Bassano del Grappa, named for the nearby mountain, Monte Grappa, is a pretty medieval town on the Brenta River northwest of Venice in the Veneto region. A short two-hour train ride from Venice or Verona can bring you in this beautiful place with a charming ambiance.

The natural setting of Bassano del Grappa is extraordinary; you almost feel as if you are in an alpine village, with towering snow-capped mountains all around and the crystal-clear river running through the town center.

The symbol of the town is the wooden bridge, Ponte degli Alpini, originally designed by Andrea Palladio in 1569 although a wooden bridge has existed here since at least 1209. The bridge has been destroyed several times and rebuilt, the last time was after its destruction in WWII. It looks gorgeous from a distance but perhaps the best part of all is the view of the town from the bridge itself, absolutely breathtaking!

The old town is a pleasure to stroll around characterized by old buildings, narrow streets, little piazzas and lovely churches. The arcaded town squares Piazzotto Montevecchio, Piazza Libertà and Piazza Garibaldi, connect to each other and are filled with people, cafes, and shops.

In the culinary world, Bassano is probably most famous for the renowned Italian digestive, grappa, made from distilling the remains from the winemaking process after pressing: grape skins, seeds, and stems, called pomace. Integral to Italian culture, grappa can be found in many bars, distilled locally by families who may have been devoted to it for decades. One of those families is called Nardini that has been crafting a wide range of spirits in a distillery on the outskirts of town, while their historic tasting room sits right on the corner of the bridge.

Just up the street, you’ll find the famed Poli. Here you can taste (and buy) its refined grappa and visit its interesting museum about grappa distilling (for free).