Fancy a day trip away from the crowded canals of Venice? Venezia and the surrounding regions are packed with incredible options which are reachable by boat or car. We’re talking historic cities famous for their pasta, plus dreamy lakes lined with gorgeous Roman villas! Sounds amazing, right?
If you’re keen to expand your horizons, here are just a few easy day trips from Venice to put on your agenda:
If your other half demands a Romeo and Juliet moment, venture to Verona
You may have heard of this Italian city before! Of course, it’s the setting of Shakespeare’s iconic romance, Romeo and Juliet!
It’ll take you just over an hour to get to Verona from Venice. And it’s an enchanting city thanks to its literary connections and abundance of heritage sites.
Obviously, the main attraction is the landmark Juliet’s House located on Via Capello which even has a stone balcony that’s thought to have inspired the Shakespearian tragedy. Why not pretend to be Romeo from below? You probably won’t be the only one!
Get your camera ready and your Instagram primed, as there are plenty of other beautiful buildings to admire, plus a lot of great osterias (rustic restaurants) to sample some local wine and cuisine.
Visiting Venice in the summer? Why not plan a day trip to Verona around the city’s prestigious annual opera festival? It’s hosted in an amazing 1st century Roman amphitheatre!
Driving time: 80 minutes
If you’re all about that Dolce Vita, relax on the shores of Lake Garda
Just a little further west of Verona you’ll hit the shores of Lake Garda. The huge body of water is the largest of the Italian Lakes and a major holiday destination in its own right!
If you’re just visiting for the day from Venice, the east or southern shores of the lake are ideal to maximise your time. Sirmione – a strip of land that juts out across the water – is perfect and packed with loads of historic buildings, including the 13th century Castello di Sirmione.
Fancy exploring a little further? On Lake Garda’s east side, you’ll find a string of idyllic villages like Bardolino and Garda which are well-worth a wander. There’s also the peaceful Parco Baia delle Sirene which overlooks the water and has its own private beach, plus a couple of fantastic water parks if you’re travelling with kids.
Driving time: 90 minutes
If bubbly is your drink of choice, get it straight from the source in Prosecco
Fan of the occasional glass (or three) of fizz? Then you’re in luck. It’s definitely possible to do a road trip to the pretty Prosecco wine region from Venice!
You’ll find it just around the coast from Venezia and on the fringes of Trieste – the last city before you hit Slovenia. And the best bit? There are over 100 wineries in the area. A lot of them run tours too, so they’ll be plenty of chance for a tipple.
Our favourites? Why not try the small yet award-winning Bastia vineyard or the huge Borgoluce wine estate? Borgoluce even has its own restaurant offering homemade Buffalo mozzarella, locally grown olives and sweet local honey. Yes!
Driving time: 1 hour 40 minutes
If you want to stuff your face with great Italian grub, set your sights on Bologna
Italy is all about the food. And Bologna is a real treat. It also has great architecture and great café culture. So what’s not to love about a day trip to Bologna?! While the city isn’t technically the birthplace of spaghetti bolognaise, it is renowned for its gastronomy – particularly when it comes to pasta dishes!
You can discover all manner of restaurants in Bologna’s terracotta buildings. They’ll be serving plenty of local delicacies – some you might have heard of too. Tortellini (stuffed pasta), Mortadella ham and Parmigiana Reggiano, were all born here. All of which you’ll be able to taste at the fabulous FICO World Eataly foodie theme park. Bologna is also famed for its meaty Ragú Bolognese sauce which forms the base of both lasagne and what we call spag bol! Just don’t mention spag bol in front of the locals!
Driving time: 1 hour 45 minutes
If you love looking at ornate buildings, Ravenna has plenty to ogle
Fancy yourself an architecture buff? If you make your way to Ravenna in the neighbouring Emilia-Romagna region, you’ll find some of the most beautiful buildings in Europe!
As with much of this region the Romans were involved at some point. In fact, the city was once the bustling capital of the Western Roman Empire.
Now it’s home to no fewer than eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Wow! You just have to check out the colourful early Christian mosaics – some of which date back almost 1500 years and are truly spectacular. Anything else not to be missed? We just love the Basilica di San Vitale and the ancient Mausoleum of Galla Placidia.
The drive to Ravenna is also a real treat as it takes you along a stunning coastal route and through a gorgeous nature reserve perfect for scenic walks!
Driving time: 2 hours
If the boat life is for you, sail around Murano, Burano and Torcello
Can’t get enough of relaxing on the water? Fancy seeing three islands in a day? A day trip to this trio of islands may not take you too far from Venice, but it will give you a chance to soak up a little more culture in the region.
You can glide across the water on a vaporetto (water taxi) to Murano that’s famed for its delicate handmade glass. If you want to discover more about its history then head to the Glass Museum. Fancy some fresh food? Well, neighbouring Burano is traditionally a fisherman’s island, meaning there’s a handful of awesome seafood eateries hidden among its colourful houses.
After two islands you’ll probably be ready for a rest. You’re in luck! Torcello’s relaxed pace of life is a welcome reprieve from the busy alleys and canals of Venice. It’s also home to one of the best restaurants in the region – Locanda Cipriani – that’s served up tasty food to numerous celebs over the years. Book a table and you might just find yourself rubbing shoulders with an A lister!
Keen to continue your explorations of idyllic Italy? Take a look at our guide to the gorgeous Amalfi Coast or plan a road trip around Italy’s many mighty volcanoes.