trace elements (Al, As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Rb, Sr, V, Zn) in atmospheric particulate samples by inductively coupled plasma quadrupole mass spectroscopy (ICP-QMS) has been optimized taking into account the individual critical points. Tests were carried out to estimate the blank contributions, and minimize the detection limit (LOD), measurements were also carried out to evaluate the accuracy and the repeatability. To obtain a complete dissolution of aerosol dust material and good recoveries of the elements, the acid mixture and the microwave assisted digestion program were optimized. The blank contributions from membrane filter manipulation and transportation prior to exposure were tested for the slotted and back filters by placing them on the sampling device for some minutes without air flowing to obtain field blanks (FBs). The contribution to the blank values of passive deposition and by contact with the samplers (quoted as campaign blanks, CBs) was measured by exposing the membranes throughout the sampling session (fifteen days) without any air flow. Instrumental ICP-QMS parameters were optimized and calibration curve intervals were selected on the basis of the necessity of simultaneous determination of the elements present at different levels of concentration. The limits of detection for each elements and the investigated method were suitable to determine the 20 elements reported above in the atmospheric aerosol fractionated in 6 classes ranging between 10 to 0.49 µm. It allows the determination of trace elements in aerosol in a large range of concentrations that can be observed in areas characterized by remarkable variability and regions with different levels of contamination.