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[Venice] Spontaneous day trip from Venice

Currently in Venice and having a fun time, but we've been here a couple of days and are feeling like we may have mostly had our fill. We still have one more night before we depart Sunday morning. So considering what to do with our Saturday as 2 parents in our 40s and a 14-year-old.

It's likely to be sweltering again and rabid with cruise ships, so we considered getting a vaporetto pass and going out to Torcello. We also thought about day trips to either Croatia or Lake Garda, but the logistics involved in getting there and back in a day aren't great: just way too much travel time for too little on-the-ground time.

So! If you found yourself with a day in Venice and a vaporetto pass, what might you do to escape crowds? So far, our favorite activites have been things like the flooded crypt at San Zaccaria, climbing Scala Contarini del Bovolo and seeing the Tintoretto, the water taxi from the airport to the hotel (we love the idea of getting out on a boat again), and getting a more "authentic" food experience than you usually find near Rialto and San Marco.

Thanks for thought-starters!

Posted by
5060 posts

You can visit Torcello, and that would be a good day trip without it taking up all day. My choice would be to get an early morning start and go to Murano and Burano using the vaporetto pass. That should take almost the whole day if you have lunch on Murano. We usually have lunch there at Ristorante dalla Mora on Fondamenta Daniel Manin. Lots of locals eat there.

You still have time for some good food in Venice itself.

We we generally avoid canal side places to eat. They are usually overpriced and under quality. But there are some exceptions on some of the back canals. There is a canal side place you might want to try (even thought it is near San Marco) named Trattoria Da Giorgia ai Greci. A bit pricey (most places in Venice are) but the food is really great.

In the Rialto Bridge area (two or three blocks away from the crowds) there is Trattoria Da Marco Valla Fava on Calle Stagneri. It is definitely pricy so you might want to do lunch there rather than dinner. Some of the best sea food ever!! Try to eat inside rather than outside. The place has been around at least 50 years so they must be doing it right.

Also in the Rialto area, but on the other side of the Grand Canal, on the walk toward Piazzale Roma is an out of the way hole in the wall place named Pane Vino e San Daniele on Calle Dei Boteri. Definitely a local place, good food, good house wine, and not expensive at all.

You should be able to do a google search and check out the menus.

Posted by
5153 posts

Check out Row Venice, on the quiet back canals of Cannaregio. Your family can take a group rowing lesson for 90 minutes for about 100euros. You'll also see a peaceful side of Venice, no crowds, away from Rialto and St Marks Square. We really enjoyed the whole experience.
Or- a day trip to Padua , perhaps, which is a short train ride.
I hope it all works out.

Posted by
6670 posts

Torcello and Burano, where you can find lunch and spend time wandering. Murano if you're into glassmaking. The cemetery island near Murano (St. Michael?) if you like those. San Giorgio Maggiore church and tower (different views). Or the Lido, where I haven't been, Saturday might be crowded there but not with cruisers. Or a short train ride to Padua (aka Padova), with amazing Giotto frescoes (maybe too late for timed tickets this weekend) and other interesting sights. Just keep away from the Grand Canal, Rialto, and San Marco if you can.

Posted by
2916 posts

Do any of you like horses? A couple years ago I did a day trip to Lipica just over the Slovenia border to see the Lipica Lippizan Stud farm. I took the train to Trieste (2 1/2 hours each way). I had arranged with the farm for a cab to take me to and from. There must be a way you can get a cab at the train depot. I toured the stables, watched the performance, ate lunch, then took a the cab back to Trieste and the train back to Venice. It was a great day although it poured down rain all day.

This year my day trip will be to Verona (1 1/2 hour by train) If you haven’t been to Padua (1/2 hour by train) that’s another idea.

Posted by
2349 posts

hey hey Laura
take a fast train ride to treviso, home of tiramisu at la beccherie restaurant. get outta busy venice to this small town/village. desserts and 15 things to do in treviso
love tiramisu and had tartufo in rome (trastervere) which was so so yummy treviso
we took a private taxi tour to prosecco villages sampling from different local wineries, did not want prosecco i could buy in the states. and a lunch at a local trattoria up in the hills.
walk around the village, hoping your child will enjoy another italian place, have tiramisu and pizza. sit at an outside cafe and people watch, enjoy the views. take train back to venice. is your child in painting venice masks
you can always ask a taxi driver at stop (no flagging down) to take you around (how much in euros) few years ago. we did this in geneva, asked taxi driver for tour for 1 1/2 hours for 80 euros, he obliged.
hope you find something different to do and like for the whole family, good luck & have fun

Posted by
26 posts

These are all wonderful ideas! I can't wait to see what my guys decide they want to do. Thank you all so much!

Posted by
2349 posts

hey hey Laura
hope your gang had a great day, what did you end up doing?
sent you a private message (PM) upper right hand corner

Posted by
26 posts

Well, the day changed a lot! We didn’t end up feeling we had enough time to plan something out of town, so we explored areas of the city we hadn’t been to yet instead, and we had a lot of fun.

• Zaza’s Comix — we explored European books and had a fun chat with the owner about climate issues and geopolitics
• Creature di Gomma — this is a vintage toy museum and collection recommended to us at the last moment by a friend. It was totally amazing, focusing on Italian and European toys and covering everything from Topo Gigio to all eras of Disney to He-Man and even Japanese toys. A really fun stop that entertained everyone!
• Stumbled on Casanova in a back street – a perfectly magical Venetian mask store run by Maestro Manuale, a real artist’s dream
• It got wildly hot in the afternoon (which is why we passed on Torcello and anything that would keep us in the sun), so we took breaks while walking city areas we hadn't seen yet
• We especially enjoyed Cannaregio and popping in and out of small churches

Sullaluna – vegetarian small plates and bookstore
Gelatoteca Suso
Dinner at Bar Cupido on waterside where boats depart for Murano and other islands -- chosen for the breeze more than anything, as it's just so hot everywhere. We really wanted to try some of the forum suggestions, but we were trying to eat at 5:30 to 6, and many places don't open till 7 or 7:30, which is just too late for us (too tired to wait that late).

On the train to Florence now for our next leg!