Served by a vast high-speed rail network known for its affordable pricing, Italy is an ideal summer location to explore by rail.
Summer travellers in Italy can buy Super Economy tickets offered by Trenitalia with a 70% reduction on the base everyday fares. There are other year-round promotions offered by the Italian operator, like 2-for-1 travel on Saturdays.
If you prefer to travel in style, you can choose between two variants of First Class, Business, and Executive. Trenitalia really rolls out red carpets for business travellers. So much so that it has been recently selected as the company providing the best business service in Europe in The Great Train Comparison report.
High-speed trains zip around the country connecting all major cities. A trip from Naples to Venice is just over 5 hours to travel 726 km. It’s not all about speed though, a vast regional network (now available to be booked six months in advance!) operated by Trenitalia takes you to little towns where you can find quaint and picturesque centres, or even go wild swimming.
Since travellers often wonder what to see around Venice during a day trip, we’ve come up with some insider tips from an Italian train geek here at Loco2.
One day trips from Venice by train
- Venice - Treviso: In around 30 mins you reach this charming city with many canals. Visit the central Palazzo dei Trecento, explore the trendy shops and enjoy the fine dining associated with this small city.
- Venice - Bibione: Travelling west on a short 40 mins trip will see you reaching the coastal town of Bibione. Here, you’ll be able to spend time on the beach. Make sure to spot the famous Punta Tagliamento Lighthouse which really adds to the coastal charm of Bibione.
- Venice - Jesolo: A shorter journey of 17 mins takes you to S. Donà di Piave-Jesolo, in Jesolo you’ll also find a lovely beach which is combined with lively nightlife thanks to a range of nightclubs dotted along the main promenade of the coastal town.
- Venice - Caorle: Competitive pricing in Italy means it’s easy to go that bit further afield for a day trip. For just over £5 to travel the hour-long journey to Caorle, with large beaches on the Adriatic, a colourful historic centre, it’s well worth the trip.
- Venice - Trieste: The local train ride can take less than 2 hrs passing Miramare Castle to give a wonderful view of the Golfo di Trieste. Trieste is a place like no other because of its Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Slovenian influences. This elegant port city is a beautiful location away from the crowds.
Travelling to Venice
Getting to Venice by rail is pretty easy from anywhere in Italy. You can train travel from Rome to Venice on a Trenitalia’s high-speed Frecciarossa takes 3 hours and 12 mins, which is quicker than going from London to Edinburgh by rail. Have lunch in the Freccirosa restaurant car which uses fresh and local ingredients to make sure you won’t go hungry on the journey.
What's so good about this route is not only the speed but the option to break up your journey. The train passes through Florence, Bologna and Padua. All three cities are worth a visit. Our Italian train geek recommends particularly Bologna. Known as the ‘learned, the fat and the red’, the city of Bologna is where you’ll find a left-leaning cultural (red) and intellectual hotspot (learned) home to the oldest university in Europe and some of Italy’s finest food (fat).
Travelling from Milan to Venice by train takes 2 hours. On the way, you'll pass through Brescia, Verona, Vicenza and Padua, each offering their own charms and draws. If you don’t want to break the journey, then why not sit back and relax enjoying free movies from the onboard Frecce portal.
In Padua, you’ll find a picturesque city, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat. The ancient university city shouldn't be overlooked in pursuit of Venice and makes for a good day trip from Venice. The landscape on this route is further enhanced as it gives you the chance to catch a glimpse of the Lake Garda during the journey.
On arrival in Venice, there’s so much to explore from the history and charm of each quaint and fascinating street to basking in the glory of St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. It’s also well worth making time for rides on vaporetti to the Lido and the islands of the lagoon, like Murano and Burano.
Wherever you decide to go, have an Aperol Spritz - locals would say "uno Spritz, per favore". Most Italians indulge in the local cocktail at the end of each day. Buon viaggio!
Looking for inspiration?
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Insider tips for best exploring Italy by rail.