Updated: Aug 14, 2020
What to do and what to see in Bassano del Grappa, one of the best cities to visit in Italy and in the Terre della Serenissima.
Crossed by the Brenta River, Bassano del Grappa is one of the most populated and developed cities of the Veneto Region. Its craftsmanship, with excellent ceramics, and the gastronomic tradition linked to the preparation of products like asparagus, cod and the famous grappa are the pride of the city. The historical events that have affected this small town and its surroundings have shaped the appearance of this beautiful village in Italy.
In this guide, we propose a one-day itinerary in Bassano del Grappa with some tips on what to see. Easily reachable thanks to the railway connection, it is an unmissable stop during a holiday in Veneto or a perfect day trip from Venice and the main cities of the region. In our article, we will find out how much the centre is linked to the memories of the Great War through the history of its bridge and where the best grappa in Italy is produced.
What to visit in Bassano
The small village of Bassano del Grappa, overlooking the Brenta River, can be visited on a day or a weekend full of history and relaxation. Here are the unmissable stops through the city.
The Ponte Vecchio of Bassano
The old bridge of Bassano del Grappa "On the Ponte di Bassano, there we will shake hands..." quoted an old song by the Alpini. Located where the Brenta river narrows, the Ponte Vecchio or degli Alpini has always been a symbol of the city of Bassano del Grappa. Its original structure was made of wood, but following floods of the river and damage caused by wars it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. In 1567, the architect Andrea Palladio designed a new reconstruction for it, but the idea was rejected, because the proposed design was too similar to the architecture of the Roman bridges. Palladio's second project recalled the previous structure, although radically renewed as regards technical and structural solutions, and of great visual impact.
In February 1945, the bridge was the protagonist in the defence of the city in the last months of World War II: to protect Bassano del Grappa, the partisans blew up the bridge, which was then rebuilt by will of the Alpini and inaugurated in 1948. The Ponte Vecchio is an obligatory stop on the Valsugana cycle route, an interesting route between Trentino Alto Adige and Veneto.
A must for anyone visiting the city of Bassano is to taste the typical aperitif of the Ponte di Bassano, half and half, in Venetian dialect meso and meso.
Hemingway and Great War Museum
The Hemingway and Great War Museum is certainly worth a visit. Just the "Section One" of the Red Cross stationed in Bassano del Grappa also boasted the famous Hemingway among the volunteers. In the five exhibition rooms it is possible to retrace the various phases of the conflict and admire the documentation of the "Hemingway Collection".
A walk on the Brenta river
At the bottom of the Bassano Bridge it is also possible to visit the Museum of the Alpini where memorabilia and photographic documents of the military corps engaged on Grappa and other war fronts are collected. Leaving the bridge on the opposite side of the centre, you can take a nice walk along the Brenta to get to the "tobacco road" once known for the "masiere" where tobacco was grown. Do not miss the beauty of Villa Angarano Bianchi Michiel which is included among the Palladian residences, a UNESCO heritage site, completed by Baldassarre Longhena. At the entrance of the bridge another thing to see is the Grapperia Nardini, which in addition to the classic grappas, will also offer you the "tagliadella” a typical liqueur of the area. A visit to the Poli Distillery Museum will satisfy your curiosity about the production of this famous product.
The historic centre of Bassano del Grappa
Entering the historic center of Bassano del Grappa, in the central square of Monte Vecchio, admire the imposing Palazzo di Monte di Pietà and the Dal Corno Bonato house, whose façade boasts frescoes by Jacopo Da Ponte known as Bassano. Stop at the Castello degli Ezzelini and visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Colle, the building of which commenced in the year 1000 and was rebuilt in 1417. In Piazza della Libertà, do not miss the church of San Giovanni in neoclassical style built in 1300 by the architect Miazzi and the Chapel of the Sacrament in baroque style. Do not miss the church of San Francesco, where you can admire the Madonna and Child, Sant'Antonio and San Francesco. And of course you cannot avoid noticing the civic tower that dominates the entire historic centre, the tower dates back to the thirteenth century. Worthy of visit is the neo-gothic Votive Temple of the Fallen; conceived at the beginning of the twentieth century it was destined after the Great War to Ossario dei Caduti del Grappa. 6000 soldiers are buried here.
Beautiful and elegant, the city of Bassano del Grappa is waiting for you for a ride through its streets and for an inevitable photograph from the bridge to capture a romantic landscape on the river that has welcomed generations of couples in love. To end your visit worthily, you just have to stop in a restaurant to taste the traditional dishes, enjoying a local grappa at the end of the meal.
and ride our E-Bikes for the Lands of Beauty.