Bassano del Grappa, named for nearby Monte Grappa, is a pretty medieval town on the Brenta River in northern Italy's Veneto region. Bassano del Grappa is known for its Alpini wooden bridge, grappa (the strong Italian aperitif), and ceramics. It's a pleasant base for exploring the nearby Venetian villas, castles, towns, and attractions of the Veneto region, often overlooked by travelers heading only to Venice.
Bassano del Grappa Location
Bassano del Grappa is northwest of Venice in the Vicenza province of the Veneto region in the area known as the Riviera del Brenta, an area along the Brenta River dotted with Venetian-style villas from the 16th-18th centuries. See the Veneto Map for location.
What to See and Do in Bassano del Grappa
- The Alpini Bridge, the symbol of the town, was originally built in 1569 by Andrea Palladio although a wooden bridge has existed there since at least 1209. Destroyed several times, the current wooden bridge was rebuilt after its destruction in WWII by the Alpini, Italy's fighting brigade. At the entrance are two 16th century arches. The views of the town from the bridge are breath-taking. Across the bridge are the Museum of the Alpini and the historic Nardini Tavern overlooking the river.
- Town squares: The main squares are Piazzotto Montevecchio, Piazza Libertà, and Piazza Garibaldi. These three squares, lined with arcades, connect to each other and are filled with people, cafes, and shops. They're lively both during the day and in the evening in summer.
- The Civic Museum has archaeological artifacts, paintings, and prints from the 1800s.
- Sturm Palace, built in the 1700s, has frescoes and a museum of ceramics.
- The Municipio and Astronomical Clock includes the 15th-century Loggia della Piazza. The astronomical clock was built in 1747 and still works today.
- Viale dei Martiri is a tree-lined street on the edge of town with a beautiful panorama of Monte Grappa and the valley below. The street is named for the 31 partisans who were killed by the Nazis and hung from these trees during WWII. You can still see their pictures on the trees.
- Churches and palaces: Churches include the 12th-century Roman-Gothic San Francesco Church with 15th-century frescoes, the 13th-century San Donato and San Giovanni Battista Churches, and the 18th-century Trinity and Angel Churches. Besides those already mentioned, some of the best buildings are the 13th-century Pretorio Palace, the 15th-century Agostinelli Palace, and 16th-century Bonaguro Palace.
- Grappa distilleries and tastings - Poli Grappa Museum, near the Alpini Bridge, has an interesting museum about grappa distilling. Admission is 3€ and includes a tasting, and of course, you can buy grappa there, too. There are several other distilleries where you can taste and buy grappa around town.
How to Get to Bassano del Grappa
Bassano del Grappa is about a one-hour train ride from Padua and can be reached by train from either Venice or Verona in less than two hours. Buses connect it to other towns in the Veneto. The closest airports are Venice, 70 kilometers, and Verona, 80 kilometers - see Italy airports map. There's also a small airport in Treviso, 45 kilometers away.
Bassano del Grappa Map
You can find the top sights and the hotels listed below on this Bassano del Grappa map.
Where to Stay and Eat in Bassano del Grappa
Hotel Palladio is a quiet, modern hotel in an excellent location just outside the city center. Owned by the same family, the historic Bonotto Hotel Belvedere, on the road circling the historic center has luxury rooms and an excellent restaurant serving regional specialties and homemade food using fresh ingredients. There is a handful of simple B&Bs in the historic center, as well as several restaurants serving traditional specialties. VIa Matteotti is a good place to look for restaurants.
Bassano del Grappa Festivals and Events
Opera Estate Festival Veneto holds summer music, dance, open cinema, and theater performances from June to September. Grappa distilleries in the Vicenza province hold Open Distillery days from late September to early October.Christmas Markets are held in the historic center during November and December.