The Best Day Trips From Venice

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit Venice to marvel at its extraordinary architecture and to learn about the history of one Medieval Europe’s most powerful mercantile forces. However, most visitors spend only a few days in Venice before moving on to other major cities. Most people miss out on the chance to visit the Veneto region’s hidden treasures by not taking one of the classic day trips.

Veneto’s treasure-trove of cities and sites is within striking distance from Venice. They quietly offer some the most authentic and fulfilling experiences that you can have while on vacation in Italy. How do you get to them? The Lagoon is a great base to explore the many day-trip possibilities nearby.

These are the top day trips from Venice


Verona

Verona’s old arena, home to its famous operas

Verona, which was the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet plays, is widely regarded as one of the most romantic Italian cities and the best day trip to Venice. The city offers more than love stories. You can see the colorful facades of the houses at Piazza dell’Erbe. Then, you can have a cup of coffee in Piazza Bra. Next, visit the Verona Arena, which was built in the first century. It is still being used regularly. Summertime visitors can enjoy an opera at the open-air amphitheater, which has been around for nearly 2,000 years and is still one the most popular opera venues in the country. Tickets are as low as EUR25.00. You can either travel by train or car to reach Venice in approximately one hour.


Ravenna


Beautiful mosaic in San Vitale, Ravenna

Ravenna is a great place to visit Venice for art lovers. It is known for its Byzantine mosaics, many of which are over 1,500 years old. Basilica di San Vitale is home to the most well-known mosaics, which depict scenes from the Apostles. Visitors can also visit the Piazza del Popolo and the Mercato Coperto for more mosaics. Ravenna’s Mausoleum is just one of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It takes three hours to reach Venice by train, but once you arrive the town can be seen in just a few hours. You’ll also have the opportunity to see some of the best preserved, oldest mosaics in the entire world. Learn more about Ravenna, and get ready with our guide How to Read Mosaics In Italy


Padua


Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy. Located just 25- to 45-minutes train ride from Venice (and where Galileo taught )…), Padua boasts a number of remarkable features, including mythical ties with Troy, the second oldest university in Italy, and a stunning 14th-century chapel, which is one of Italy’s most popular pilgrimage sites.

It is only 25 minutes by train from Venice, and the walled city Padua (or Padova, as it’s known in Italy) makes for a pleasant day trip. The city was founded by Trojans in the 12th century BC. This would make it the oldest in northern Italy, although this is a very murky claim. It is still a very ancient city and has the second-oldest university in Italy. Galileo taught there! Padua, today’s beautiful university city, is jam-packed full of great art. The Basilica di Sant’Antonio is one of the churches that claims to contain some of the remains from St. Mark. The Scrovegni Chapel is also worth a visit. It’s covered in frescoes from Giotto of the 14th century. His Lamentation and Kiss of Judas are the most well-known. You should visit the botanical gardens of the city if the weather is good. They are the oldest and most impressive in Europe.

Treviso

Treviso, a medieval town located just 30 minutes north from Venice, is accessible by train. It retains its town gates and defensive walls as well as its moat. With its charming brick walls and good coffee houses, the small city center is a great example of town life. If you are looking for something more than just caffeine, then a glass Prosecco is the perfect choice. The city is the original producer of bubbly white wine. Many people prefer it to champagne. Treviso is also the home of tiramisu (now the most popular dessert in Italy), and this claim is probably the strongest. Treviso is home to the best tiramisu in Italy.

Ferrara


Ferrara’s Cathedral of St. George

This often overlooked town is home to many 14th-century palaces that were built by the House of Este, an ex-ruling family. Ferrara is actually part of Emilia-Romagna. It is however, located along the direct train line between Venice and Florence, so it is easy to get there. The Este Palace (Castello Estense), located in the middle of town, is as famous as the family who occupied it. The famous relief of Jesus Christ the Last Judgement at the Romanesque Cathedral San Giorgio is another must-see. You can also visit the University of Ferrara, which graduated Nicolaus Copernicus.

Ferrara is also one of our favourite small towns in northern Italy. See the complete list at Top Small Towns in Northern Italy .


Vicenza

Vicenza is one of the most popular day trips from Venice. The town, located just 45 minutes from Lagoon’s Lagoon, is best known for its architecture, particularly the buildings designed and built by Andrea Palladio. The Teatro Olimpico is his most well-known, but the beautiful Villa Rotonda outside the city is a real highlight of Vicenza. The easiest way to get to the Villa is by car. However, the historic center of Vicenza makes it easy to walk around, visit museums, art galleries, and discover more of Palladio’s nearly 23 buildings and spaces.


Sirmione, Lago di Garda


Sirmione is a popular spot on Lake Garda

Sirmione can be described as a narrow peninsula that juts into Lago Di Garda. It takes two and a quarter hours to travel there by train. However, the beautiful lake, the smell of lemons and the unique town on water make it a pleasant day trip from Venice. Visit 14th-century churches and the Scaliger Castle (built as a fortification for the Scaliger family’s fleet of boats). Alternately you could simply stroll around the small town and buy lavender. Its beauty is unique.


Trieste


Castello di Miramare is the best place to see the sea from Trieste.

Trieste is two hours away from Venice by train. It’s in the nearby Friuli-Venezia Giulia area. Although it’s a longer trip than the other day trips, it’s well worth the effort. The city’s unique location at the Italian border makes it an exceptional cultural destination. It is perhaps best known for being James Joyce’s home for a decade. The city’s architecture, cuisine, and language reflect the influences of Austro-Hungarian, Italian, and Slavic cultures. The juxtaposition between the medieval old town and the neoclassical Austrian neighborhood is visible. For the best views of the sea, head to Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian’s Castello di Miramare (also known as the “Look at the Sea Castle”) After the tour, make sure you get a cup of coffee. Trieste is Italy’s unofficial coffee capital and main Mediterranean coffee port. You can also stay until dusk and watch the lights in Piazza Unitad’Italia come on, lighting up the square. You will be enchanted by the city.


Mantua


Photo by Gina Mussio

Mantua (Mantova), a two-and-a-half hour train ride from Venice, is definitely a more demanding day trip. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage site for its historic center since long. The Teatro Scientifico, where 13-year old Mozart performed a concert, and the Rotonda Di San Lorenzo and Duomo are just a few of the highlights. Get a museum pass and you can visit the many imprints of the Gonzaga family on the city. Palazzo Te, Federico Gonzaga’s pleasure palace at the town’s edge, is also available. Palazzo Gonzaga is the impressive family palace in the middle of town. The massive Palazzo could be seen in its entirety, but anyone with limited time should make a run for it.

You should also try Mantua’s famous cuisine while you’re there. 2017 will see Mantua become one of the European Capitals of Gastronomy. Its cuisine reflects its geography, with delicious risotto ala pilota (rice with bits of dried sausage) and duck legs.

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