EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader
Find Us
ADVERTISEMENT

Escape the crowd with one of these easy day trips from Venice

It’s simple to hop on a waterbus or train and take a day trip to a quieter destination.
It’s simple to hop on a waterbus or train and take a day trip to a quieter destination. Copyright Demky
Copyright Demky
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
Published on
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

It’s simple to hop on a water bus or train and take a day trip to a quieter destination.

ADVERTISEMENT

Tourists are arriving in Venice in their droves this summer, clogging the city’s narrow alleys with crowds and causing snaking queues at attractions.

If you have booked to stay in the canal city too, you might find yourself a little overwhelmed.

Luckily, it’s simple to hop on a water bus or train and take a day trip to a quieter destination.

From the birthplace of Aperol spritz to an island with Venice’s oldest mosaics, here are four nearby escapes.

Torcello for the oldest mosaics in Venice

Although now sparsely populated, the island of Torcello was inhabited before Venice itself. Once a major trading post, it is now a series of bucolic canals, clusters of coloured houses and lots of green spaces.

Marialaura Gionfriddo
The island’s main attraction is the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta.Marialaura Gionfriddo

The island’s main attraction is the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, an immense cathedral founded in 639. The interior glitters with towering walls of golden mosaics, the oldest in the Venice area.

If you want to feel like you’re out in the countryside, wander Torcello’s backwaters, cross the Devil’s Bridge and enjoy a casual lunch at the informal Taverna Tipica Veneziana shaded by trees.

How to get to Torcello from Venice

From the Fondamente Nove in Venice, catch the number 12 vaporetto (water bus) to Torcello. The journey takes about an hour.

Vicenza for the most elegant street in Europe

Despite being just a short train ride from Venice, Vicenza remains relatively unsung by guidebooks and travel companies.

Visitors in the 19th century were more impressed, particularly historian Cesare Cantù who praised the Corso Palladio as the most elegant street in Europe.

Gunnar Ridderström
The city is home to 23 Palladio-designed buildings including the iconic La Rotonda villa and the lavish Teatro Olimpico.Gunnar Ridderström

The pedestrianised thoroughfare is named after Renaissance heavyweight architect Andrea Palladio. He designed several churches in Venice, including San Giorgio Maggiore, but Vicenza can claim the greatest concentration of his work.

The city is home to 23 Palladio-designed buildings including the iconic La Rotonda villa and the lavish Teatro Olimpico.

How to get to Vicenza from Venice

A fast regional train runs from Venice to Vicenza once an hour and takes around 45 minutes.

Padua for the birthplace of Aperol

You can drink plenty of Aperol in Venice but the birthplace of the tangerine-coloured bitter is the nearby city of Padua (Padova in Italian).

In its buzzing Piazza delle Erbe, where markets take place during the day, sit at outdoor cafè tables to sip aperitifs and people watch. Another of its squares, Prato della Valle, is said to be the largest in Europe and is home to 78 giant statues of eminent historical figures.

ADVERTISEMENT
Clovis Wood Photography
Prato della Valle is said to be the largest in Europe and is home to 78 giant statues of eminent historical figures.Clovis Wood Photography

The city is also home to one of the most significant artistic masterpieces in the history of painting.

The interior of the Scrovegni Chapel was decorated by medieval Italian master Giotto who displayed his groundbreaking perspective and rendering of emotion in a series of biblical scenes.

How to get to Padua from Venice

Fast regional trains run every half hour from Venice to Padua and take just under half an hour.

Ferrara for feasting on food fit for royalty

Ferrara is an architectural masterpiece of a city in the Emilia Romagna region, just south of the Veneto where Venice is the capital.

ADVERTISEMENT

A majestic castle replete with a moat and portcullis dominates a wide cobbled piazza.

The city’s richly carved Romanesque cathedral has just been restored. Its artistic treasures, including works by Cosmè Tura and Jacopo della Quercia, are housed in the nearby Museo della Cattedrale.

Vitreny
The city’s richly carved Romanesque cathedral has just been restored.Vitreny

The city’s golden age was between 1240 and 1597 when the powerful Este family ruled. Alongside the architectural grandeur, the dynasty left its mark with a sumptuous, hyperlocal cuisine.

The epicurean Este had a court chef who invented various elaborate dishes you can still eat in the city today. Look out for pasticcio, a pastry pie filled with maccheroni pasta, bechamel sauce and meat ragù, and cappellacci di zucca, pasta parcels filled with pumpkin.

ADVERTISEMENT

How to get to Ferrara from Venice

Fast regional trains run once an hour from Venice to Ferrara and take around an hour and a half.

Share this articleComments

You might also like