Bassano del Grappa, Province of Vicenza, Veneto, Italy
What to see
- the wooden Ponte Vecchio bridge, rebuilt several times, after being destroyed by high water and wars, but always according to Palladium’s original 1569 design. The bridge is well famous for a popular song of the Alpine troops in WW1 (Sul ponte di Bassano - là ci darem la mano. - Là ci darem la mano - ed un bacin d'amor...)
- the majestic Sturm Palace, the patrician dwelling of the XVIII century, with interior stucco decorations and frescoes, now housed in the Ceramics Museum.
- in the central Piazza Libertà, the statue of St. Bassiano and the church of San Giovanni Battista, with a richly decorated rococò chapel.
- Castello Superiore, the first defensive fort that later became the citadel, in the higher part of the city.
- The 10th century cathedral Pieve di Santa Maria, inside the fortress whose construction was started in 998.
- the Parolini gardens, laid out by naturalist Alberto Parolini, with a wonderful variety of tropical plants.
From the XI to the XV century the city was at first under the dominion of the Ezzelino lords, then it became a free municipality, later falling under the rule of the Vicentinis, and finally under the enlightened government of the Can Grande della Scala lordship, and from the 14th century onwards its fortunes were linked to those of the the Venice Republic.
During the peaceful period of Venice’s political independence, the city became a famous manufacturing centre for ceramics, iron, copper, wool and silk, as well as goldsmith. From the Risorgimento until the Second World War the city was in the front line of national defence, and its name was associated with Mount Grappa, the sacred mount of World War One.
- Between May and June: the “Biso & Verdiso” a feast celebrating the typical local white asparagus.
- June: the “International Street Art Festival”
- July and August: the “Opera Estate Festival Veneto” (Veneto Summer Opera Festival), with 400 performances including dance, theatre, jazz concerts, opera and films of cultural value, held in Bassano’s most fascinating spots.
- in the middle of September every odd-numbered year: “La Ballata del Millennio” with more than 500 characters in costumes re-enacting the most significant moments of Bassano’s history.