13 of the Best Day Trips from Venice: Go Beyond the Lagoon

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Venice, the city of canals, is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting places on earth. 

But the magic of the Veneto region extends far beyond its capital. From the shimmering waters of Lake Garda to the medieval charm of Verona, Northern Italy is a treasure trove of diverse landscapes, rich history, and mouthwatering cuisine. 

For those who wish to delve deeper into the travel experience, embarking on a day trip from Venice opens up a world of possibilities. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, there’s a destination waiting to captivate your senses. 

If you are staying for more than a couple of days, a day trip from Venice is a great idea. So, let’s set sail from the Grand Canal and discover the best day trips from Venice.

1 – The Lido (Venice Lagoon)

Just a short boat ride away from the bustling heart of Venice lies the serene island of Lido di Venezia. Known for its tranquil beaches and Art Nouveau architecture, Lido offers a refreshing contrast to the crowded streets and canals of Venice. This thin strip of land, stretching between the Adriatic Sea and the Venetian Lagoon, is one of the best day trips from Venice for those seeking a blend of relaxation and cultural exploration.


Lido is famous for its sandy beaches, which provide a perfect setting for a beach day. The island is also home to the Venice Film Festival, which takes place at the historic Palazzo del Cinema every September. For architecture enthusiasts, a stroll around the island reveals a collection of beautiful villas and hotels showcasing the elegant Liberty style, Italy’s version of Art Nouveau. The Santa Maria Elisabetta area, with its charming shops and cafes, offers a glimpse into the everyday life of the locals.

Of course, the best reason to go to the Lido is to hit the beach. The most popular one, the Alberoni, is a protected nature reserve and feels very far away from the crowds of Venice. 

Getting There and Best Time to Visit

Reaching Lido from Venice is a pleasant ride on a vaporetto (water bus) that takes about half an hour. The best time to visit Lido is during the summer months when you can fully enjoy the beaches. However, if you wish to avoid the crowds, spring and early autumn are also lovely times to explore the island.

Check out the full article on the best times to visit Venice!

Food and Drink Experiences

Lido offers a variety of dining options where you can savor Venetian cuisine. Seafood is a staple here, with local restaurants serving fresh fish and shellfish dishes. For a unique food experience, try the traditional Venetian dish, sarde in saor (sweet and sour sardines). Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a glass of Prosecco, the famous sparkling wine from the Veneto region.

2 – Murano and Burano (Venice Lagoon)

A visit to Venice would not be complete without a day trip to the enchanting Venetian lagoon islands of Murano and Burano. These islands are just a short boat ride away from Venice and offer a unique glimpse into the region’s rich artisanal heritage.


Murano is world-renowned for its long-standing tradition of glassmaking. The island is dotted with glass factories, many of which offer a glass blowing demonstration. Visitors can watch master glassblowers at work, transforming molten glass into intricate sculptures, chandeliers, and jewelry. The Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro) is a must-visit, showcasing the history of glassmaking and stunning examples of Murano glass.

glass factory live demonstration - day trip to murano

Read my full guide on the things to do in Murano!

Burano, on the other hand, is famous for its lace making and brightly colored houses. The island’s lace is known for its exquisite quality and intricate designs. The Lace Museum (Museo del Merletto) provides fascinating insights into the island’s lace-making history. Walking around Burano, you’ll be charmed by the vibrant houses that line its canals, each painted a different color.

Getting There, Best Time to Visit, and Local Customs

Both Murano and Burano are easily accessible day trips from Venice by vaporetto. The best time to visit these islands is in the spring and fall when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are smaller.

In terms of local customs, it’s important to respect the privacy of the residents. While the colorful houses of Burano are incredibly photogenic, remember that they are people’s homes. Always be respectful when taking photos.

Food and Drink Experiences

Both islands offer delightful food and drink experiences. In Murano, be sure to try a ‘bussolà’, a traditional Venetian biscuit that’s perfect with a cup of coffee. In Burano, don’t miss the chance to taste the island’s famous ‘Bussolà Buranello’, a donut-shaped cookie that’s a local favorite. Seafood lovers will also enjoy the fresh fish and shellfish dishes served in the islands’ restaurants. Pair your meal with a glass of Veneto’s famous Prosecco for a truly Venetian dining experience.

3 – Sant’erasmo (Venice Lagoon)

Sant’erasmo, often referred to as the “Garden of Venice,” is a tranquil island in the Venetian Lagoon. It’s a fantastic day trip for those seeking a break from the bustling city life of Venice. The lagoon island is renowned for its lush landscapes, vineyards, and orchards, producing a variety of fruits and vegetables, including the famous Sant’erasmo artichokes. 

The island also offers beautiful views of the lagoon and Venice in the distance.

How to Get There, Best Time to Visit, and What to Do

Getting to Sant’erasmo is a pleasant ride on the vaporetto (water bus) from Venice, taking about half an hour. The best time to visit is during the spring and summer months when the island’s vegetation is in full bloom. Once there, you can rent bikes to explore the island’s natural beauty, visit the Torre Massimiliana, a historic tower now converted into a cultural center, or simply enjoy a leisurely walk along the beach.

Unique Food and Drink Experiences in Sant’erasmo

Sant’erasmo offers a unique culinary experience, thanks to its agricultural richness. Don’t miss the chance to taste the island’s renowned artichokes, usually served fresh in local dishes. The island also produces its own wine, so a wine tasting is a must-do for wine lovers.

Accommodation Options for Extended Stays

While Sant’erasmo is typically visited as a day trip from Venice, those wishing to stay longer can find accommodation options on the island. There are a few charming bed and breakfasts that offer a peaceful retreat amidst the island’s natural beauty. 

Staying on the island provides a unique opportunity to experience the everyday life of the locals in this serene part of the Venetian Lagoon.

Remember to always check the availability and book in advance, especially during the peak tourist season.

4 – Bologna (Emilia Romagna)

Bologna, the capital of the Emilia Romagna region, is a city that’s rich in history and culture. Known as “La Dotta” (The Learned), “La Grassa” (The Fat), and “La Rossa” (The Red), Bologna is a city of many faces. It’s home to the oldest university in the world, the University of Bologna, which was founded in 1088 and has a student population that brings a youthful energy to the city.

Major Sites

Bologna is renowned for its beautiful and historic architecture. The Piazza Maggiore is a sprawling square that’s surrounded by some of the city’s most important buildings, including the Basilica of San Petronio, one of the largest churches in the world, and the Palazzo del Podesta, a historic city hall. 

The city is also famous for its porticoes, covered walkways that line the streets of the city center, and the Two Towers, the Asinelli and the Garisenda, which are the city’s main symbols.

The Journey from Venice

Bologna is conveniently located and is easily accessible from Venice. The journey by train takes about an hour and a half, making it a feasible day trip. The city’s main train station is located about 20 minutes’ walk from the Piazza Maggiore, and the route will take you past many of the city’s beautiful old buildings and impressive architecture.

Food and Drink Experiences

Bologna is often considered the culinary capital of Italy, and for good reason. The city is the birthplace of many famous Italian dishes, such as tortellini, lasagna, and ragu (the meat sauce that’s often referred to as Bolognese sauce). The city is also known for its cured meats, cheeses, and wines. 

When in Bologna, be sure to visit one of the city’s many trattorias to experience authentic Bolognese cuisine.

5 – Bassano del Grappa (Veneto)

Nestled in a picturesque setting with the foothills of the Alps rising behind it and the Brenta River flowing through it, Bassano del Grappa is a charming city that makes for a fantastic day trip from Venice. The city boasts a rich history, with architectural wonders dating back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It is also famed for its production of the potent grappa spirit.

ponte degli alpini bassano del grappa best day trips from venice


The heart of life in Bassano del Grappa is centered around Piazza Garibaldi and Piazza della Liberta. However, the city’s most popular attraction is the beautiful Ponte degli Alpini, a wooden bridge offering stunning views of the river and the city. It’s an ideal spot for capturing memorable photos.

Journey from Venice

Bassano del Grappa is located to the northwest of Venice and is easily accessible by public transport. A direct train line connects the two cities, with trains departing frequently. The journey takes approximately an hour and 15 minutes, and once you arrive, the scenic city center is just a short stroll away.

bassano del grappa best day trips from venice

For a more immersive experience, consider taking a guided tour. This is a great way to get a feel for the lovely Venetian hill towns. With stops at Bassano del Grappa, Asolo, and Marostica included, alongside prosecco tasting at a local vineyard and a visit to a Palladian villa, it promises to be an action-packed day out.

Unique Food and Drink Experiences

Bassano del Grappa is renowned for its production of grappa, a strong Italian spirit. A visit to Bassano del Grappa would be incomplete without a tasting session. The city also offers a variety of local dishes that are worth trying, such as “bigoli”, a type of pasta often served with duck ragu.

6 – Chioggia (Veneto)

Chioggia, often referred to as “Little Venice,” is a charming town located in the Veneto region, about an hour away from Venice. This medieval town is nestled on two islands, separated by the ‘Channel Vena,’ and is known for its vibrant fishing and port activities. It’s a fantastic day trip from Venice, offering a glimpse into the everyday life of a traditional Italian fishing town.


Chioggia is a treasure trove of historical and cultural attractions. Start your visit at the arcaded Piazzetta Vigo, where you’ll find the Vigo Bridge and a high column with the Lion of Saint Mark. 

Not far from here is the 14th-century Palace of the Granaio Pubblico, a neo-gothic style building with beautiful windows with pointed arches. Behind the palace is the fish market, a Chioggia landmark, where you can find fresh fish of various species.

The town is also home to several beautiful churches, including the Church of Saint Andrew with its 12th-century bell tower, the Holy Trinity Church with important paintings by Palma il Giovane and Andrea Vicentino, and the 13th-century Church of Saint Dominic which includes a 16th-century painting by Vittore Carpaccio.

How to Get There and Best Time to Visit

Chioggia is easily accessible by public transport from Venice. You can take a direct train line from Venice’s Santa Lucia train station to Chioggia. The journey takes about an hour and a half. The best time to visit Chioggia is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the town is less crowded.

Food and Drink Experiences

Chioggia offers a wide range of local specialities based on seafood. Try the ‘granseole’ (crab meat with olive oil, lemon, and spices), ‘bigoli in salsa’ (spaghetti with garlic sauce, oil, onion, parsley, and anchovy fillets), and the so-called ‘black cuttlefish’ (squid cut and boiled in a sauté onion, garlic, white wine, and tomatoes). Don’t miss the ‘Festival of salt-water fish’ that takes place during the first ten days of July, where you can enjoy local products and a few glasses of Merlot, Cabernet, Prosecco, and Soave.

7 – Verona (Veneto)

Verona, famously known as the setting for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” is a city in the Veneto region of Italy that is rich in history and culture. It’s a medieval city that effortlessly combines its historical past with a vibrant present. I highly recommend a Verona day trip as it is one of my favorite cities in Northern Italy. 

Major Sites

Verona is home to a number of significant historical sites. The Roman Arena, an enormous amphitheater that dates back to the 1st century AD, is one of the best-preserved of its kind. Despite its age, the Arena is still in use today, hosting concerts and operas. 

The city is also home to the Ponte Scaligero, a beautiful bridge that was rebuilt after World War II.

The city’s most famous site is Juliet’s House, which draws visitors from around the world who wish to stand on the famous balcony and declare their love. The city is also home to numerous beautiful churches and piazzas, including the ornate San Zeno Maggiore Church and the bustling Piazza delle Erbe.

The Journey from Venice

Verona is conveniently located just over an hour’s high speed train ride west of Venice, making it an easy day trip. Trains depart frequently from Venice Santa Lucia train station, and upon arrival in Verona, you’ll find yourself just a short walk from the city’s historic center.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Verona is in the spring (April to June) or fall (September to October) when the weather is mild and the city is less crowded with tourists. The summer months can be quite hot, and the city is often crowded with tourists.

Unique Food and Drink Experiences

Verona is known for its excellent cuisine and wine. The city is particularly famous for its risotto, which is often served with Amarone wine, a rich red wine that is produced in the region. Other local specialties include pastissada de caval, a horse meat stew, and pandoro, a sweet bread that is traditionally served at Christmas.

8 – Lake Garda (Lombardy/Veneto)

Lake Garda, nestled between Lombardy and Veneto, is Italy’s largest lake and a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. With its clear blue waters, charming lakeside towns, and stunning mountain backdrop, Lake Garda is a perfect day trip from Venice.

Attractions and Activities

Lake Garda is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy a variety of water sports, including sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking. For those who prefer land-based activities, the surrounding area offers excellent hiking and biking trails.

There is an elevated bike path that hugs the cliffs of the river’s edge suspended above the water. The views are incredible and it is a ride you’ll never forget. 

The blue lake is dotted with picturesque towns and villages, each with its unique charm. Desenzano del Garda, at the southern tip of the lake, is known for its lively atmosphere and beautiful beaches. Sirmione, located on a peninsula extending into the lake, is famous for its medieval castle and thermal baths.

A Lake Garda day trip would not be complete without a trip to Gardaland, Italy’s largest amusement park, which offers fun for the whole family.

Getting There and Around

Lake Garda is about a two-hour drive from Venice. There are also direct train lines from Venice to Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda, both located on the southern shore of the lake. Once you’re there, you can get around by car, bus, or ferry. 

The Lake Garda ferry service is a pleasant and convenient way to explore the different towns and attractions around the lake making it one of the most fun day trips.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Lake Garda is from April to October when the Northern Italy weather is warm and most attractions are open. However, the lake is beautiful all year round, and a visit in the off-season allows you to enjoy its beauty without the crowds.

Food and Drink

Lake Garda is renowned for its local cuisine, which features fresh fish from the lake and delicious wines from the surrounding vineyards. Try “trout in carpione,” a traditional dish of marinated trout, or “risotto con tinca,” a risotto with tench, a fish native to the lake. 

For wine lovers, a visit to a local winery for a tasting of the region’s famous Bardolino or Lugana wines is a must.


If you decide to extend your stay, Lake Garda offers a wide range of accommodation options. From luxury hotels with stunning lake views to cozy bed and breakfasts in the charming lakeside towns, there’s something to suit every taste and budget. 

For a unique experience, consider staying in a historic villa or a modern eco-friendly resort.

9 – Padua (Veneto)

Padua, or Padova as it’s known in Italy, is a charming city in the Veneto region, just a short train ride away from Venice. Known for its ancient university and rich history, Padua offers a unique blend of historic sights, vibrant student life, and modern business. It’s a city where you can wander through historic streets, admire stunning architecture, and enjoy a variety of cultural experiences.

Major Sites

Padua’s biggest tourist attraction is the Scrovegni Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni), renowned for its priceless frescoes by Giotto. The Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua, known simply as Il Santo, is another must-visit site. Beyond these two, the city is filled with numerous other historic sights, art galleries, and parks.

Journey from Venice

Padua is easily accessible from Venice by train, with the journey taking only about 20-40 minutes depending on the type of train you take. The city’s train station is located just north of the town center, making it convenient for visitors to start exploring right away.

Best Time to Visit

Padua can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when the weather is mild and the city is less crowded.

Unique Food and Drink Experiences

Padua offers a variety of unique food and drink experiences. The city is known for its traditional Italian cuisine, with a variety of restaurants and bars offering everything from quick snacks to substantial meals. For a refreshing afternoon treat, try some high-quality ice cream from Grom on Via Roma, a new Italian institution loved by Slow Food aficionados.

10 – Vicenza (Veneto)

Nestled in the heart of the Veneto region, Vicenza is a hidden gem that’s often overlooked by tourists. Known as the “City of Gold” due to its long-standing tradition in goldsmithing, Vicenza is also famous for its unique architectural style, largely influenced by the renowned 16th-century architect Andrea Palladio. This has led to the city’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts.

Attractions in Vicenza

Vicenza is home to numerous grand buildings designed by Palladio and his followers. The most famous among these is the Villa La Rotunda and Teatro Olimpico, Palladio’s last work, which was completed by his son and then by Vincenzo Scamozzi. This theatre, modeled on ancient Roman theatres, boasts a curved amphitheatre, graded stepped seating, and lavish ornamentation.

Another notable landmark is the Basilica Palladiana, the town’s medieval law courts, featuring an imposing facade by Palladio. The city’s heart, Piazza dei Signori, is dominated by these two striking landmarks.

For art lovers, the Gothic Church of Santa Corona houses works by Giovanni Bellini and Paolo Veronese. And for a panoramic view of the area, a walk or bus ride uphill to the Santuario di Monte Berico is highly recommended.

Journey from Venice and Best Time to Visit

Vicenza can be reached in 45 minutes from Venice by taking one of the high speed trains; a cheaper option will take just over an hour. The city’s compact town center and attractive villas in the hills a short walk away make it a fantastic day trip from Venice. The best time to visit Vicenza is during spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when the weather is most pleasant.

Keep in mind that in August many of the shops and restaurants will be closed for a week or two. 

Unique Food and Drink Experiences in Vicenza

Vicenza offers a variety of unique food and drink experiences. The city is known for its traditional dishes like “baccalà alla vicentina” (salted cod cooked with milk, onions, and anchovies) and “bigoli” (a type of thick spaghetti usually served with duck ragu). For wine lovers, a visit to a local winery to taste the regional wines like the white Soave or the red Valpolicella is a must.

11 – Trieste (Friuli Venezia Giulia)

main square piazza unita trieste in evening

Trieste, the capital of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, is a charming city located in northeastern Italy and offers one of the most unique day trips from Venice. It’s a unique blend of Italian, Slovenian, and Austrian cultures due to its location near the Slovenian border and its history as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant café culture.

Getting There

Trieste is easily accessible from Venice by train. The journey takes about 2 hours, making it a perfect day trip destination. The city’s train station, Trieste Centrale, is conveniently located near the city center.

Things to Do

Once in Trieste, there are plenty of things to see and do. Start your visit at Piazza Unità d’Italia, one of the largest sea-facing squares in Europe. From there, you can easily reach the city’s main attractions. Visit the stunning Miramare Castle, which offers breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. Explore the Roman Theatre, a testament to Trieste’s ancient history. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Trieste Cathedral and the impressive Risiera di San Sabba, a former rice-husking factory turned concentration camp during World War II is also worth visiting.

Food and Drink

typical food trieste, smoked meats boiled with mustard and sauerjkraut in trieste buffet da pepi

Trieste is famous for its café culture. Make sure to visit one of the city’s historic coffee houses, such as Caffè San Marco or Caffè degli Specchi, and try a traditional Triestine coffee. For lunch or dinner, enjoy local specialties like jota (a hearty bean and sauerkraut soup), gnocchi di susine (plum dumplings), or fresh seafood dishes. Pair your meal with a glass of local Friulano wine.


Trieste is a walkable city, so comfortable shoes are a must. The city is also known for its strong winds, especially the Bora wind, so be prepared with a light jacket or windbreaker. Lastly, while Italian is the official language, you’ll also hear Slovenian and German spoken, reflecting the city’s multicultural heritage.

12 – Piran (Slovenia)

Piran, a charming town located on the Adriatic coast, is a hidden gem that makes for an unforgettable day trip from Venice. This Slovenian town is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, narrow alleys, and stunning views of the sea. Its unique appeal lies in its Venetian Gothic architecture, reminiscent of Venice itself, and its picturesque setting on a narrow peninsula.


Piran is a town where history and culture are intertwined with everyday life. The town’s main square, Tartinijev Trg, is a beautiful marble-paved area that was once the inner harbor. The square is adorned with a statue of a nattily dressed man, adding to its charm.

typical venetian building in piran

The Cathedral of St George, with its free-standing bell tower modeled on the campanile of San Marco in Venice, offers a panoramic view of the town and the sea. The Venetian House, a red mid-15th-century Gothic structure with tracery windows and a balcony, is another eye-catching structure in Piran.

For those interested in history, the Sergej Mašera Maritime Museum and the Mediadom Pyrhani, a multimedia, interactive museum, offer insights into Piran’s maritime history and overall historical story.

How to Get There and Best Time to Visit

Getting to Piran from Venice involves a pleasant ferry ride across the Adriatic Sea. There are several ferry services available that offer a direct line to this beautiful city in Slovenia. The journey takes about 2.5 to 3 hours, making it a feasible day trip.

The best time to visit Piran is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the town is less crowded. Summer can be quite busy, but it’s also when the town is most vibrant.

Unique Food and Drink Experiences in Piran

Piran offers a variety of unique food and drink experiences. The town is known for its seafood restaurants, where you can enjoy fresh fish caught in the Adriatic Sea. Don’t miss out on trying the local olive oil and Piran sea salt, which are considered among the best in the world.

For wine lovers, a visit to the nearby vineyards for a wine tasting session is a must. The region is known for its Refošk and Malvazija wines.

Accommodation Options for Extended Stays

While Piran is perfect for a day trip, it also offers a range of accommodation options for those who wish to extend their stay. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses, there’s something for every traveler. Some popular options include the Hotel Piran, located on the seafront, and the more budget-friendly Hostel Piran. 

Staying overnight allows you to experience the town’s enchanting atmosphere after the day-trippers have left.

13 – Prosecco Region and Prosecco Road

best day trip from venice - wine tasting tour of prosecco

The Prosecco region, located in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of Italy, is a sparkling wine lover’s paradise. The area is renowned for its production of Prosecco, a bubbly white wine that has gained international acclaim. The lovely countryside is characterized by rolling hills covered in vineyards, charming villages, and historic wineries.

The Prosecco Road, or “Strada del Prosecco,” is a scenic route that winds through the heart of the Prosecco region. 

baldi prosecco windery, best day trip from venice

The road stretches from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene, passing through picturesque landscapes and offering stunning views of the vineyards and the surrounding countryside. Whether you travel the route by bike or car, you’ll find numerous wineries where you can stop for a tasting and learn about the traditional methods of Prosecco production.

picnic area among the prosecco hills

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply a lover of beautiful landscapes, the Prosecco region and the Prosecco Road offers one of the best day trips from Venice. The area is easily accessible from Venice, making it one of the best Venice day trips for those looking to explore beyond the city’s canals.

Read my full guide on taking a tour of Prosecco from Venice!

Getting There

The Prosecco region is about an hour’s drive from Venice. You can rent a car and drive yourself, or join a guided tour that includes transportation and wine tastings. Since this is one of the day trips from Venice in which you’ll likely do the most drinking, I highly recommend booking a driver to take you around. 

If you prefer public transportation, you can take a train from Venice to Conegliano and then a local bus to Valdobbiadene.

When to Visit

The Prosecco region can be visited year-round, but the best time to go is during the grape harvest season, from late August to October. During this time, you can witness the grape picking and wine making process first-hand. The region also hosts several wine festivals throughout the year, offering a great opportunity to sample a variety of Proseccos and meet the local producers.

Wrapping It Up

Venturing beyond the enchanting canals of Venice opens up a world of captivating day trips. From the scenic islands of Murano and Burano to the historic towns of Verona and Vicenza, each destination offers its own unique charm and experiences. 

Explore the wonders of the Venice Lagoon, indulge in delicious food and wine, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Northern Italy. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, historic sites, or culinary delights, these day trips from Venice are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

Sal Presti

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