Venice is one of the most charming and romantic cities in the world, making it a top travel destination in Italy. This is a place to indulge in quaint markets, gorgeous architecture, and delicious food and wine, but the entire region has a lot to offer tourists as well. After visiting Venice, you can take a day trip or two to a nearby city or region to get a better overall sense of life in Italy. Here are some of the most iconic day trips from Venice to choose from.
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It’s easy to reach Florence on a day trip from Italy via train, and you can get here in just a couple hours. Florence has lovely streets to wander through and is home to some of Italy’s top attractions, including the artistic masterpieces showcased at the famous Uffizi Gallery. Some of the best things to see here are the Florence Cathedral, Giotto’s Campanile, Palazzo Vecchio, and the Basilica of Santa Croce.
Lake Garda is undeniably beautiful and the largest lake in Italy. Here you’ll find a relaxing vibe with lovely fruit and olive trees nearby. You can take a boat out on the lake, walk along the shore, or simply sit under a tree and admire the views here. There are lots of small towns to visit when you come to the lake region, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage site of Peschiera del Garda, Scaliger Castle, and amusement parks and water parks in the area. Lake Garda can be reached in about 1.5 hours from Venice.
Wine lovers won’t want to miss out on taking a day trip from Venice to the Prosecco region of Italy. This is a sparkling white wine that is a local specialty here, and the scenery in the winemaking valley is simply stunning. Take a wine tour of the region with a local guide or do a self-guided tour on your own to learn about the region and sample Prosecco wines.
Not only is Verona one of the world’s most romantic cities, but it’s also one of the most popular day trips from Venice. Perhaps best known as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it takes about an hour to get here from Venice by car or train. Verona is a historical city with beautiful plazas and houses, so take your time to walk around and admire the architecture. Top areas to visit are the Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza Bra, and the Verona Arena. There’s also an outdoor amphitheater that’s perfect for watching a live opera performance in the summer.
For medieval charm and Gothic architecture, look no further than the town of Siena. This day trip destination is about three hours from Venice by car. This is a popular destination in Tuscany that hosts fun local events in the summer. If you only have a day to spend here, see the Piazza del Campo, Torre del Mangia, and the Piccolomini Library.
Lovers of the outdoors will definitely want to plan a day trip from Venice to the Dolomites, a mountainous region in the northeastern part of the country. Here you can experience the mountains of Italy, with endless fresh air and epic views. The Dolomites are just a little over 100 miles from Venice and can be visited on a day trip or a long weekend excursion. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a particularly popular place to visit if you’re into winter sports. During the warmer months, there are some excellent hiking trails here to get a refreshing break from city life and sightseeing.
Travelers also love coming to Padua on a day trip from Venice to see architecture, plazas, and art. This is a top foodie destination as well with plenty of tasty cuisine options to keep you satisfied. Better yet, you can get here from Venice in under half an hour by train. Points of interest around town include the Cappella Degli Scrovegni and Basilica di Sant’Antonio. The Scrovegni Chapel is the top reason people visit Padua to see the painted depictions of the artist Giotto. There are some lovely botanical gardens and town markets here to explore as well once you’ve had your fill of art and churches.
Getting to Ferrara from Venice is also a breeze, and this is a great small town in northern Italy to explore. Top sights here are the Este Palace, Cathedral of San Giorgio, and the University of Ferrara. While you’re in town for your day trip, also check out the Natural History Museum and the courtyard at Teatro Comunale. September is a popular time to visit Ferrara because this is when hot air balloons fly over the city center. From Venice, you can get to Ferrara, in less than 1.5 hours.
Ravenna is also a nice day trip destination when you’re coming from Venice, as this town is known for its UNESCO World Heritage site mosaics from the Byzantine era. This city is about three hours from Venice by train or a little over two hours by car. Here you’ll enjoy outdoor scenery, a local vibe, and get to learn about the region’s fascinating history. You’ll also see some of the most detailed and best-preserved mosaics in the world at the Mausoleum of Gallia Placidia and other sites around town.
The Lagoon Islands are a top day trip destination from Venice, with key stops being Murano, Burano, and Torcello. The canals and colorful buildings are nothing short of picture-perfect, and artisan crafts are also popular here. Take some time to learn about lace production and glass blowing when you’re on a day trip in this part of Italy. Burano is best known for lace making, while Murano is known for its impressive glass creations that you can watch being made by local artisans. Meanwhile, the Lagoon Island destination of Torcello is packed with ancient churches to see and learn about.
The last iconic day trip from Venice that we’ll mention is Vicenza. This is a historical town packed with incredible architecture designed by Andrea Palladio. Come here to tour art galleries, check out museums, and learn about this architectural icon.