5 magical day trips from Venice within 2 hours of the city

Emirates Venice

Canals through Burano, Venice with coloured houses

Colourful Burano from Alaskan Dude on Flickr

Much is said of Venice proper’s famous sights like the bridge of sighs, Doges Palace and St Mark’s Square and basilica, but Venice is an excellent base to explore other towns and islands from, here are 5 day trips we recommend taking:

Murano and Burano

Just off the shore of Venice proper lies the group of islands called Murano. Catch the ferry from Venezia Fondamente Nuove and make your way through the narrow streets to view traditional Venetian glass-making by masters of this exquisite art. There is a glass making museum, factories and shops. Also add in the short ferry trip to quiet Burano, an island filled with pastel-coloured houses along canals where you can visit the museum and school of lace-making.

The Venice Lido

Venice’s playground is it’s Lido, the long thin Island which makes the barrier of the lagoon from the sea. Also reachable by ferry, on the Lido you’ll find tree-lines streets and long stretches of popular beach. It’s been popular with holiday-makers since the 1800’s when poets Byron and Shelley visited the Lido for horse-riding so there are many well established and quality hotels, bars and restaurants.

Padua Town Square

The serence Prato della Valle, from Wikipedia

Visit Historic Padua

A short train ride from Venice is Padua, a city so rich in historical sights, it probably warrants a longer stay, but a day trip there won’t go amiss. Visit one of the many spectacular churches like the Basilica of St Anthony and the unassuming Scrovegni chapel with its 14th century frescoes. Visit the Venetian palace of Palazzo della Ragione and saunter around the iconic Prato della Valle, the circular town square with it’s lake and island and rich collection of sculptures.

World Heritage Site Vicenza

The city of Vicenza is part of one of Italy’s richest architectural areas and is a little further out than Padua. Much of the city’s buildings are easily reachable on foot, noteably, the 16th century Teatro Olimpico, the oldest surviving enclosed theatre in the world, designed by architect Palladio who’s other works are found all over the town centre. A bus ride out from the city will take you to the romantic Palladian villas of the Veneto like La Rotonda, well worth visiting!

Exterior Villa Rotonda in Vicenze Italy

The opulent Villa Rotonda in Vicenze, from Wikipedia

Experience Romantic Verona

Furthest out of these 5 sights is Verona, dubbed the Florence of the North because of its similar architecture, it’s famously the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Another UNESCO World Heritage sight, the must sees here are Roman ruins like the massive Roman Arena, Romanesque treasures like the Basilica di San Zeno and of course, Juliet’s Balcony, supposedly where she would have stood being swooned by Romeo.

Venice is not just for the little islands and canals on the postcards, fly to Venice and use it as a base to Explore North-Eastern Italy from.

Emirates Venice

Our Readers Comments

  1. Hi Nick, we will be flying to Milan arriving on the 30th Jan via Tripoli. We will be spending 2 nights in Milan, two nights in Venice and 3 nights in Rome. We have booked a 3 day Eurail pass to travel between the three.
    Whilst up in the North we would like to catch a glimpse of the Italian Alps. Would it be possible to do as a day trip and what would the best option be? Also in Rome, I don’t think I could do more that 2 days of the sights, can you suggest a day trip from Rome?

    • Hi Gary, sounds like quite the trip you’ve got planned! It’s not common to go to the Alps when using Venice as a base, it may be possible to to catch a train through to Calalzo and do some exploring in the foothills there. I’d suggest asking at your hotel if there are organised tours they could suggest (to ensure you get back in time and are not stuck overnight in a far away village). The closest part of the Alps to Venice is the Dolomites or Dolomiti in Italian.

      As for Rome, there is so much to do in the city, you may not find the time to get out of the city. One of my colleagues has been 4 times and still never leaves the city when he visits. But it may still be worth investigating, I find that about.com often has some great tips, check out their suggestions here:


      Hope this helps! 🙂

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