We’ve put together a bucket list of our favorite experiences and activities in Bassano that our town offers to tourists and locals. Share the ones you find out about at #aDayinBassano
The bridge in Bassano del Grappa is the symbol of the city: the “Ponte Vecchio” or old bridge, crossing river Brenta is thee town’s main attraction and center of the old town. The bridge has been redesigned and fixed multiple times throughout history from its first appearance in the 13th century. The current structure of the old bridge in Bassano (a newer one crosses the river in the south) carries the signature of visionary renaissance designer Andrea Palladio (1508 – 1580) and is made entirely of wood. It is renewed as an engineering masterpiece hard to replicate even with today’s technology. In fact, in recent years the structure has undergone many restorations and construction companies faced difficulties in reproducing the original design.
The Bassano Bridge is also particularly relevant in Italian history, as it was crossed by the country’s Alpini corp, specialized in mountain warfare during War War 1, before reaching the front in the 1915-1918 war against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Bassano bridge was also blown out during the second World War by the resistance, which carried in Bassano many actions.
Every visit to Bassano del Grappa usually starts with a promenade through the Ponte Vecchio, where tourists usually stop to take pictures at the breathtaking panorama on the mountains or to shop for craft products in the nearby shops, making a visit to this attraction one of the best things to do in Bassano. The view is really amazing and changes according to the light in different seasons and times of the day, making Bassano bridge the ideal spot for creators and photographers wanting to take the perfect shot of this city.
At the eastern end of the bridge, locals gather for happy hour at Nardini, Italy’s oldest distillery dating back to 1779 and still serving drinks in the retro atmosphere of the original laboratory. Here you are supposed to order a round of “mezzo e mezzo” which is the bitter house specialty, or an “acqua di Cedro” or cider water, besides the extensive spirits options. A few steps ahead, Nardini’s competitor Poli has its free entry Grappa Museum where you can smell and test virtually unlimited Grappa kinds.
In the colonnade between the two main piazzas, the Beltrame family runs its “Bottega del Pane”. In this vintage bakery, every product is of outstanding quality, but it is because of its iconic “pizzetta”, or tiny pizza, that the shop attracts costumers from Bassano and the surrounding towns.
The ingredients that make this Italian street food so irresistible are kept secret, what is well knows is that in very little time you will become addicted to it and the staff will start knowing you by your name.
Bassano nightlife is vibrant and lively and the city offers interesting going out options for audiences of all ages and preferences. Various bars and hangouts are scattered all over the historical center and offer unique experiences in curated context in the best Italian tradition. Recently opened Palazzo delle Misture, for example, builds a consistent fin-de-siecle vibe by matching the retro design of the interiors with exotic cocktails inspired by last century’s cultural avant-garde. For 20 and 30 somethings, King of Bassano nightlife Leon bar, on the other hand, is the go-to bar for starting your nights out in Bassano. Officina del Gusto is the bar of choice of Bassano nightlife indie and hipsters. Osterias, beer gardens, and trendy spots are valid options. As usual, asking the locals recommendations on what’s going on tonight is the best things to do in Bassano‘s evening.
In regards of restaurant, the nightlife of Bassano also has much to offer, with options ranging from experimental fusion joints such as, our personal best restaurant in Bassano Del Grappa, HisYou, (Maybe not the most typical restaurant in town, but the experience of eating sashimi cuts on a buffalo mozzarella base is not to miss. Sicilian red shrimps and the iconic chilly prawns are also good choices.). to more traditional Italian restaurants like Ottone and fresh, hip eateries like Nardini Garage. Finding good restaurants in Bassano is not hard: there are virtually no tourist traps, quality of food is in generally high and even the surrounding towns have interesting restaurants to offer, such as industrial-style space Habitat Bistrot.
For those looking for some extra luxury fine dining experience, l’Impronta restaurant might be the fanciest in town, with its curated interiors and top-notch experience.
When going out in Italy, remember that the maximum limit of alcohol concentration in blood for driving is 0,5 and police might perform checks resulting in fines. At any rate, after your nights out avoid driving after drinking. The best option is to find a comfortable accommodation in the center of Bassano such as Relais nel Castello, and roam the city by foot without too much worry.
All year around there are many events in Bassano, thee city attracts people from all of the nearby towns as it offers a rich programs in terms of entertainment, culture, business and lifestyle. As the case in many Italian cities, the museums in Bassano are many: the ideal way to visit them with a discount is by using the card from Area Arte, granting discounts in shops and restaurants in the whole region too and delivered for free to the guest of Bassano’s best Airbnb’s. on Area Arte website you find a useful list of the running art events not to miss at the link: https://www.areaarte.it/mostre-eventi/?province=77
Events in Bassano also include musical ones, such as AMA Music Festival which attracts some of Italy’s best and most famous performs in three days of open air festival in September. For culture, the best events in Bassano are the ones in the program of Opera Estate Festival, including theather, dance, performances, literature and open debates with the country’s best thought-leaders and influncers in different spheres
The Parolini Gardens are a botanical park and public green space given to the city by its nineteenth-century nobility. They are now set of the traditional summertime cinema festival events in Bassano, part of the Opera Estate program, where a series of selected movies from renowned and emerging directors are shown in this amazing natural environment. If you already understand some Italian and are looking for chances to improve your language skills, a movie in the garden is definitely the best thing to do in Bassano.
Other events in Bassano are scheduled around the year ranging from motorsports, to street food, biking and outdoor sports and all sorts of gigs and happening in every niche. Every wednesday of the month of July, the city hosts a “notte bianca” or white night, a format popular in many Italian cities where shops remain open until late in the evening and the municipality organises shows and performances in the streets
Shopping in Bassano del Grappa and its surroundings you can find a variety of boutiques with design and signature clothing items, as well as grocery shops where to buy the best of Italian food products only available here. Various stores are to be located in the city center, according to Italy’s tradition of preferring street retail outlets over big malls, and unique, single store boutiques over large chains with thousands of stores. Shopping in Bassano is interesting for trendspotters and fashionistas looking for the latest Italian fashion items, which can be purchased at high-end store Cenere, famous for its avantgardish windows, or its competitor Sear’s, selecting the best clothes including the ones from local star designers such as Italian shirt manufacturer Xacus.
For unique, local souvenirs and music records, dischi ponte is the best place, starting as a vynil shop, the store located on the western bank of the wooden bridge sells item branded with the Alpini, the city’s iconic mountain fighters of WWI, including the Bialetti moka express Alpina coffee maker.
If the weather is not collaborative, a 5 minutes taxi ride will take you to the newly opened Grifone Mall: the city’s shopping center where you can spend the afternoon and buy souvenirs. Grifone includes a large underground parking and a selection of stores including a grocery hypermarket, tech and home appliances store MediaWorld and affordable fashion, cosmetics and Pret-a-porter shops.
A trip to Italy, however, should include at least a visit to a grocery retailer. In Italian supermarkets you can find the most qualitative food items that the demanding Italian consumers put on their tables every day: shopping in Bassano is the chance to get your hands on the best coffee, wine, pasta, cold cuts, cheese and a variety of other foods rarely distributed elsewhere, to surprise your friends back home. Italy’s most renowned supermarkets chains are Coop and Conad. Our recommendation is to go for some prosciutto with local breadsticks from brand Bibanesi. If you are based in a vacation rental equipped with kitchen, you might consider cooking some cannelloni with cottage cheese and spinach.
Visit Veneto if you are looking for Italy’s most diverse, artistically rich and interesting region: of the 20 Italian regions, Veneto is the one attracting the most international tourism, and not only in its capital Venice. Inhabited by approximately 5 million people this territory is located in Italy’s North East, easily reachable from all of Europe, it is for many reasons that foreigners are increasingly choosing to visit Veneto over other parts of Italy. Bassano del Grappa in Veneto is located at the center of the region, making the town the ideal starting point to day trips to arts cities and natural parks.
Did you know that this area is Europe’s best for paragliding? A few minutes of a drive outside of the city center will allow you to visit the beautiful region, including Mount Grappa, which from its 1775 meters above sea level offers moon-like landscapes, untouched nature and traditional high altitude inns (malghe) serving homemade cheese and cold cuts. If you like spending some time in retreat in the mountains, to rent a cabin in Italy and go hiking might be the best thing to do to make the best out of your visit. Veneto is renowned for its quality of living standards and In Bassano and its surroundings, one can truly enjoy nature and some of the best outdoor experiences in the country.
Visit Veneto as it is one of the most unique regions of Italy, it spreads between the mountain peaks of the Alps to the Venice lagoon offering diverse landscapes and a multitude of national parks and natural attractions. Bassano del Grappa is located just a short ride away from major skiing resorts such as Cortina and San Martino di Castrozza which makes it a great starting point for any skiing trip in Italy.
Wine tourism is definitely the best sport to practice in Veneto where you can visit wineries in Italy like nowhere else. Hundreds of producers are eager to let you taste their wine, hoping to sell you some few bottles to carry home.
One can spend the best moments of a holiday simply strolling by car, gently, towards the best Italian landscapes, searching for some “osteria” and wine producer, intentionally losing direction.
Some hints? Montello hill for reds, Asolo and Valdobbiadene for prosecco. The prosecco region, in fact is just a few kilometers away from Bassano and located around the cities of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, recently awarded UNESCO world heritage site, where the best Prosecco comes from and you can visit different wineries between the best of Italy. In the surroundings of our town, the best winery in Bassano is Villa Angarano, well deserving a visit and if you plan to stock up on Italian winee but cannot carry it with you in your flight, the winery will organise bulk shipping of multiple crates to your destination. A decent bottle of prosecco can cost around 5 euros here if you purchase in bulk, well below retail prices in the rest of the world and you might consider getting a few boxes shipped to your home country to give away to friends and relatives. Our supplier of choice is Rivalivei, where you will get the bang for the buck.
Interesting fact: in Venetian dialect, widely spoken in Veneto, a glass of wine is referred to as an “Ombra” literally meaning shadow, this because the construction workers building the bell tower of the main square in Venice used to take a break from the hard work sitting at the shadow of the campanile and sipping a glass of red wine, before coffee-breaks became a thing. If you are looking to visit wineries in Italy, the Veneto region is definitely the starting point: It is a running joke in Italy how Venetians are fond of their wine and grappa and every local you will encounter will be more than happy to socialise in front of a bottle of the “good one”. Remember to drink aware and don’t pass the 0,5 limit of alcohol allowed by Italian authorities for driving, equalling a couple glasses of wine.
Going from Bassano to Venice is easy and hassle free: the train station allows you to visit virtually all Italian cities in all comfort and trains from Bassano to Venice and from Venice to Bassano go every hour according to this schedule. Venice is a must see for tourists, but the city is relatively small and can be visited in a day, therefore savvy travelers choose to be based in more affordable places and travel from Bassano to Venice in a day trip, comfortably by train as the city with canals instead of streets is not ideal for cars and parking is extremely expensive. Italian railway company Trenitalia serves their purposes well with a consistent schedule of train connections from and to Bassano’s railway station. When in Venice don’t forget to visit the exotic Jewish ghetto district, slightly less overcrowded and therefore feeling more “genuine” and eat on the canal banks at affordably priced Kosher restaurant Gam Gam (try the deep-fried artichokes). For a memorable fine-dining experience, take your travel companions to the exclusive muro restaurants.
After going from Bassano to Venice, you should consider visiting other Italian art cities which you can easily reach from Bassano’s strategic position: Padua with its impressive Basilica dedicated to saint Anthony, Vicenza with the masterpieces of Andrea Palladio, the lovely city of Treviso, from which airport you can travel for cheap everywhere in Europe are the closest. If you are looking for inspiration, check the website www.veneto360.land
Outside of the Veneto region, Italy’s North-Est develops north, in the mountain region of Trentino-Alto Adige, including its northmost, german speaking province of South Tyrol, where Austrian culture is predominant and you can visit the best Christmas markets in the cities of Bolzano and Merano. Travelling eastbound the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia features the cities of Udine and beautiful Trieste, where Italian, Austrian and Eastern European cultures blend together in a mix of architectures, tastes, languages and traditions in Italy’s eastern city at the Adriatic sea.
Bassano is the ideal base for exploring many Italian cities off the beaten path, taking the trains from Bassano to Venice or simply renting a car will grant you the mobility to travel some of Europe’s most interesting towns besides mainstream Florence Rome or Milan.
The Ezzelini castle carries the name of the powerful family that used to rule the city and its surrounding lands during medieval times, the walls of the castle and its tower are still part of the city today.
If you are looking to rent an apartment in Bassano del Grappa you should consider staying in this tower for an unique, time warping experience: at “Relais nel Castello” you find a unique apartment embedded in a middle age castle. The flat has design interiors and a stunning view of the mountains from the tiny windows. We are confident staying there will be the cherry on the cake of your holiday
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Want to find out more on the best things to do in Bassano? don’t forget to check our Insider’s Travel Guide to Bassano del Grappa