Venice in one day from Santa Lucia station


What can you visit in Venice if you only have one day? On our blog, you will find many articles about Venice, curiosities, itineraries, and insights that help you get to know this city better. But for those who have little time to visit the lagoon city, you need an itinerary that allows you to touch on the highlights of Venice in a few hours, discovering its most famous corners.

Venice in one day
What to see in Venice in one day

That is why we have outlined this itinerary for those visiting Venice in one day, starting from the Santa Lucia train station, which is the preferred access point to the city. Following our advice, you can spend a day in the city strolling through bridges and alleys and enjoying the magical atmosphere of Venice. Below, we have prepared a map with the route that we will explain in detail below. Enjoy your walk!

Let’s face it. If you only have one day to visit Venice and it’s your first time in the city, there are two places you will definitely want to see: the Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco. This itinerary will allow you to see these two must-see attractions, but at the same time, some of its less touristy corners. We will try to take you to fewer “mainstream” places without overdoing it. The starting point of this itinerary that allows you to visit Venice in one day is the Venice Santa Lucia train station.

Once you leave the large entrance of the station behind you, it is immediately exciting. In front of your eyes, there are the Grand Canal, the Scalzi Bridge (one of the 4 bridges that cross the city’s main canal), and the dome of the Church of San Simeone Piccolo. We think for those who have never seen Venice, the idea of a city on the water where canals replace streets must seem absurd, and when you find yourself observing the city in person, you cannot remain indifferent!

Scalzi bridge in Venezia
Scalzi Bridge in Venice (Image source: Flickr)

From here, to reach the Rialto Bridge, you have two options: cross the Scalzi Bridge and delve into the alleys of the San Polo district, or take the wide and fast Strada Nuova. If you follow our itinerary to visit Venice in one day, leave the bridge on your right and take Strada Nuova until you reach and cross the first bridge you encounter, the Ponte delle Guglie. Turn left and then right under a Sotoportego (a section of street that passes under a building). 

You will find yourself in the ancient Jewish ghetto of Venice, a wonderful area that is often wrongly ignored by tourists but is a true gem. Enjoy a simple stroll among the tall buildings, try to spot the windows of the synagogues in the neighborhood. If you are in Venice for just one day, you won’t have enough time to visit the Jewish Museum located here, but make a note of it so you don’t miss it on your next visit to Venice.

Leave the Jewish ghetto and retrace your steps on Strada Nuova; proceed quickly, leaving behind important buildings like the Casino or Ca’ d’Oro that you will see better later from other angles or the next time you are in town.

After about ten minutes of brisk walking, you will be in Campo San Bartolomeo with the statue of Carlo Goldoni watching over you. The Rialto Bridge is within reach, but in the same square, there is also the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a palace recently renovated that houses luxury shops.

View from Fondaco dei Tedeschi
Panoramic view from Fondaco dei Tedeschi (Image source: Flickr)

But, above all, it has a panoramic terrace from which you can admire a spectacular view of Venice. That is why we recommend entering and going to the top floor to be thrilled by the view of the city from above. Preferably book your access to the terrace in advance on the official website. It is free, but booking in advance allows you to avoid unnecessary queues and therefore waste time.

Back on solid ground, it is time to see the Rialto Bridge up close, which you saw before from the terrace. Cross the bridge, passing its little shops – mostly jewelers or Murano glass shops – housed in its niches. Look out over the Grand Canal, admiring the splendid palaces reflected in the water, watch the gondoliers transporting gondolas full of tourists on the water, and imprint in your mind the view of this magical city.

A stone’s throw from the Rialto Bridge is the famous Rialto Market, a true slice of city life as there are few left in Venice. Wander among the fruit and vegetable stalls and especially among the fish market stalls, breathing in the essence of Venice! The Rialto Market is open every day (except Sunday) from 7:30 AM (7:30 hours) until lunchtime. The fish market is closed on Mondays and open until 12:00 PM (12:00 hours), and the fruit and vegetable market is open until 1:30 PM (13:30 hours).

By now, it will be lunchtime. Since you are visiting Venice in one day, you won’t have enough time to sit comfortably in a restaurant and have a sumptuous lunch, but at the same time, we imagine you will want to try some typical local specialties. We have the solution for you: Rosticceria Gislon, which is just a short walk from here. You can take away some fried food (mozzarella in carrozza, meatballs, or other inviting tidbits to eat while walking) or sit at the tables for a quick hot lunch. Refreshed from the break, resume your walk and finally head towards Piazza San Marco.

Here we are in the pulsating heart of Venice. Explore the large square by walking around it, stroll under the Procuratie, don’t feed the pigeons (besides being forbidden, it’s unhygienic!), admire the bell tower of San Marco, visit the Basilica of San Marco interiors, reach the Doge’s Palace, and admire the lagoon opening up before you with the island of San Giorgio and its bell tower. There is so much to see here.

Piazza San Marco in Venice
Piazza San Marco

You could visit the Doge’s Palace and its prisons, climb to the top of the bell tower, visit the Correr Museum, or the Olivetti Shop. However, we want to remind you that you will be in Venice for only one day, so you won’t have time to do everything! If we had to choose between all of them, we would opt for a visit to the Doge’s Palace, which, however, would require at least two hours of available time. 

If you decide to visit this wonderful place, then you won’t have much time left to see anything else, so once the visit is over, it will probably be time to walk towards the station and catch your train home. If you give up the visit to the Doge’s Palace, you will have time to discover other splendid corners of the incredible Venice.

Follow along the lagoon and then the Grand Canal until you reach the Accademia Bridge. On the other bank, there are other splendid palaces and monuments that would be worth visiting, such as Punta della Dogana, the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection… What an incredible treasure trove this city is, you absolutely must come back to visit!

Cross the Accademia Bridge and arrive at Fondamenta delle Zattere, a promenade overlooking the Giudecca Canal. If you arrive at sunset from here, you can admire a beautiful sunset. When you reach the Zattere, you can also observe from a distance (or even visit if you have the time) the San Trovaso square, one of the few remaining squares in Venice where gondolas were built.

From the Zattere, the last stop of our itinerary in Venice in one day is Campo Santa Margherita, the favorite place for young people and university students in Venice to get a spritz. In fact, you cannot leave Venice without first sipping on this typically Venetian aperitif: white wine and sparkling water (spritz liscio or bianco), or Aperol Spritz.

Enjoy these last moments in Venice, breathing in the carefree atmosphere that pervades the square. Keep in mind that from here, the Santa Lucia train station is about twenty minutes away. Take this into account to synchronize your watch according to the departure time of your train.

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