Venice, one of Italy's top travel cities, is the jewel of the Veneto region but there's much more to see in the Veneto. From the city of Verona with its Roman arena to Palladian villas, lakes, and mountain towns, here are the best places to go in the Veneto after Venice.
Verona is famous for the house and balcony said to belong to Juliet in the Shakespeare story, Romeo and Juliet, and its large 2000-year-old Roman Arena where prestigious opera performances are held. Verona has a good medieval center, a castle, museums, and shopping areas. Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza Bra are great places to sit at a cafe and enjoy people watching.
Padua is a walled city with Europe's oldest botanical garden, the Basilica di Sant’Antonio, Scrovegni Chapel frescoes by Giotto, and a good historic center. Padua is a popular Italian city, which makes a good alternative to staying in Venice.
Lake Garda is Italy's largest and most visited lake. The eastern shore is in the Veneto region. Peschiera del Garda, with its small historic center, is one of the most picturesque lake towns in the Veneto. Gardaland, a big amusement park, is near Lake Garda in the Veneto.
Along the Brenta River between Venice and Padua you'll see stately villas from the 15th-18th centuries. Some of these villas were designed by Palladio in the 16th century. Most of the villas aren't open to the public but there are a few that can be visited.
Vicenza was home to the famous Renaissance architect Palladio who designed 23 of the buildings in the city, including Palazzo Barbaran da Porto that houses the Palladio museum. The Palladian Villas in the countryside, also designed by Palladio, were built as summer homes for well-to-do Venetians and some of them are now open to the public.
Bassano del Grappa, named for nearby Monte Grappa, is a pretty medieval town on the Brenta River known for its Alpini wooden bridge, grappa, and ceramics. Bassano del Grappa is a good base for visiting Paladian villas and the castles of the Veneto or hiking in the nearby mountains. In town, you can taste grappa or relax with a drink in one of the lively squares.
During this full-day tour, available from Select Italy, you'll visit Marostica, Bassano del Grappa, Asolo, Treviso, and a Palladian villa.
This tour departs from and returns to Vicenza, Verona or Venice.
Marostica is a tiny town with a beautiful main square and castle above, with walls leading up the hill to the castle. There's also a small castle located in the town. Every two years in September, the main square turns into a giant chess board for a game of human chess. The area is also known for its cherries.
Soave is a small wine town enclosed by medieval walls and crowned by a picturesque castle. Vineyards surround Soave and in town, you can taste the famous Soave wine. The town holds several wine festivals during the year and concerts in summer.
Chioggia, a fishing port in the Venetian lagoon, is sometimes called Little Venice. A wide pedestrian street lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops runs down the center of town to the port and the town has a top seafood market. Beaches are 2 kilometers from town.
Belluno, one of the largest towns in the northern part of the Veneto, is the gateway to the Dolomite Mountains. Belluno makes a good base for visiting the Dolomites where you'll find winter skiing and summer hiking or biking. Belluno has fortress towers, a historic center with a 16th-century cathedral, restaurants, and squares with outdoor cafes.
Cortina d'Ampezzo, called the Queen of the Dolomites, is one of Italy's most famous mountain resort destinations. In winter it's a top place to ski and in summer it's a dream mountain-climbing destination as well.
Some of these places can easily be visited as a day trip from Venice.