Visit Bassano del Grappa to discover one of the most charming small towns in Italy near Venice. We have put together this comprehensive guide to the best the city and its surroundings have to offer to serve you as a travel companion, find it compressed in our video guide:
This weekend, we visit Bassano del Grappa: a hidden gem in Northern Italy rich in culture, arts and unique experiences making it, in our opinion, the best place near Venice and worth becoming a key destination in Italy on the radar of savvy travelers and adventurers.
At just one hour from Venice at the foothills of the first Alps, or Prealpi in Italian, the geographical position of Bassano del Grappa is strategic for visiting this beautiful region, but it is the charming Old Town that attracts tourists from all over the world in this relaxed center. The city center develops around three main squares and their surroundings pedestrian streets scattered with shops, bars and historical architectural details that those with a keen eye don’t miss on their visit to Bassano del Grappa/
The main attraction is the “Ponte Vecchio”, or old bridge of Bassano, crossing the river Brenta and carrying the signature of renaissance designer Andrea Palladio. Many shops and bars surround the bridge, including Italy’s oldest distillery dating back to the 18th century and still serving its costumers. Nardini’s vibe is the one of a vintage craft distillery with a hint of steam-punk aesthetics, here people in Bassano del Grappa enjoy typical products such as the best Grappa, Tagliatella and the local cocktail Mezzo e Mezzo, slightly bitter and democratically priced at around 2,20 euros.
Bassano del Grappa get together ritual is the region’s signature cocktail: not everyone knows that popular “spritz” is here typical. Homemade (and a lot better than the commercial bottled and already mixed version which you can purchase at the grocery store) and served rigorously with Prosecco and either Campari or Aperol. People of all ages gather at the bridge after work for a glass of their favorites and s breathe of fresh air. The bravest order a variation with Italian Artichoke liquor “Cynar” in it, try at your own risk.
Historically a cultural and trade center of balance of the region, Bassano del Grappa has always been historically relevant in this territory since the middle ages, when it started developing. this town attracted skillful artisans, artists, and creators which left here their masterpieces for future generations to enjoy, cementing Bassano del Grappa attractions as some of the best Venetian cultural treasures.
Still to this date, the town remains a design powerhouse and Bassano’s boutiques select rare and trendy items that make the best presents and most useful souvenirs: Bassano del Grappa street retail scene is vibrant and some world-renowned brand such as photography equipment maker Manfrotto have their headquarters here.
Visit Bassano del Grappa castle as soon as you can. The structure dating back to the 12th century used to be the center of control of the powerful Ezzelini family, which ruled the region in the middle ages and had in Bassano del Grappa its capital and main hub. The castle is surrounded by hidden panoramic spots, making it even more worth exploring. When entering from Piazza Terraglio, right below the Sir Ivano tower, find a narrow passage to the east that will allow you to walk around the external perimeter of the walls for a really romantic experience. The Sir Ivano tower also hosts our friends best Airbnb in Bassano, which we recommend.
Bassano del Grappa is also a foodie city, with treats, street food, and fine dining delicacies, both traditional and experimental to be tasted at every corner. Besides the delicious tiny pizza street food served at the vintage bakery between the two squares, every joint offer street foods including traditional “Cicchetti” or Venetian tapas with locally sourced ingredients. For the best restaurants in Bassano del Grappa, you can check this brief introduction.
Not surprisingly, the nightlife is vibrant and a variety of bars and clubs offer curated experiences for every taste and preference, going out in Italy is always fun and often leads to pleasant encounters where new friends are made. From the hipster and indie vibes of Officina del Gusto, with its vintage interiors to the posh atmosphere of Palazzo delle MIsture, which style mimics of last century’s absinthe bars.
We are always picking regarding the accommodation in our visit. Bassano del Grappa luckily features one of Italy’s most interesting Airbnb’s:
Relais nel Castello is located at the base of the tower in the Ezzelini’s castle and shares part of the ancient walls in its inside. Hosting up to four people, Relais nel Castello’s position is ideal for exploring all of Bassano’s attractions comfortably by foot while resting in the quietest part of the Old Town the very center of the city. A day in Bassano has an exclusive partnership with the management, granting You a privileged treatment when you book your accommodation in Bassano through this website. Here, every detail is curated to deliver the best living experience, a stunning view on the mountains, and all the comforts of Italian fine living, make this vacation rental the ideal place for your stay in Bassano.
On the next day of our visit Bassano del Grappa we decide to visit the city’s surroundings, sure to find something interesting The surrounding region, called Pedemontana del Grappa, something like region at the feet of Mount Grappa, is developed and densely inhabited, nonetheless immersed in the rich nature spreading between the Alps and the Venice lagoon, you can even rent a cabin here. The municipalities of Romano and Semonzo are between Europe’s best for Paragliding, making the sky over Bassano del Grappa often filled with parachutes. We continue on the road passing Pieve del Grappa, every city here seems to be named after the Grappa mountain, as it was very relevant for Italy as a theater of the first world war.
We stop shortly after, in the lovely small town of Possagno.
Visit Possagno in Italy to slow down and relax: the tiny village is off the beaten path and owns much of its tourism to the fact that it was the birthplace of renowned neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova. The Gypsoteca or Canova Museum is for sure the main attraction of this village and the best thing to do in Possagno. The museum exposes original chalks, that the master would work with his own hands before creating the pieces exposed in the world’s most prestigious museums. World leaders of its time such as George Washington and Napoleon are portrayed as classical deities, and other scenery from Greek and Ancient mythology portrayed seconds before tragic and strongly energetic moments. It is recommended to get a tourist guide. These statues emanate sublime beauty and overwhelming energy at the same time, leaving an impression that cannot be given in picture, and evoking strong emotions.
As wine lovers, we are headed toward Valdobbiadene and the Prosecco region, recently awarded UNESCO world heritage status due to the extreme conditions where the grapes are harvested. Valdobbiadene approximately 30 KM from Bassano del Grappa, in the center of wonderful landscapes scattered with wineries and the best of Italy’s wine culture. We cannot help but stop for some tasting if Italy’s best sparkling wine. Of the many wineries, the most popular is Osteria senza Oste, or the Inn without a tender. Based on a donor system where people purchase their wine and food and leave an offer in an empty box, lately turned into vending machines for tax reasons, this place technically sill remains a private house open to the public as well as the ideal spot for an afternoon spent well after you visit Bassano del Grappa.
Here, on a hill covered in grapes, the traditional rural life is enjoyed one sip at the time, in a friendly and informal context where not socializing is impossible.
Visit Bassano del Grappa and its region is a must if you happen to be around town: The city offers different experiences for visitors of all ages and we are assured you will not regret spending a couple of days in this lovely part of Italy.
Mario Bonamigo: https://www.instagram.com/searsbassano/?hl=en
Jessica Pietrarelli: https://www.instagram.com/jessicapietrarelli/?hl=en
Matteo Rigo (Author): https://www.instagram.com/teorigo/?hl=en
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