Travelled in: 2015 – 2018
You’ve probably never heard of it, but Bassano Del Grappa is a small city in Northern Italy. It is located about an hour outside of Venice, close to Vicenza. I hadn’t heard of it either until a few years ago when I was approached to apply for a job based there and ended up living there for a year and a bit.
I might be biased, but this beautiful little city is my favourite place in all of Italy! I have been lucky enough to explore a lot of Italy over the past few years, Rome, Venice, Puglia, Milan, but nothing quite beats Bassano Del Grappa! Bassano really is a hidden gem that luckily most tourists haven’t quite discovered yet.
Living in Bassano was by far the best thing I have ever done. I would still be living there now if I hadn’t of hated my job so much… The beauty of this town never gets old. I walked across this bridge every single day and always had to pinch myself that I was lucky enough to live somewhere this beautiful. The view changes constantly depending on the season and the weather, so it never gets boring…
Bassano is the kind of place you fall in love with immediately, everyone that came to visit me wanted to come back! It is only small, but has so much charm and an atmosphere like nowhere else.
This weekend I am back for a flying visit, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share my love for this town and hopefully inspire anyone visiting Veneto to check my Italian home out!
Getting to Bassano Del Grappa…
The closest airports to Bassano are Venice Treviso, Venice Marco Polo and Verona.
From the Venice airports Bassano is easily accessible by train…
From Marco Polo airport you can catch the ATVO bus to Venezia Mestre train station, then hop on a train to Bassano Del Grappa which takes roughly 55 mins. Note: Trains only run twice an hour, so timing is key! The bus ticket costs €8 and the train fare is €5.80.
From Treviso airport you can get the bus from right outside the airport to Treviso Centrale train station. The bus costs €2.80. From here you can catch a train to Bassano Del Grappa via Castlefranco Veneto. The train ticket costs €4.80.
Check bus and train times here…
From Verona you would need to hire a car to get to Bassano. To fully explore the Veneto region I would highly recommend doing this anyway. Bassano City center is mainly pedestrianised, but as it is small and totally walkable you can leave your car in the free parking at Via Santa Caterina.
Staying in Bassano Del Grappa…
Bassano is quite a small city so there’s only a handful of hotels in and around the city center. A couple of my recommendations are…
Hotel Glamour – About a 15 minute walk outside of the center, this would be the most modern hotel option.
Hotel Belvedere – A cheap and cheerful 4 star hotel just outside the city center walls.
Eating in Bassano Del Grappa…
There are so many great places to eat in Bassano. I definitely took them for granted. When you live in Italy it is actually possible to get tired of just eating Italian food… who knew! Now I can’t wait to get back and eat all the pizza and pasta!
I have narrowed down some of my all time Bassano faves…
Bella Capri – This is absolutely the place to go for a hearty Italian family cooked meal. Don’t expect anything fancy or incredible service, but Bella C is a locals fave and you get good food for super cheap prices.
Pizzeria Partenope – My favourite place to go for pizza. It is family run and napoli style. Pizzas start at about €6 and omg they’re so good!
Danieli – This is the best brunch spot in Bassano. For €13 you get a brunch feast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit, yoghurt and fresh orange juice, it is incredible. This place is also good for lunch, dinner and drinks, but brunch is definitely my favourite meal to eat here!
Osteria Trinita – A short walk out of town and you can find this amazing steak restaurant! I sadly only discovered this place a couple of weeks before I moved home. The owner was once a head chef in a top London restaurant, but moved back to Bassano to open his own restaurant! Book in advance as it gets very busy.
Osteria Caneva – Where to go for a traditional meal in the heart of Bassano. It is the best place to try the typical Italian dish of Bacala. All of their pasta dishes are great as well and again it is super cheap!
La Fondaria Artigiani Gelateria – I used to live right above this gelateria which was dangerous as it is one of the best in town. My favourite flavour was menta. They also do a great milkshake!
Things to do in Bassano Del Grappa…
People watch and have a drink in a Piazza – Sitting in a piazza and drinking is a big part of the culture in Bassano and Italy in general. Piazza Liberta and Piazza Garibaldi is where you will find most of the action! Being so close to the Prosecco hills means Prosecco and Aperol Spritz are easily accessible and super cheap. Expect to pay no more than €3 a glass. Some of my favourite places to grab a drink are…
Deep if you want to find the internationals and cheapest spritz!
Tipic for a cool vibe and great G&Ts.
Room for a good cocktail and bustling atmosphere.
Leone for people watching in the piazza.
Walk the Bridge & drink a Mezzo e Mezzo – Bassano is famed for it’s Ponte Vecchio Alpini, which holds a lot of history for the city. The bridge has been destroyed multiple times during the world wars, but was always rebuilt. Today it still remains the main attraction of Bassano and joins both sides of the city over the river Brenta.
The bridge is currently undergoing essential maintenance to stop it collapsing, so there is a bit of hoarding ruining the view of the bridge itself, but the view you get from the bridge is incredible.
One of the most popular things to do in Bassano is have an aperitivo at Nardini. A bar right at the start of the bridge where you can try a typical drink of Mezzo e Mezzo. Despite drinking plenty on them I still don’t know exactly what a Mezzo e Mezzo contains, but essentially it is half and half of 2 types of alcohol, so expect it to blow your head off!
Check out the view points – There are a few stunning view points in Bassano which offer incredible views over the mountains. My favourite is from Viale Dei Mariti. If you look closely at the trees on this street you will see memorial plaques with names of people who died here during the war.
Climb the Clock Tower – I didn’t actually go up Bassano clock tower this until after I moved back to London, but last year when I came back to visit I thought a trip to the top of the city clock tower was necessary to fully put Bassano in to perspective. You can find the entrance in Piazza Garibaldi. There is a small entrance fee to climb up, but worth it for panoramic views over the terracotta roofs.
Walk along the Fiume Brenta – You can not visit Bassano and not take a walk the river. There is nothing better than an evening strole taking in the views and breathing in the fresh air. It also makes for a great running route. In the summer there is a beachy area to relax and sunbathe on, but no matter how hot you get I wouldn’t recommend getting in the water as it is always freezing!
Go wine tasting at Villa Angarano – A short walk along the Brenta and you will find yourself at this historic villa and vineyard. Book a wine tasting tour here and learn a bit more about the Angarano family and their Bassanese wine. In summer there is usually a vintage market and events in the villas gardens, so watch out for these as well.
Visit the Poli Grappa museum – This is the place to go if you are a fan of the famous Italian digestive Grappa. The museum is right in the city center next to the Ponte Vecchio, here you can do everything from learn about the history of Grappa, taste Grappa and even buy a bottle to take home.
Go shopping – Every Saturday morning the streets of Bassano come alive with market vendors setting up their stalls of flowers, fruit and veg, clothes, cooking utensils and all sorts of other random things. Expect all the locals to be out in full force to grab a bargain.
For High St and boutique shopping the main stores are on Via Roma, the most mainstream store you will find is H&M!
It is worth noting there is no big supermarket in the center of Bassano, the closest one is a 15 minute walk towards Marostica, others are drivable located at shopping centers just outside of town Il Griffone and Emisfero.
Drive up Montegrappa – If you have a car this drive must be done! Montegrappa is a mountain close to Bassano. To reach the top you have to drive up hair pin mountain side roads, which at times are a bit sketchy, but so worth it when you get to the top. Go on a clear day and I’m sure the view would be amazing, but I went up on a cloudy day and actually drove through the clouds to reach the top which offered a pretty impressive sight. At the top you will also find the Montegrappa war memorial.
Get an adrenaline rush – As much as I’ve made it sound like a cute, chilled out town in the Italian countryside, Bassano also has some great activities for adrenaline junkies! There is rafting, canoeing and paragliding all available within the surrounding area. I never managed to do any of these, but definitely would love to give them a go one day!
Explore the surrounding area– Some of the towns around Bassano are equally as beautiful and also worth a visit whilst in the region. Check out Marostica for its famous chess board piazza and hill top castle. Cittadella to walk the city walls and Vicenza for shopping. There are also plenty of lakes to check out for a swim within a 20 minute drive, just look for water on the map and head in that direction. Valdobiaddine (the prosecco hills) are only a 30 minute drive away as well and definitley worth a visit!
Bassano is one of those special places you just fall in love with after your first visit. I was really lucky to spend so much time here. I have such amazing memories of this town and Bassano will always be my second home with a special place in my heart.
If you’re planning a trip to Veneto, be sure to check it out!