Usually, visitors make Venice an excursion trip as part of their vacation in Rome under the mistaken notion that the only things to do or see in the Veneto Region are the Gondolas. This is far from the truth. Venice and the adjacent towns are alive with adventures to explore. Planning to spend at least three or four days in Venice and taking day trips from Venice exposes you to many attractions found nowhere else in Italy.
Day Trips from Venice
Venice’s Top Islands
There are many islands that are suitable for a day trip but the top three are Torcelli, Murano and Burano.
Torcelli is the place for Byzantine mosaic art pieces and the town’s gold and stone mosaic cathedral. While there, enjoy the beach on the Adriatic Sea and climb to the top of the tower for a magnificent view of the islands and lagoon.
How to get there: Take the (Ferry) Vaporetto Line 12 to Burano from Fondamenta Nove, and then transfer to Line 9.
Murano is undoubtedly a familiar name if you are interested in fine glass products. A visit to one of the glassmakers’ shops and watch them blow the most spectacular items out of a blob of sand is awe-inspiring. The products are sold in the shops on the Island.
How to get there: Fondamenta Nove, take the Ferry vaporetto Number 12, 13, 41, or 42 to Murano.
Burano may be the island that women prefer as the residents there specialize in the making of fine laces. Visiting the lace museum is informative and interesting. Burano can be seen from any approach due to the vibrancy of the brightly painted houses.
How to get there: Take Vaporetto Line 12 to Burano from Fondamenta Nove.
Padua is one of the day trips from Venice that will never let you down. The walled city of Padua is the spot to amble through the Botanical Gardens which are the oldest in Europe. Here you may find new variants of plants that you have seen elsewhere. If you simply walk across the street, you will find the Basilica di Sant’Antonio, which is an upgrade of the typical cathedrals of Italy.
How to get there: By trains leaving from Venice to Padova which only take about half an hour and run frequently.
Does Verona sound familiar? If so, then you are familiar with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Ask the locals, and they can point the way to Juliet’s home and the famous balcony. The market square in Verona is transformed from a Roman Arena of ancient days. Cross the river on the Ponte Pietra (stone bridge) and you can visit the Roman Theater, the archaeological museum and the Convent of Saint James housed above the theater.
How to get there: by train which only takes about 1-5.5 hours
A small medieval town with canals and alleyways that house some hidden shops and secret treasures, which makes it a place to visit when you just need some quiet down moments and a beverage at one of the local cafés. The people are friendly and enjoy meeting visitors.
How to get there: by train which take only about half an hour
Take the main pedestrian café lined way through Chioggia and you will find yourself at the fishing port in Venice’s lagoon. If you stroll down to the port early in the morning, you will find the fisherman returning from the sea with nets full of fresh seafood. Even better, you can purchase it right off the boats. You may also take some time to clock tower museum or Museum of the South Lagoon for some change. Or if you prefer to enjoy the beauty of the beach, it is just 2 km from the center. All these enjoyable things make it one of the most wonderful day trips from Venice.
How to get there: In summer, take boats from Saint Mark's Square; by train which takes about 2 hours.
There are three fantastic examples of the Andrea Pallideo’s architectural designs in Vicenza. The first is the Basilica Palladiana and the other is the Palazzo Chiericati, which houses Vicenza’s art gallery museum. The last one is the building that turned out to be his final design, the Teatro Olimpico. Each of these examples of Renaissance concepts is well worth the day trip to Vicenza.
How to get there: By train which takes about 45 minutes
There are two cities in Italy that are magnets to the artists of the world and Milan is one. If you are planning some day trips from Venice, Milan is the city that you should never miss. Once you arrive in Milan, you may regret that you did not plan to spend more than one day there. Shops glitter with jewels, gold and fine glass objects teasing your senses and calling to the sparkle in your soul. The finest leather workers in the nation are also to be found in Milan and if you are fortunate enough to be around during fashion show week, you may spot a few of the leading designers from all around the globe bringing their latest designs to backstage runways.
Brescia is tucked away in the foot of the Alps between Milan and Verona in the Lombardy region of Italy. Lombardy is in the northern part of Italy and was originally settled by Gallic ancestors. The city continues to evoke a Gallic flavor in the architecture and colors that identify its personality. The cathedral called La Rotunda is known for its unusual circular shape. Its next door neighbor is Duomo Nuovo – the New Cathedral – if you consider anything built in the 17th century as “new”.
Because Italy is surrounded by water, fresh water lakes are considered very special and Lake Garda is the largest of them all. Regardless of the time of year, there are numerous attractions for tourists who enjoy anything from wine tours to very old castles. Visit the towns around the lake to find your favorite castle.
If you love waterfalls and need a visual break from the ancient buildings, cathedrals and museums, venture into the town of Riva del Garda and ask for directions to the Varone waterfalls.