Before departing Rome on your day trip to Venice, meet a tour host to receive your round-trip ticket for the high-speed train, your vaporetto pass for Venice’s water taxi network and your skip-the-line ticket for St Mark’s Basilica. Then head to the train station for the 3.5-hour journey north.
When you arrive in Venice, meet a second tour host, who will give you a map and provide tips about what to see and do. Then you’re on your own to explore the city independently. Make your way through the tangled web of campos (squares), calli (narrow streets) and bridges, soaking up the romantic and old-world ambience for which the city is so beloved. Go in search of waterfront shops and restaurants along Riva degli Schiavoni, pose on the Bridge of Sighs, admire the Gothic Doge’s Palace or visit St Mark’s Square.
Make sure to use your skip-the-line ticket at St Mark’s Basilica to admire its gilded mosaics and marble floors, and then perhaps visit San Polo for a piece of more authentic local life, where you can stroll past shops inside old homes and stop by a bàcaro (snack bar) to try Venetian specialties like cicheti (tapas-like small food dishes).
With your vaporetto pass (good for 12 hours, although you won’t be in Venice that long), you can travel easily around the city by water taxi or waterbus, and perhaps take a ride across the iconic Grand Canal. When your time in Venice comes to an end, meet your host at Santa Lucia Station to board the train back to Rome, where your day trip concludes in the late evening.