Bassano del Grappa is an italian city tourists hardly ever hear of, and the purpose of this article is persuading you to consider it for your next trip.
Bassano is gorgeous. It rises on Brenta river and owes a lot to it: Ponte di Bassano (also referred as Ponte Vecchio to recognize it from Ponte Nuovo, or Ponte degli Alpini), originally built by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio and refurbished and rebuilt multiple times, is the symbol of the city; there are paths and beaches on both sides of the river, where fishermen and locals always hang out at. The city center is beautiful with its three squares where lots of events such as the beautiful Carnival, Christmas market and cultural lectures take place. It is filled with shops, restaurants, drogherie (a special kind of food shop that is gradually disappearing) and popular cafés.
History plays an important role in Bassano: because of its strategic position it was the scene of lot of wars, WWI and WWII included. Marks are scattered throughout the city, from the trees in Viale dei Martiri, gallows of 31 partigiani who fought in Resistenza war against Nazis, to Ossario, the gothic cathedral where more than 5000 WWI fallen rest now, to the Ponte itself, damaged and destroyed multiple times because of floods and wars – some buildings next to it are still marked by bullet holes, everlasting memory of the wars.
Moreover, Bassano is one of the cities where Alpini, a special section of Italian army, are most rooted. Their contribution during the world wars was huge and they still are the best: nowadays they volunteer in lots of cities and towns to help organizing events and for charity purposes.
Nardini is the most famous pub in Bassano and a Alpini-style place. It is very close to Distilleria Poli right at the end of Ponte Vecchio and its typical drink is grappa, a liqueur named after Monte Grappa, one of the most important peaks in the Alps. Locals meet there every day at aperitivo time to chill, chat and drink something while looking in the distance to the beautiful landscape of Dolomites – this is Bassano lifestyle, cool and relaxed. And Nardini is only one among the pubs where people enjoy spending their time in.
Marostica, famous for the Human Chess Game that takes place in early September every two years, is only 15 minutes away from Bassano. These two beautiful cities are the ideal destination to discover a less touristy, more “italian” Italy – a day is enough to visit the principal monuments, and it takes about an hour to reach them from Venice, Vicenza and Padova.
So, did I persuade you?
Featured image: Thanks to Luca Cavallin.