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Venice is not only its historic center, it’s also a lagoon, full of different islands that each has its own unique history and flavor. Towards the mainland, you’ll find the province called the Veneto, with hilly vineyards, gorgeous rivers and medieval villages dotting the landscape. For those in need of an escape from the cramped alleyways and tiny canals of Venice, here’s our guide to the best day trips you’ll take from the city.
This beach island will be really lively during the summer, when locals and tourists alike will flock to its shoreline to soak up some sun. It’s also a great place to rent a bike and take a tour of the island, where you’ll find fancy villas and hotels, ruined hospitals, residential neighborhoods and a gorgeous antique Jewish cemetery. The best ice cream in town will be Magiche Voglie, close to the vaporetto stop and the best place to eat a sandwich is the double-decker bus parked beach side.
A little town in the mountains that you can reach by train, Bassano is charming and tranquil, with glorious views of the mountains and the Brenta river. You can explore this typical northern Italian town and enjoy the stunning natural landscape. It’s also the home of grappa, the delicious distilled liquor made from grapes, so don’t leave without having had a glass (or two).
This is a small university town just half an hour from Venice by train. The market in the center of town is a delight to browse, where you’ll find everything from fruits and vegetables to secondhand clothes. The Scrovegni Chapel is also a true beauty, though making an appointment in advance is essential. The sandwich shop Dalla Zita is a treasure and a perfect midday stop.
A long and narrow strip of land on the south side of Lido, Pellestrina acts as a barrier between the Venetian lagoon and the Adriatic Sea. The seafood here is particularly delicious, since most people who live here are fishermen. It’s a quiet community and in contrast with Venice’s historic center, there’s almost no mass tourism. You’ll find incredible views of the lagoon and the sea.
This little town is the historic home of Andrea Palladio, one of the most influential architects in European history. He was inspired by ancient Greek and Roman architecture and was obsessed by symmetry and geometric rationality. Just outside the city you’ll find the Villa La Rotonda, his masterpiece. Perched atop a grassy hill, this building is Renaissance humanism incarnated in architectural form. It’s worth a visit for any design lover or Renaissance enthusiast.
A city on the border of Italy and Slovenia, Trieste has that kind of mixed culture particular to all border towns, part Italian, part Austro-Hungarian, part Slavic, and it was a huge part of the history of Italian unification as well as the anti-Fascist struggle. As the place where James Joyce wrote Ulysses as well as the setting for John Berger’s G, it’s a place full of literary culture. Italian modernist poets like Umberto Saba and Biagio Marin lived here and drank their coffee at the historic Caffe San Marco in the center of the city.