One of the major benefits of studying abroad in Italy meant that I got to explore a lot of the northern region! I used to often take day trips from Venice–there’s so many beautiful cities to visit if you have the extra time and the inclination. The best part? Most of these day trips require just a quick train ride.
Awesome day trips from Venice
This guide shares some of the best day trips from Venice, Italy and what you can expect when you get there.
Home to some amazing food, Bologna to Venice takes about only an hour and a half by train to get there. Not only can you experience some amazing pasta, several great art museums, and endless porticos to discover, but you also get a taste of an entirely different region of Italy. Bologna is also much less touristy than other Italian cities, which gives you a look into locals’ lives.
This famous lake located in the Italian Alps has become an Instagram darling for good reason. You’ll need to take a two-hour train ride in order to reach this spot, which includes fancy resorts and boat rides throughout the day. As the largest lake in Italy, there are plenty of waterfront activities surrounded by the glory of some gorgeous mountains. For those looking to experience some nature in their excursions from Venice, this is where you want to be!
Known mostly for “Juliet’s balcony” and the references to Shakespeare, Verona is a delightful town with an extensive Roman amphitheater and cute cafes you can’t miss in Piazza delle Erbe. (Some of the best coffee I’ve ever had was in Verona.) Don’t forget to stop by the Castle Vecchio and take some pictures overlooking the stunning bridge leading to it. The best part? Verona is only about an hour away by train.
Asolo and Castelfranco
While a little more difficult to get to than some of the other options on this list, these small towns include fortresses, amazing frescoes on the streets, and homemade goods you can take back home with you. I recommend doing these two trips together since it can require both a bus and a train to get to. Or, you can always book a tour that combines both places. For that small-town Italian village feel, both these spots are great choices.
Four hours each way by train from Venice, Ravenna is worth the extra effort to visit! You have to check out the Neonian Baptistry, which includes a mosaic from the early Byzantine era–if you’re a UNESCO World Heritage Site lover, then you can’t miss this spot. Ravenna also has a number of other worthwhile architectural sites including Dante’s tomb, some beautiful churches, and more.
If you have spent any time in Venice, then you probably know about the architect Andrea Palladio. Vicenza was his home and his sandbox for a number of projects, including stunning villas and public projects. I highly recommend checking out the Teatro Olimpico for the set design. Designed with the newly refined concept of perspective in 1585, it appears as though the stage goes on infinitely. By far one of the best Venice day trips!
Personally, I think Florence needs much more time than a day trip, but if you have a limited amount of time in Italy, then you might want to jump on a high-speed train (it will get you there in about four hours). If you only have a few hours in Florence, you’ll want to head right to the city center for its most famous attractions, including the Ponte Vecchio, Duomo, and more. Just make sure that you come back someday when you have more time!
There is some stunning nature around Venice. Unless you have a car, I recommend taking a tour so you can get access to the best views and hiking trails in the area. If you aren’t in the mood to walk, consider taking a gondola up to some of the ski lodges–or strap on a pair yourself during the winter. Regardless, you’ll also want to check out the delightful town of Cortina. It combines the best of mountain culture of the Alps and the laid back attitudes of Italy.
You don’t have to go far to feel like you are getting out of Venice. With so many nearby islands such as Burano, Lido, Murano, and more, you can spend months exploring the area without having to get on a bus or train. You’ll want to check out the vaporetto schedule in order to make sure that you can get back at the end of the day. Each island has its own flavor, and they’re all worth visiting if you have the time.
This adorable town has plenty of reasons to consider it as one of the day trips from Venice to take. The Basilica di Sant’Antonio is worth taking a stroll through, as well as heading to some of the local markets available on the weekends. My main recommendation? The Cappella degli Scrovegni, which has been considered as one of the first Renaissance frescoes by Giotto. I personally loved Padua for its open feel and the Palazzo della Ragione–one of the largest town halls in Italy for hundreds of years.
Bassano del Grappa
This Swiss-feeling little town has a lot to enjoy–especially its Ponte Vecchio in the center of town. It’s also well-known for being the home of the first distillery in Italy dating all the way back to 1779. If you were wondering if this is where grappa comes from by the name, you’re completely right! There are also a number of awesome museums and opera shows to check out while you’re here.
Grotte del Caglieron
Open from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm Monday to Sunday, this spot features both natural and artificial caves with plenty of hiking and waterfalls. Those looking to see some of the more nature-friendly day trips from Venice, Italy will want to think about renting a car to get to this spot. Some of these caves were once used for aging cheese, and whether you are looking to get out of cramped Venice or get your nature fix in, this is definitely worth making the trip for.
Linking Padua and Venice, you can take a cruise down this lovely canal. When booking it, make sure it stops for a few hours at the beautiful Villa Foscari. Along with being a perfect example of Palladian architecture, it also has some extensive gardens worth strolling through. This is one of the most relaxing days to spend some time away from Venice.
Located on the Adriatic, Trieste offers a relaxed, vacation-like feel only about three hours away from Venice. Right across the border from Slovenia, you certainly get the feeling of being closer to Eastern Europe while still maintaining the look of Italy. Don’t miss the gigantic promenade where you can get a gelato and wander along the coastline. It can get a little cold in the winter, so make sure to visit during the warmer months!
Have you ever explored these day trips from Venice? Share your favorite in the comments!
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