We could talk for days about the city floating in the northern Adriatic, but we could do the same with the surrounding area of Venice, plenty of ideas for magical day trips.
The main part of the city is surrounded by myriad alternatives, more or less close by, that are great ideas for fantastic day trips. Some are known even to those who come from afar, such as the colorful Burano or the splendid Murano, but other ideas are known only to those who live in Venice every day.
So here are our suggestions for excursions and trips to discover the surroundings of Venice: our guide is updated with all the latest news.
We will start first with the smaller islands scattered around the Venetian Lagoon and then, step by step, we will also explore the villages and wonders of the mainland surrounding the city.
Day trips from Venice exploring the evergreen: Murano / Burano / Torcello
Those who wish to begin exploring what from the main islands of Venice is only a sketchy dot, cannot help but start with the 3 queens.
Murano for its glass art, Burano for its colorful houses and lace-embroidering women, and Torcello for its wilderness and the history that made it the lagoon's first inhabited settlement.
There is no denying that although these 3 islands are known in every corner of the planet, they cannot go unmentioned when we talk about the surroundings of Venice.
They are usually explored, for convenience, in a single day. In fact, there are several boat solutions that leave rather frequently from San Marco.
Our recommendation? Murano, in our opinion, deserves much more than half a day. If you have a little extra time, choose to visit it for a full day. Not only will you be amazed by the craftsmanship of the glass artisans, but you will also be enchanted by the beauty of the calli (streets) and bridges. A miniature Venice, but decidedly less hectic.
Let us now move on to other smaller islands that we think are really worth a visit.
Sant'Erasmo, to visit an island with a rural soul near Venice
One of Venice's minor islands, but certainly one of the largest in size, it was once used to supply the city with grain, fruit and vegetables. And it is precisely this rustic character that has remained with the Island of Sant'Erasmo to this day.
The island is perfect for a nature walk, but even more so for a bicycle ride. In addition to the pleasantness of the agricultural landscape, in fact, here you can see canals, shores and sandbanks, that is, land that is periodically submerged by the lagoon.
The island of Sant'Erasmo can be easily reached by public transport from Venice (Fondamenta Nove), Murano or from the mainland (Cavallino Treporti stop).
Venice Lido, for who wants to enjoy bike riding and sunbathing
The Venice Lido is another one of those islands in Venice that really needs no introduction. The Film Festival that is staged every year in the last days of summer is an event that makes this place synonymous with luxury and glamour.
This island, however, which is easily accessible by public transportation from Venice (even by car, motorcycle or bicycle if you start from Tronchetto), is also beloved by those who are not fascinated by the glitter of the red carpets.
Here many Venetians, especially young people, come to see the sun rise after major events, such as the Redentore or the Festa della Sensa (the Marriage of Venice to the sea). People also come to spend a few hours at the beach, but also to take long walks or a bike ride.
From the Church of San Nicolò, you can in fact reach the Art Nouveau heart of the Lido, and continue to the Marconi Promenade, the protagonist on the nights of the Film Festival. Next, pedaling south, one cannot miss the quiet village of Malamocco. At the southern end, you reach the Alberoni area where you can pedal along the Murazzi dam, built at the time of the Serenissima to defend the city from the tumult of the sea.
From here, a good idea would be to embark for Pellestrina.
Pellestrina for a real, slow-paced Venice, among sandy beaches and lace-makers
For many, the true soul of Venice is hidden here in Pellestrina. Those who land here immediately breathe in the flavor of a slow life, enriched by the sun and the sea. Here one proceeds through small villages where the Venetians all know each other, women embroidering Pellestrina's famous lace, and the long sandy beaches protected by the Murazzi.
Not many tourists come here. Although it is around Venice, Pellestrina can only be reached from Lido or Chioggia.
One starts from the north, from Santa Maria del Mare, and then reaches the port of San Pietro in Volta. In this small town, the most authentic Venetian spirit shines through. An eighteenth-century church, vegetable gardens, vineyards, and the nearby village of Portosecco where you can see lacemakers at work. A little further south is the fishing village of Pellestrina.
This island comes alive every summer with festivals, as in the most typical Venetian tradition. On August 4, with the feast of the Madonna dell'Apparizione, and in mid-month the festival dedicated to Santo Stefano, with Venetian rowing regattas.
Chioggia to enjoy daily life at seaside
Easily accessible even by car, Chioggia is the town that rises at the southern end of the Venetian lagoon. Nicknamed "Little Venice" by many, in truth it possesses a charm of its own that makes it a truly unmissable town.
Despite being a tourist spot, in fact, Chioggia retains intact its soul of a lively seaside town.
Here in the morning it is a fast bustle of fishermen, while in the afternoon the atmosphere becomes quieter. We recommend getting lost in the city's canals and calli (streets). They are so charming that very often they have been chosen as locations for many films set in nearby Venice.
And then if there is a desire for some relaxation by the sea, from Chioggia begins a long sequence of sandy shores that lead all the way to Sottomarina. The expanses of sand are endless, but it will be necessary to consider that not a few Venetians choose them as a destination for their day trips, especially in high season.
From Cavallino-Treporti to Punta Sabbioni on the Europe's longest cantilever bike path
Anyone who wants to explore the surroundings of Venice Lagoon cannot forget the northern part, called Cavallino, which boasts a sandy shoreline of more than 15 km. From Punta Sabbioni in the south to the Marina di Cavallino lighthouse in the north, it is in fact a succession of shores with a wilder character than those in nearby Jesolo.
In addition to a quiet day at the beach, however, Cavallino offers many opportunities. From the main town, Cavallino to be exact, which offers a cross-section of lively local life during the weekly market, to Treporti, on the opposite side, which is instead immersed in the lagoon.
There is certainly no shortage of itineraries here, and especially for those who are passionate about biking, there is no shortage of cues. Recently inaugurated was "La Pordelio", an extraordinary 7-kilometer-long bike and pedestrian path cantilevering over the lagoon that offers a truly unique panorama. It is the longest in Europe.
The Venetian villas along Brenta River: an itinerary from Padua to Venice
Moving a little further from Venice, this time eastward, the surprising richness of the Riviera del Brenta opens up. Cruising along the river, the perfect vantage point for this excursion, we encounter, one after another, some of the most beautiful villas of Veneto.
Near Venice, Villa Foscari, also known as the Malcontenta, commissioned from Andrea Palladio and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. And then, going toward Stra, Villa Pisani, called the Nazionale, so monumental that it is often the site of meetings between heads of state. Or Villa Giovanelli in Noventa Padovana, superb and extremely elegant, representing a curious return to Palladian linearity in the Baroque era.
There are numerous opportunities for a cruise along the Brenta River, whether departing from Padua or Venice. Our suggestion is to start from Padua: the charm of the lagoon opening wide to the eye with Venice sparkling at its center is truly unforgettable.
Here, then, in the immediate vicinity of Venice what you can do. Whichever way you decide to explore the Venetian lagoon, you cannot help but give in to wonder.