Bassano del Grappa: white asparagus territory

The city of ceramics and grappa

Bassano - gentile concessione dell’Archivio di Vicenza è BassanoBassano has a centuries-old history and is one of the most attractive towns in the Veneto province. It is sited on the edge of the Vicenza plain, against the dramatic backdrop of the Grappa heights, at the point where the Brenta river flows into the plain. To Italians Bassano is inevitably linked to two of its most famous products; artistic ceramics and fine grappa acquavite (it is home to some of the best-known distilleries in the whole of Italy).

Bassano’s historic centre is a quaint collection of irregular narrow streets and piazzas with a wealth of ancient palazzos, many with frescoed facades. Local history is documented in the important “Museo Civico”, where the archaeological section is flanked by a well-stocked art gallery with paintings by many famous Venetian artists, among them the Da Ponte family, Francesco, Jacopo, Girolamo and Leandro, who were all nicknamed “da Bassano”; Giandomenico Tiepolo, Marco Ricci and the sculptor Antonio Canova, represented by a number of sketches and models for his works. The Civic Museum is near Piazza Garibaldi, dominated by the 42m-high Civic Tower and by the Gothic-Romanesque church of S. Francesco. Nearby is Piazza della Libertà, with the Town Hall loggia complete with frescoes, coats of arms and its lovely clock dating back to the late 16th century, as well as the church of S. Giovanni Battista.

On the edge of the town is the medieval Castello Superiore, or Upper Castle, and the Cathedral, built on the foundations of what was once a simple parish church which was gradually enlarged until the end of the 17th century.