Bassano del Grappa
Bassano is a flourishing town located at the foot of Mount Grappa (1715 metres high), at the outlet of the valley of River Brenta. Rolling and verdant hills at both western and eastern side contribute to make it so beautiful, along with a healthy, dry and barely sandy climate. The toponym comes from the Latin "fundus Bassianus", related to the strategic position, just at the entrance of Valsugana. All these natural elements recall numerous tourists, who are also attracted by the great historical and artistic heritage, as well as the local handicrafts.
We can say that Bassano del Grappa has been doubtlessly helped by the proximity to an important water flow, such as River Brenta, in terms of industrial and commercial development. This place boasts indeed one of the biggest industrialized areas of the whole Veneto region.
As mentioned above, visiting Bassano you will be surprised by its historical richness. You might start from Piazza Garibaldi, where to admire the Torre Civica and the Romanesque-Gothic Church of St Francesco, consecrated in 1331. The latter shows several beauties inside, while the right side of the building homes the Convento di St Francesco, with the Museum, the Biblioteca (Library), and and historical Archive. The Museum - open every day except for Monday, from 9 am to 6.30 pm, and Sunday from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm – exhibits a very important collection of prehistoric local, Roman and Lombard findings, and some precious Greek and Apulian ceramics dating back to the VI and III century BC.
The Picture Gallery preserves many works of art made by Da Ponte, a Crucifix by Guariento and several paintings by Bartolomeo Vivarini and Michele Giambono. You will be imppresed by the halls built in honour of Canova, which jealously keep a number of drafts, casts and studies of this great artist.
From Piazza Garibaldi you can walk to Piazza della Libertà, where it rises the church of St Giovanni Battista, founded in 1308, but totally renovated between 1747 and 1788. Continuing on Via Bellavitis and passing through Campo Marzio, you will reach the old river port. Here is the eighteenth/century Palazzo Sturn, which has housed since 1992 the Museo della Ceramica, dedicated to one of the biggest productions in town, internationally known since the XVIII century (open November – March: Friday 9 am-12.30 pm; Saturday and Sunday 3.30 pm-6.30 pm; April, May and October: Tuesday to Saturday, 9 am-12.30 pm and 3.30 pm-6.30 pm; June and September, Tuesday to Saturday, 9 am-12.30 pm and 3.30 pm-6.30 pm, Sunday 10 am-12.30 pm).
Do not miss the Ponte Vecchio – ancient bridge symbol of the city, remade many times throughout the ages, always according to the original project made by Andrea Palladio, in 1569. The bridge is also known as "Ponte degli Aplini, thanks to the nearby Museum, reachable from the typical tavern located at the bridge's head, just opposite the centre, called Museo degli Alpini (open to visits: summer 9 am-8 pm; winter 9 am-1 pm and 3 pm-8 pm; closed on Monday). Have a look at Piazza Monte Vecchio, the Castello Superiore, and Duomo.
Nature lovers will have the opportunity to discover naturalistic itineraries on the western bank of the river Brenta, following the path that goes up to the Valsugana.
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