Day trips from Venice

Escape the tourist hordes with these fun side trips from Venice

Here are best Venice excursions, from touring the outlying islands in the lagoon to cruising the Brenta Canal with its ornate villas to visiting the hilltowns of the Veneto like Asolo, Treviso, and Bassano del Grappa.

The mosaics in the Basilica San Marco in Venice The Outlying Islands of the northern lagoon ★★★ - Take a day and a vaporetto pass to visit Murano with its glass-blowing factories; sleepy, colorful Burano where little old ladies still tat old fashioned lace by hand; and swampy, half-deserted Torcello, with its remarkable medieval church and where Hemingway was fond of tramping about... » more
The mosaics in the Basilica San Marco in Venice The Brenta Canal - The Brenta was the Hamptons of Renaissance Venice, where doges built their summer palaces. Take a bus tour along—or a cruise down—the Brenta Canal past some 30 of the fabulous Ville Venete, a Renaissance and baroque Hamptons for 17th century Venetian bigwigs who could afford to hire Palladio or one of his imitators to build them a summer home, and painterly types like Tiepolo or Paolo Veronese to fresco them... » more
Asolo - Known as the "Town of a Hundred Horizons" because of its panoramic views, this nub of a medieval hill town (though it was founded during the twilight of Imperial Rome) has become the secret hideaway for true Veneto afficionados. Asolo was the Renaissance-era home of Caterina Cornaro of Venice, who was awarded the realm of Asolo for her help in (unsuccessfully) keeping the Turks out of Cyprus. Much of the 15th-century charm you see today is a result of her 12-year presence and patronage in the town.

Bassano del Grappa - This picturesque town on the Brenta River is renowned for its centuries-old production of handcrafted ceramics and of grappa, Italy's national firewater of choice. Its Palladian covered wooden bridge is a highlight of the small centro storico. The city's arcaded homes whose facades are painted in the traditional manner, and small squares make this a lovely break from the art-laden larger towns in the region.

Treviso - Treviso is a bustling, prosperous small city and center in the northern Veneto. It seems to have changed little from its early days as a medieval market town and staunch ally to Venice. Much of the city had to be rebuilt after severe World War II damage, but it was done well. Treviso's medieval palazzi and houses with painted facades, churches frescoed by Giotto's follower Tomaso da Modena (1325–79), and pleasant streets cut across by pretty canals together make for a lovely, genuine-Italy break from the tourist beat.

Tips & links

Escorted day trips from Venice
Tours, walks, & activities
How long does it take to see Venice?

Planning your day: You could spend an afternoon in Venice, a day or two, or a week and never run out of things to do and new corners to discover.

I would try to give Venice at least a day and a half. Three days would be better, but most people don't have that kind of time, even for Venice.

I have suggestions for how to spend anywhere from half a day in Venice up to three full days on the Venice itineraries pages.

Venice is a city that, at first glance, seems excessively touristy and overrun. Some visitors can't wait to move on to someplace that feels a bit less like a canal-rodden Disneyland.

However, given time (and purposefully getting lost once or twice), Venice reveals its serenissima side and begins to seduce even the most jaded of travelers.

Venice itineraries

Venice sightseeing passes

There are several cumulative ticket museum passes and discounts for pre-booking Venice:

  • Museum Pass ★★ (covering 11 civic museums and sights)
  • Chorus Pass (covering 16 major churches)
  • Venice Connected (a pre-booking service for sights and services offering minor discounts)
Venice links & resources

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