No two cities are the same, so why restrict yourself to just one? If you have a spare day and are looking to tick off another one of Italy’s fantastic destinations, hop on the train and enjoy a day off. Travelling by train is as easy as a hop, skip and jump, so take a look at some of our top day trips from Italian cities.
Travel time: 70 minutes
Picking between these two iconic cities isn’t an easy job. But luckily, you don’t have to spend too long weighing them up. There’s only a 70-minute train journey between them, making a day trip (or two) more than viable.
Wake up in Verona at your chosen hotel. An early Continental breakfast will set you up for the morning (that’s until you get to Venice and your variety of lunch choices). There are a whopping 54 trains going from Verona to Venice daily so the day is yours. However, if you are grabbing an early breakfast, get to Venice as soon as you can.
To make the most of your day in Venice, take a ride on a gondola, eat gelato in St. Mark’s square, sip on an aperitivo at one of the many bars and simply wander and explore.
Travel time: 75 minutes
It’s as easy as a 75-minute train journey to experience a completely contrasting landscape. Escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and head for Italy’s largest lake, Lake Garda. The train stations serving the lake are located in the south, in the towns of Desenzano and Peschiera del Garda.
If you travel into Desenzano, you might want to head for one of the three beaches (weather permitting!) or visit the impressive Roman villa and 16th-century cathedral. Then Peschiera del Garda has many historic attractions, including the 19th-century Fort Adietti. There are more beaches here, too and pretty restaurants that line the lake’s front.
Your explorations don’t have to stop there, ferries go regularly from one side of the lake to another, allowing you to see more of the lake during your day trip.
Travel time: 1 hour
Team a chic city break in Milan with a trip to Italy’s foodie capital. One day you could be cat-walking through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, then the next tucking into a plate of tagliatelle al ragu. Trains run every half hour, and whatever time you choose, you can be in Bologna in an hour.
While in Bologna, don’t miss the impressive university buildings, Piazza Maggiore and the two towers (hulking over the city). For lunch, head for the Quadrilatero Medieval Market – it serves everything from fruit and veg to meats and cheese.
We recommend you hang around for dinner. Italy Expert Richie has just recently come back from a visit and has some great tips for places to eat in Bologna.
Travel time: 1 hour
Florence’s array of historic monuments, galleries and museums will keep you occupied for more than one city break. However, no trip to this area of Tuscany is complete without ticking off the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa. In just an hour, you will be in Pisa, and the home of the Leaning Tower. You can spend a couple of hours around the Piazza dei Miracoli, climbing the tower and wandering through the cathedral.
There is a lot more to this area, though. Head to the streets behind here and you will be greeted with peaceful piazzas lined with restaurants and cafes. After all your explorations of Florence, it’s the perfect chance to relax and take in the atmosphere with a wine or two (another benefit of taking the train!)
Travel time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
If you have more than a couple of days in Rome, consider a day trip to Naples (even if it’s to get a taster of this part of Italy before you embark on an Amalfi Coast road trip,which we’d highly recommend)
Lively Naples is a good place to grab those last-minute souvenirs for loved ones – the small, cobbled lanes and piazzas are lined with boutiques and souvenir shops. Then make a beeline for Naples’ historic centre, and monuments such as the Castel Nuovo.
For more information on Italy’s train system, read our guide to travelling by high-speed rail in Italy.