When in Venice, why would a visitor feel like taking a trip out of the beautiful city? Leaving the madding crowd, savouring the flavours of the countryside, exploring the unbeaten paths? Voilà our suggestions for 5 easy day trips from Venice.
1. Brion Cemetery, San Vito di Altivole.
Carlo Scarpa, one of the most important Italian architects, was born and raised in Venice and even when he worked elsewhere, brought his city with him. The cemetery designed for the Brion family in their native village in the Treviso countryside has a canopy over the main two tombs that look like a Venetian bridge. The place is soaked with peace and will be appreciated also by those who are not architecture fans (read our post on the Negozio Olivetti). Take the train to Castelfranco and then the erratic coach service.
Chioggia has always been considered a miniature Venice without its allure. How wrong! Even if the two look alike, Chioggia has its own popular spirit and its loud, unruly, unaffected residents with their unique vernacular are fascinating. Chioggia is one of the biggest Italian fishing ports, so its market deserves a visit. To taste its exquisite delicatessen, go to Da Nicola, a restaurant in one of the side streets of Corso del Popolo. Dishes are prepared according to the fish of the day so listen to the host’s suggestions because there is no menu. From Piazzale Roma, a frequent coach service is scheduled but I prefer taking n. 11 from the Lido with a bus travelling the islands of Lido and Pellestrina and a connecting ferry to the core of Chioggia.
3. Lio Piccolo
The strip of land separating the eastern lagoon from the open sea it contains wondrous spots to enjoy only if walking or cycling. From Venice, take line 14 from San Zaccaria or line 12 from Fondamente Nove and get off at Treporti (read our post on tickets and passes). Aim east and, after a while, you’ll be on a road between water and fields that leads to Lio Piccolo. On the way back, ponder a stop at the restaurant Al Pescatore (a few minutes’ walk from the Treporti waterbus stop).
4. Colli Euganei
The hilly area south-west of Padua, the Colli Euganei, is of volcanic origins. A trip there means a day soaking in the hot natural springs while sipping the local white wine (Alla Costiera is a superb winery). There’s no longer untamed nature but the hot water flowing from the subsoil has been canalized for ages and can be enjoyed in the hotels who welcome also day guests. Take the hourly train to Bologna and get off at Montegrotto. The entrance fee starts from €15 (higher in the weekends). My suggestions are the Hotel Terme Preistoriche, with the open-air pool against a rural setting, and the Hotel Petrarca, less charming but bigger and with more facilities.
Could sound unappealing but on 1st December a must-see museum is going to open in restored military barracks and a new building designed by Sauerbruch Hutton. It’s the M9, short for Museo del ‘900, and will display an interactive narrative of the 20th century divided into eight thematic areas. Mestre abounds with bars in Piazza Ferretto, Piazza Barche and the surrounding area. For a meal, try the nearby Fratelli La Bufala (pizza, pasta and anything with buffalo mozzarella) and Osteria PLIP in via San Donà. From Piazzale Roma, take the frequent tram service.