Are you looking for the best day trips from Venice to escape the city a bit? This guide is here to help!
On this guide, you will find the top Venice day trips, including excursions within the city and exciting trips outside of it!
There are some of the top-rated day tours from Venice (including a Prosecco tasting nearby!) and some longer day trips that could actually become overnighters, like Florence.
Did we miss any of the best day trips from Venice?
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Best Day Trips From Venice
1. Murano, Burano, and the Torcello Islands
Take a shuttle from Saint Lucia Train Station in San Marco or meet in San Marco on your own terms to catch a boat tour to the smaller islands of the Venetian lagoon.
Murano and Burano are the two iconic glass-making islands of Veneto, and you can catch a glass-making tour in a local glass factory.
It truly is one of the essential things to do in Venice!
Sail the stunning waters of the lagoon on a water taxi and relish the views from its panoramic terrace. The guide will provide background and commentary on the tour as you embark on the islands.
You will first arrive in Murano, which is renowned for its glass-making. Watch a local artisan at the local glass factory demonstrate the process of glass making.
Afterward, you can stroll through the narrow streets and souvenir shops and cafes for about an hour before heading over to Burano.
In contrast, this second island is notable for its colorful buildings and lacework.
Venture into the heart of the town with your tour guide where you’ll then have 2 hours to catch sight of the vibrant buildings, purchase from the needle-lace souvenir shops, and have lunch from the many cafes.
Finally, head over to Torcello, where you’ll see the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta.
2. Dolomites, Lake Misurina, and Cortina
Take a trip to the enchanting Dolomite mountains, home to some of the most beautiful villages in all of Europe.
Take stops along the drive to the mountain range for walks around lakes and scenic views. Enjoy a city tour of Cortina D’Ampezzo and walk through its streets lined with charming shops.
You can watch the Faloria or Tofana cable cars coming and going from the mountains to the town, and vice versa.
Use the level terrain to walk up to the iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo, which is 2,360 meters high, and enjoy a marvelous view over the mountain range from soaring peaks, valleys, and glaciers, to pine forests and larch surrounding lakes with mirrored reflections of the Dolomites.
On the mountain side, you’ll also see picturesque Tyrolean villages and resorts. Nearby is Lake Misurina, one of the largest lakes in the mountain range, and is known as the “Pearl of the Dolomites.”
It is known to have some of the purest air in the world due to its high altitude. At the close of the day’s exploration, enjoy the comfortable and scenic drive through the illuminating sunset on the Dolomite mountain range on the drive back to Venice.
3. Go on a Prosecco Wine-tasting Tour
The wine country of Veneto is renowned for its beauty, wineries, and especially its Prosecco.
Meet with an expert that will guide you through the highlights of the region whilst explaining the origins, traditions, and history of the art of sparkling wine.
Meet the guide near Venice’s historical center and journey together in a comfortable van toward Veneto’s wine-producing regions.
On your drive toward your first stop, you will pass a compound of small and charming towns with extensive vineyards that were the original location of Prosecco production– the Conegliano Valdobbiadene.
The first traditional winery you will stop at is family-run and has a guided tour of its vineyard ready for you.
From there, you will engage in a light lunch and tasting session of local products, such as bread, salami, seasonal vegetables, cheese, and of course, a wine tasting.
After your lunch break, you will head over to the second winery for a guided tour of the Prosecco production process, where you will learn all about the renowned Charmat method.
Afterward, you’ll enjoy a second wine-tasting session. At the close of the Prosecco tasting and education, your and your guide will return back to the center of Venice.
Distance from Venice: 120.9 km (1 hour, 20 minutes)
Verona is an ancient city dating back to the 1st century B.C.
It has a remarkable amount of preserved landmarks from a variety of eras throughout its existence, with monuments from the ancient Roman Empire to the medieval and Renaissance periods.
Start your Veronese adventure in perhaps the largest square in Italy– at the Piazza Bra.
The Palazzo Barbieri and the neoclassical City Hall of Verona enclose the square, as well as the Arena di Verona, the Lapidary Museum, the Guastaverza Palace, the Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Ottolini Palace, and Guglienzi-Brognoligo Palace on Liston.
The icon of the city is the Roman Amphitheater, which is adjacent to the Piazza Bra.
Centro Storico is a part of the old town with a network of narrow streets, squares, markets, churches, bridges, colorful houses, palaces, museums, cafes, bars, restaurants, and a plethora of shopping options.
The largest church in Verona is the Basilica di Santa Anastasia which is built in the most ancient part of the town.
Castelvecchio is an ancient barracks that now functions today as a museum. Connected to the castle is the Ponte Scaligero, a fortified red brick bridge towering over the Adige River, and it is beautifully illuminated at nightfall.
5. Lake Garda
Distance from Venice: 184.3 km (2 hours, 21 minutes)
Lake Garda’s stunning clean waters are bordered by olive groves, lemon trees, and soaring mountainous peaks.
There are a plethora of outdoor recreational activities to partake in, and a vast array of towns to select to engage in those activities: there is rock climbing via ferratas in Arco, relaxing outdoor thermal baths in Lazise and Sirmione, and excellent cycling scenery at the lakefront Nago-Torbole and Riva del Garda.
Check out the many local gorges, including Vione Canyon, Rio Nero, Gumpenfever Canyon, River Palvico, and Vajo dell’Orsa.
Go rafting, flyboarding, kitesurfing, windsurfing or kayaking on the lake, or mountain biking on one of the many trails in Garda Trentino, Dro, Tenno, Arco, or Riva del Garda.
For sightseeing, Castello Scaligero is a stunning and well-preserved castle and medieval Italian fortress on the emerald waters in the heart of Sirmione.
Both Sirmione and Lazise have historic narrow streets lined with boutiques and specialty shops, a variety of restaurants, cafes, bars, and a picturesque port on the lake.
Malesine and Limone are also some of the best small towns in Italy with signature cobbled streets and notable restaurants on the lakeside.
The archaeological site of Grotte di Catullo is a ruined Roman complex and villa and is a part of the archaeological museum.
Distance from Venice: 271 km (2 hours, 59 minutes)
Florence is a masterpiece housing a myriad of other masterpieces. It is one of the best day trips from Venice, and even one of the best weekend trips from Venice!
The city itself is known for its gorgeous Renaissance architecture, and renowned museums with famous collections of paintings, sculptures, relics, and terracotta-tiled cathedrals.
The iconic Duomo di Firenze, otherwise known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is a massive structure in the heart of the city with the highest view within the city center.
There are only 463 steps to get to the top of Duomo’s Lantern, and from it, you are granted the best views of Florence. It is one of the best things to do in both winter and summer!
The interior of the cathedral is notable for its painted artwork inside the dome, leading up into layers of biblical heaven.
The Piazza della Signoria is the life force of the city and is perhaps its most important square.
It is adjacent to the Uffizi Gallery, which is a classically designed palace commissioned by the House of Medici, and now functions as a museum of classical art.
The art gallery features many important and notable artworks, such as Michaelangelo’s “Annunciation” and Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus.”
The square also includes the Palazzo Vecchio, which is the city’s town hall, and is next to the Galleria dell’Accademia, where Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture is on display.
Distance from Venice: 75.2 km (55 minutes)
For an authentic Italian experience without overwhelming tourism, Vincenza is that midway point between Venice and Verona to enjoy.
It has important historic buildings championing a variety of architecture, and is called the “Pearl of the Renaissance.”
In the heart of the city center of Vicenza, you’ll find the Basilica Palladiana, a town hall that was metamorphosed into a Renaissance palace by Andrea Palladio.
Its statue-ordained and terraced rooftop grants excellent views over the city center and has a lounge, cafe, restaurant, and bar. The ground floor of the building has a row of high-end shops selling jewelry, watches, and glasses.
Additionally, the two most famous bars can be found there– Bar Borsa and Il Grottino. The town hall is settled in the town’s main square– Piazza dei Signori, also called Piazza Dante, due to the statue of the writer Dante Alighieri.
The world’s oldest surviving stage set and the oldest roofed theater in the world is at Vicenza’s Teatro Olimpico, and encompasses a revival of classical ideas by Andrea Palladio once again, featuring frescoed walls and ornate wall decorations, all whilst entirely being made of stucco.
Stroll through town to see the 23 other buildings and palaces designed and erected by Palladio.
Distance from Venice: 145 km (2 hours, 19 minutes)
Explore the astonishing historic buildings of Ravenna, showcasing architecture and mosaics of Byzantine influence.
The city includes a multitude of religious sites, its most ancient being the Neonian Baptistery, which was built over the ruins of an ancient Roman bath.
Nearby is the Basilica di San Vitale, notable for its detailed and elaborate Byzantine mosaics and decoration in its interior.
Steps away is the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, known for its Garden of Eden motifs and stunning interior artwork.
Located in the old historic town is the Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, an ancient palace also with stunning, vibrant mosaics and a bell tower featuring stone arches.
The Basilica di San Francesco hosts tombs and artifacts, and the Museo Nazionale Ravenna showcases a large collection of artifacts, relics, and art from numerous historic and religious sites in Ravenna.
The Tomb of Theodoric is the mausoleum of the King of the Ostrogoths, and the real Tomb of Dante Alighieri, the prominent Italian poet that impacted the Italian language, is also within the city.
Ravenna is known for its seafood gastronomy due to its close proximity to the Adriatic Sea. Their cuisine has unique delicacies, such as eel pickling, to seafood variations of classics, such as tortellini, tagliatelle, lasagne, and gramigna.
9. Bassano del Grappa
Distance from Venice: 98.8 km (1 hour, 10 minutes)
Near the flat plains of Veneto and the hillside leading to the Venetian Prealps where the Altopiano dei Sette Comuni and Mount Grappa, where the commune gets its name from, are located.
The city is primarily known for its wooden bridge, Ponte degli Alpini, covering the Brenta River. It is another masterpiece of Andrea Palladio, built on pillars and with a roof, and is a national monument and emblem of the city.
The rest of the city’s architecture is typical of the Venetian region, with intertwining piazzas and arcaded streets outlining the alpine wooden balconies of the classic buildings.
The rows of shops throughout consist of specialty shops, souvenir shops, clothing shops, furnishing shops, and shops of local delicacies, such as strong grappa liqueur and ceramics.
The Museo degli Alpini showcases the military history of Monte Grappa, with emphasis on Italy’s Alpine Troops.
The Museo Civico features local excavations and education on the local history and also showcases art galleries collected by local, historically affluent families, like the dal Ponte or Bassano families.
In Palazzo Sturm, you’ll find the Museo della Ceramica, a testimony to the city’s ceramic-making culture, and near the iconic bridge is the Museo della Grappa and distillery.
Distance from Venice: 161.6 km (1 hour, 53 minutes)
The thin strip of land bordered by the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia is the port city of Trieste. It is settled on the Karst Plateau, known for its limestone, which you can see utilized in the architecture all throughout the city.
Trieste has a medieval old city with a historic square overlooking the sea.
The Piazza Unità d’Italia is the largest of its kind in Europe and is at the foot of the hill alongside the city’s important municipal buildings and palaces, such as the castle of San Giusto.
In the neoclassical piazza is the historic Fontana dei Quattro Continenti at its center, the Trieste Town Hall facing the gulf, and the Palazzo del Governo at its end.
There are edifices and sculptures throughout the city with mythological motifs, primarily referring to Neptune, due to the city’s intimate relationship with the sea.
Right on the Gulf of Tiestre is Miramare Castle, a seaside Gothic Revival palace structure made of brilliant white Istrian stone, with stunning gardens overlooking the sea and a luxurious interior of elaborate craftsmanship.
Along the Canal Grande, you can find a vast array of restaurants and other cafes, as well. For some coffee with unbeatable sights, head over to Caffe degli Specchi.
Distance from Venice: 154.2 km (1 hour, 47 minutes)
Bologna is a thriving city with an abundance of activities to add to your itinerary.
Start your venture through the city in Piazza Maggiore; the historic square is lined with medieval and Renaissance buildings and monuments, such as the Basilica di San Petronio, the City Hall, and the Fountain of Neptune.
There is also a myriad of cafes, restaurants, galleries, boutiques, bars, and specialty shops lining the square to wander by. Bologna is known by another name– La Rossa– due to its iconic medieval red terracotta buildings.
Its colonnades and porticoes were built for the purpose of functioning as passageways. They were created to expand and extend the space of the already narrow streets.
Nearly 40 kilometers of porticoes can be found all throughout Bologna, each one with its own unique characteristics.
The most charming porticoes can be found in Piazza Maggiore, Piazza Santo Stefano, and Via Marsala.
The main attractions of the city are the Twin Towers of Bologna, or Le Due Torri.
They are the two remaining medieval towers that once dominated the Bolognese skyline, which earns its name from modern historians as the “Medieval Manhattan.”
Both the Asinelli and Garisenda offer breathtaking views of the city.
Distance from Venice: 41.3 km (45 minutes)
Perhaps the most notable attraction in Padua is the Saint Anthony of Padua Church, which is the most important religious site in the city in dedication to its patron saint.
It is a celebrated place of pilgrimage and one of eight international shrines recognized by the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church.
Its architecture combines the interiors of Baroque and Gothic styles, the dome of Byzantine styles, and an elaborate Romanesque exterior.
The city is also home to the second oldest university in the country, the University of Padua; the 800-year-old campus is always open for guided tours.
The Orto Botanico di Padova is half a millennia-old and is considered to be the oldest botanical garden in the world.
It was created during the Venetian Republic to grow medicinal plants and is today included in the campus and curriculum of the city’s university.
The largest piazza in the entirety of the nation is in Padua, called the Prato della Valle. It is about 90,000 square meters in size and it is decorated with 78 statues of the most famous residents of the city.
The Brenta Canal, also known as the Brenta Riviera, is famous for its picturesque countryside and the Venetian Villas.
Did we miss any of the best day trips from Venice? Let us know in the comments!
More Northern Italy Travel Guides
- Best things to do in Venice
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- Best things to do in Vicenza
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- Milan in winter
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- Milan day trips
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Aram is a travel blogger and writer from Armenia who spends his time between Spain and his home country. He is passionate about music and football (the European kind) and covers a lot of Western European destinations on the blog. Aram is a laidback traveler who enjoys meeting new people and finding the best food in each city that he visits (hence his frequent trips to France, Italy, and Greece!). He has been featured in (or written for) Forbes, BBC, The Guardian, Fodor’s Travel, and more.