There is more to the Veneto region than seeing Venice and the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. The area in the north of Italy is home to several towns that can easily be explored on day trips. You could either base yourself in Venice or stay just outside of it as we did in Mogliano Veneto and travel by train to the various towns.
Trains in the Veneto region are efficient, comfortable, and a relaxed way to get to your destination. Venezia Mestre is the central station and the one from which most of the trains depart. If you are staying in central Venice, catch a vaporetto to the Ferrovia stop which drops you right in front of Venezia Santa Lucia station. From there, the train journey to Venezia Mestre station takes approximately 10 minutes.
Intercity fast train – Venezia Mestre Station
1. Day trip to Padova
Padova is a large university town and home to many students which gives it a young and vibrant feel. The train trip from Venezia Mestre to Padova station takes 15 minutes by intercity train and between 22 to 35 minutes if you take the regional train. Although it is best to start your journey early, Padova is a town that can easily be covered in one day.
Highlights of Padova: Cappella degli Scrovegni, Palazzo della Ragione, Chiesa degli Eremitani, Cafè Pedrocchi, Cavallo Ligneo, Corso del Popolo, Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza dei Frutti, the Astronomical Observatory, St. Anthony’s Basilica.
2. Day trip to Vicenza
Vicenza is an elegant town with an area pedonale, a pedestrian zone that is easily explored on foot. There are maps everywhere to guide you to the major sights. The train trip from Venezia Mestre to Vicenza station takes 30 minutes on the intercity train and a little over an hour on the regional train.
Highlights of Vicenza: Basilica dei SS. Felice and Fortunato, Torrione del Tormento, Piazza Erbe, Basilica Palladiana, Duomo di Vicenza, Palazzo dei Chiericati, Olimpic Theatre.
3. Day trip to Mogliano Veneto
Mogliano Veneto is a quiet town located just 10 kms away from Venice and takes 10 minutes by regional train from Venezia Mestre station. It is on the same train line as Treviso so you can combine a visit with Mogliano Veneto in one day.
4. Day trip to Treviso
Treviso is a pretty town with waterways and tranquil surrounds that can be reminiscent of Venice. The train trip from Venezia Mestre to Treviso station takes between 17 to 27 minutes on the regional train. If you’re travelling from Mogliano Veneto, the trip is only 8 to 16 minutes.
Highlights of Treviso: Chiesa di San Nicolò, Duomo, Museo Civico di Santa Caterina, Palazzo dei Trecento, Piazza dei Signori, Palazzo dei Trecento, Museo di Santa Caterina, Chiesa di San Francesco, Chiesa di San Nicolò.
5. Day trip to Verona
Verona is an enchanting city and deserves more than a day trip. But if your schedule doesn’t allow it, it is worth paying for an intercity train ticket and starting your journey early in order to maximise your time. Don’t expect to see all the major sights in one day so it is best to plan your itinerary before you arrive.
The trip from Venezia Mestre to Verona Porta Nuova takes approximately 58 minutes on the fast intercity train or 2 hours 10 minutes on the regional train. The price variation is significant so check the timetable for departure and return times when you’re planning your journey.
Highlights of Verona: Piazza Bra, Casa di Giulietta/Juliet’s House, Giardino Giusti, Teatro Romano, Castelvecchio, Casa di Romeo, Piazza dei Signori, Piazza Erbe.
As trains run more frequently during morning and evening peak hours, it is best to start your journey early in the day. For more information on train timetables, the English language website for Ferrovie Dello Stato is a good resource for planning your train trips.
Update 2013: For train travel in Italy, check out the new, fast and affordable train services Trenitalia and Rail Europe
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