Venice is a city that most people only see in movies. The picturesque canals and cobblestone alleyways and bridges are iconic pieces of this northwestern Italy city. Venice is the capital of the Veneto region, and it’s built across 118 small islands. The islands are connected by waterways and canals, and linked by over 400 bridges.
Venice is well known for, not only the stunning waterways, but the unique architecture, artwork and museums. For those who are planning a vacation to Venice, there are so many things to see and do within the city. But not only that, there are plenty of day trips that can be taken during your vacation that are within easy traveling distance of Venice itself. For travelers who want to see all of the exciting sights around Venice, check out these easy to access day trips.
Bologna is a place of beautiful architecture, medieval history and delicious food. The world’s oldest University is also located in Bologna, and it’s still in operation to this day. There are nearly 200 medieval towers that travelers will be able to see and tour, along with Neptune’s fountain. The medieval market, Quadrilatero, is still being run and travelers can explore a long-standing tradition. Bologna gives travelers a different view of Italy than Venice, but still amazing all the same. It takes about 1 hour and 25 minutes for travelers to get to Bologna from Frecciarossa and Frecciargento.
Nestled in the province of Lombardy, Brescia is a little lesser known beauty of Italy. Brescia is over three thousand years old, and the city’s history is well preserved, full of museums and architecture that tell the story of the city years passed. Travelers will get to experience and see an enormous medieval castle, complete with battlements and a draw bridge. Those who like a little culture will find it at the opera house, Teatro Grande. It takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes to get to Brescia from Frecciarossa and Regionale Veloce.
Chioggia is for travelers who want to experience Venice at a slower pace. Much like Venice, Chioggia is built along canals with bridges crossing over them, full of narrow streets and alleys. There are plenty of but trips for travelers to take and enjoy around the Venetian Lagoon, along with restaurants that serve up delicious, fresh seafood. Getting to Chioggia is easy if you go by boat. Trying to take the train will make it an all-day trip, but by boat, Chioggia is simple to get to in under 2 hours for the trip.
Travelers who are interested in Italy’s medieval history and their stunning historical art, Ferrara is the place to be. There are several beautiful, Roman cathedrals and well-preserved Renaissance walls. Some sights to see are the Castello Estence at Ferrara’s center, surrounded by a moat, and Natural History Museum, with hundreds of years of culture and heritage. Getting to Ferrara is quite easy. It’s just over an hour to get to Ferrara from Frecciabianca, and about an hour and a half from Regionale Veloce.
5. Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the biggest lake in Italy, and no matter where you go you’ll find something beautiful and worth visiting. Alongside the shoreline of the lake are little towns and villages that are worth exploring. Along with architecture museums and World Heritage Sites, Lake Garda is also a great place to take the whole family due to the several large amusement parks and water parks that are nearby. No matter where you travel from, getting to Lake Garda is about an hour and a half away from Venice, which makes it an easy and fun place to go to during your Venice vacation.
6. Medieval Walled Towns
There’s so many medieval sites to see when it comes to Italy and Venice. Some of the best places to see this unique and historic architecture are the medieval walled towns that are within easy traveling distance of Venice. The towns are surrounded by beautifully preserved medieval walls, and are full of museums, architecture and restaurants that everyone should see during their Venice vacation. Some of the towns are only about a 48-minute train ride away, while others are just an hour and a half.
Padua is hidden away between both Venice and Verona. It is a beautiful, hidden treasure that shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to planning a day trip during your Venice vacation. Padua is a great place to get a little vacation shopping done, as well as explore the museums and art that the city has to offer. Padua even has a daily market, minus Sundays, that has been set up and selling for over 800 years. Padua is one of the easiest and fast day trips for travelers who want to see the sights from Venice. It’s only about a 30-minute trip or less to get to Padua.
Famous for its setting of one of the greatest and well-known love stories ever told, fair Verona is a perfect place for couples to escape to during their Venice vacation. Verona has more to offer than just being famous for Romeo and Juliet. There are large, expansive squares with beautiful architecture, as well as a medieval castle that is now home to an art collection. Not to mention the Juliet’s club, where the Secretaries of Juliet reply to the letters written to the heroine of the play. Getting to Verona is a breeze, and it only takes about an hour and a half travel time from Venice.
Vicenza is also known as the Pearl of Renaissance. Located halfway between Venice and Verona, this Gold Town is a place that is full of art, jewelry and once in a lifetime events that make it a stunning, creative center. Travelers who are looking for things to do in Vicenza during their day trip from Venice will want to be sure to see the Jewelry Museum, the view overlooking the city from the Church of St. Mary of Mount Berico, and the Church of Santa Corona that houses works of art from Bellini and Montagna. From Venice, Vicenza is an easy trip and makes a perfect outing. It is only a 45-minute journey from Venice to Vicenza.
Treviso is usually the first stop people take when trying to get to Venice. They fly in, then head straight for the city of canals. But, Treviso has a charm all its own, and it’s a perfect place to explore during your Venice vacation. For travelers who love a bit of architecture, the San Francesco Church is a perfect example of early Gothic architecture, and the Loggia dei Cavalieri is in the very heart of the old town district, built in the 13th century. Luckily, Treviso is so easy to get to, you’ll be able to come back for a day trip even if you skipped out during the beginning of your visit to Venice. It’s just over a half an hour to travel from Treviso to Venice and back again.
11. Villas of the Veneto
These villas are actually more like stunning, sprawling mansions. These villas were made by some of the best architects around, and used to be furnished with lavish decorations and furnishings. Now, visitors can come and spend the day exploring the rooms, gardens and grounds of the famous villas. It’s almost as if you’re back in the day and age from which these villas emerged, and it’s a wonderful way to spend the day if you love art and history. These villas take about 30 minutes to a full hour to get to from Venice, which makes them an easy day trip to plan for during your vacation.
Visit another famous, Italian city during your trip to Venice. Florence is stunning city with so many sightseeing options for travelers and tourists. The beautiful architecture, museums and art are only just the tip of all of the things that Florence has to offer. Travelers can even take a sightseeing tour on a double-decker bus through the streets of Florence. You can even get on and off the tour at your leisure, making sure you get to see all the things you want to, up close and personal. Getting there is easy, though the journey is a little longer, so it’s best if your Florence trip is planned for all day. A high-speed train can take you from Venice to Florence in just under two hours.
Suggested tour: Florence: Day Trip from Venice by High-Speed Train
13. Dolomite Mountains
Outdoorsy travelers will definitely want to plan a day trip among the beautiful, natural scenery of the Dolomite Mountains. These stunning mountains are dotted with towns and villages, such as Pieve di Cadore, which was the birthplace of Titan, the Renaissance painter. The villages have boutique shopping for travelers who just like to look at the scenery, while the mountains themselves offer once in a lifetime hiking trails for travelers who want to see it all. Group tours from Venice to the Dolomite mountains go in bunches of 8 or so people, so you’ll be able to really enjoy the scenery without it being over crowded.
Art lovers will want to turn their attention to Ravenna when it comes to planning a day trip out of Venice. Ravenna is especially famous for the stunning art that is found all over the city, but most especially the Byzantine mosaics. The history of the city and the art date back over one thousand years ago. Not just the mosaics, but Ravenna is also full of museums and galleries for travelers to explore and get their fill of art. Ravenna is also home to seven different World Heritage Sites, including the Mausoleum of Gallia Placidia. While it may take upwards of three hours to visit Ravenna by train from Venice, the whole city can be viewed in just a few hours. It’s perfect if you plan on leaving early in the day and spending your afternoon in Ravenna.
If you’ve ever wanted to walk the same halls and streets as 13-year-old Mozart, then Mantua is exactly the place that you want to go. Mantua’s city center is a World Heritage Site, and travelers can come see the Teatro Scientifico, where Mozart has played a concert at the tender age of 13. There are museums and art galleries for the art lovers, and a plethora of restaurants for those who are all about the cuisine. Mantua is about two and a half hours away from Venice, which does make it one of the more demanding day trips. However, if you can swing it, the travel time will most definitely be worth it. Just plan to leave early in the day so you can spend plenty of time in the city.