Bassano del Grappa: Italy’s Hidden Gem

August 14, 2017 42 Comments

You can view all posts from my trip to Italy here.Β 

When my friends and I were planning our trip to Italy, we knew we wanted to hit the major cities like Venice and Florence, and we also wanted to visit a smaller town to get a more authentic Italian experience. Morgan wanted to see some mountains, so we looked at a map and found a town called Bassano del Grappa in the foothills of the Alps and just an hour train ride from Venice. None of us had ever heard of Bassano del Grappa before, but I absolutely loved the town and it’s truly a hidden gem in Italy. This post isn’t even going to begin to do Bassano del Grappa justice, and I cannot recommend visiting it enough! πŸ™‚

Bassano del Grappa: Italy's Hidden Gem

Every time we told an Italian that we were going to or had just been to Bassano del Grappa, every single person immediately said “Why?!” It’s not well known outside of Italy and people said there isn’t anything to do there, so no one understood why we were going. But it’s so much more fascinating and beautiful than people were giving it credit for! We researched a bit about Bassano del Grappa before we went, but we learned an incredible amount of history and information about the town while we were there. It was instrumental in both world wars, and Ernest Hemingway spent time there as an ambulance driver during WWI and included it in “A Farewell to Arms,” which I want to reread to learn more about his experience there.

One of my favorite things about Bassano del Grappa was how relaxed it was, and there were very few tourists (apparently the only tourists they get there are German). We got a LOT of stares from locals because four American girls (three of them giants with blonde hair) stood out like a sore thumb! Everyone was so friendly and nice though, even when we were struggling to communicate. It was the perfect place to get a true local experience- so authentic in fact, that one of the restaurants we went to had a bathroom with just a hole in the floor, true story. That was the ONLY thing I didn’t like about Bassano del Grappa!

We left Venice early in the morning to catch our train to Bassano del Grappa, and after many mishaps at the train station (I’m going to have an entire post on how to do Italy by train and avoid all the mistakes we made), we made it to Bassano del Grappa. Unlike Venice, the weather was absolutely beautiful with blue skies the entire time, and it was so nice stepping off the train and taking in some fresh, mountain air. We stayed atΒ B&B Ca’ Garibaldi, and it was right in the center of town and only a short walk from the train station. Our apartment was beautiful with tons of rooms and space (including a dining room!), and it was actually one of the cheapest places we stayed the whole trip! My only complaint is that the Wifi was very weak and I couldn’t even get on it, and it was a little frustrating since most of us were completely relying on Wifi to use our phones (I did manage to tell my mom I arrived in one piece though, and thankfully there were no emergencies where we would had definitely needed Wifi). Other than that, the apartment was great! They were very flexible about our arrival time, and there were even water bottles in the fridge.

Airbnb in Bassano del Grappa

Airbnb in Bassano del Grappa

Airbnb in Bassano del Grappa

Airbnb in Bassano del Grappa

Airbnb in Bassano del Grappa

The balcony was probably my favorite part!

Airbnb in Bassano del Grappa

Airbnb in Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

The views from the balcony were incredible!

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

After we got settled, we decided to meander around town. There isn’t all that much to do in Bassano del Grappa because there aren’t any major sites like in Florence or Rome, but it was a great town to see historical buildings and just relax. Plus, the views with the river and mountains were so beautiful to take in! We were only in Bassano del Grappa for a day, but I took so many photos that they will be split up into two posts, if that shows you how much I loved it there! πŸ™‚

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Later, we learned about the history of the lion statues in Italy. There’s actually a very detailed history on the position of the book and if there’s a sword or not, and since Bassano del Grappa’s had an open book with no sword, it meant that Bassano del Grappa paid its taxes and was loyal to the Republic Venice. If you’ve seen other lion statues around Italy, I would love to hear about them!Β 

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa pastries

Bassano del Grappa pastries

Bassano del Grappa

We couldn’t pass up a bakery, and the pastries were delicious!

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa bridge

The red pontoon bridge, Ponte Vecchio, is the symbol of Bassano del Grappa. It was designed byΒ Andrea Palladio in 1569, and it was destroyed a few times during wars, most recently during WWII, but it was always rebuilt with the same design. Because Bassano del Grappa meant so much to the Alpini soldiers (I’ll go into their history in the next post!), they had it rebuilt, so the bridge is also referred asΒ Ponte degli Alpini. It is currently being repaired, but you are still able to cross it. We spent a lot of time in this spot taking pictures of Ponte Vecchio and the mountains because it is just so beautiful! These are definitely my favorite pictures from Bassano del Grappa πŸ™‚Β 

Bassano del Grappa bridge

Bassano del Grappa bridge

Bassano del Grappa bridge

Bassano del Grappa bridge

After hanging out by the river for a while, we kept meandering and soaking in the sun until lunchtime.Β 

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa bakery

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

We got lunch atΒ Al Saiso, which was a cute little restaurant with lots of outdoor seating. They had a HUGE selection of bruschettas, so we all got different ones and they were delicious! They did not skimp on the cheese, so I can’t sing their praises enough! Bassano del Grappa is known for its white asparagus, so we had to try some while we were there and it was great (plus, I really needed some vegetables in my diet after piling on so many carbs since we had arrived in Italy).Β 

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa restaurant

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa is also known for its ceramics, so we did a little souvenir shopping while we were there! I love getting souvenirs that I can actually use, so I got a pretty spoon holder and I use it all the time (it was also a miracle that all the fragile souvenirs made it back home in one piece!).Β 

Bassano del Grappa ceramics

Bassano del Grappa ceramics

Bassano del Grappa ceramics

We crossed the Ponte Vecchio to explore the other side of Bassano del Grappa, and the views from the bridge were so beautiful! I would buy a house on the river there in a heartbeat if I had the money!

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa bridge

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa bridge

Bassano del Grappa castle

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

We made a new friend!

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

We dipped our toes in and the water was pretty cold!

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Recognize this photo from my recent post about quitting my job? πŸ™‚

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa

Stay tuned for next week’s post with tons more photos of beautiful Bassano del Grappa and theΒ serendipitous story about how we befriended an American who has lived in Bassano del Grappa for 30 years and took us to the best local spots! πŸ™‚Β 

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August 14, 2017

Julia

42 Comments

  1. Reply

    Anisa

    August 19, 2017

    It really looks like a lovely town and looks like you found a great place to stay. I love the architecture and the food looks delicious too. Pinning so I can check it out the next time I am in Italy (which I hope will be soon!)

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      You should definitely go if you get the chance!

  2. Reply

    tracy

    August 19, 2017

    Your photos are beautiful. It was surprising to hear they only get German tourists. The town looks like a dream place and I hope to one day visit. I love the pink chandelier.

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  3. Reply

    Mariellen Ward

    August 19, 2017

    This looks like a lovely spot. Sometimes, it’s great to just get off the tourist trail and experience a real town, and have an authentic cultural experience. Which looks like exactly what you did!

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Yes it’s a great place to have an authentic experience!

  4. Reply

    Travelling Dany

    August 19, 2017

    My sister who lives in Milan goes often to Bassano del Grappa and loves it just like you do! She says it’s a beautiful and relaxing place where she goes to recharge her batteries from time to time! I love the photos you took there!

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ It is such a great spot to relax!

  5. Reply

    Portia Jones

    August 19, 2017

    Oh wow, what a comprehensive post! Your photos are totally stunning as well. i do love Italy, it is such an amazing place. xx

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  6. Reply

    Michelle Joy

    August 19, 2017

    What a beautiful town! And that B&B looks adorable!

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Yes I loved our B&B!

  7. Reply

    Indie Chick

    August 19, 2017

    I love these kind of off-the-tourist-track places that give you a peek into what local life is really like. Bassano del Grappa looks like a cute place to spend some time and enjoy the slow pace of life in a small Italian town.

    Your photos are awesome! The ones of the pasticceria are making me salivate and the others of the town are making me miss Italia! lol (I miss all of the colors!!)

    Re: the hole in the floor toilet – I also experienced this in Greece at a bus station! It’s a very strange thing and your squat game has to be on point! LOL πŸ˜›

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ I definitely recommend visiting if you get the chance, especially if you’re a hole in the ground pro now!

  8. Reply

    Kaylene

    August 19, 2017

    Wow. Your photos are seriously incredible! I’ve just been to Venice and Rome and would love to focus on small towns whenever I get back to Italy (hopefully very soon!)

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ You should definitely go when you get the chance!

  9. Reply

    jin

    August 19, 2017

    Holy cow, these photos are amazing! I have never heard of this place in Italy – but I’m sold! The photos – I can’t get enough of! I’m def adding this to the list when I go back to Italy!

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ It’s such a beautiful place to visit!

  10. Reply

    Kate

    August 19, 2017

    What a quaint town! We also love staying in small towns in Italy. There’s so much more to see than Florence, Rome and Venice! It definitely sounds like you had a unique and authentic experience with an opportunity to live like a local.

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Yes it has definitely inspired me to try to find more small towns in Italy!

  11. Reply

    Caroline

    August 19, 2017

    Ok so I have to admit that I had never heard of this place, but it looks so beautiful and charming! A true hidden gem indeed. Love these beautiful photos! Definitely going to have to make a stop here sometime

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Thank you! You should definitely visit if you get the chance!

  12. Reply

    Carrie

    August 19, 2017

    Small-town Italy is the best! The setting in the hills and along the river looks absolutely stunning. I feel this way about Mantova — no major sights, but also no tourists and a very laid-back vibe (plus everything is cheaper).

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      I’ll have to check out Mantova! I love visiting small towns!

  13. Reply

    Ruth

    August 19, 2017

    My goodness! What a number of great photos! I can see how easily a visitor would fall in love with this place. I like to see big cities but make an effort to look for smaller places like this. Sometimes, I enjoy them more than the big cities. #blogpostsaturday

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      Yes I definitely enjoy places like this more than big cities!

  14. Reply

    Vanessa

    August 19, 2017

    This place looks so cute! I lived in Italy for four months, and I’ve never heard of Bassano del Grappa, but clearly I need to check it out. I love all the ceramics, I need a new spoon holder for my kitchen.

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 19, 2017

      You should definitely visit and stock up on ceramics if you get the chance!

  15. Reply

    Alyse

    August 19, 2017

    Oh my gosh, how beautiful is this place! I’ve actually never heard of Bassano del Grappa but your photos have now made me want to visit πŸ™‚ Seems like such a charming little town. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 20, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  16. Reply

    Loretta

    August 20, 2017

    Loving your photos! This Italian town seems divine! Adding to my bucketlist!

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 20, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  17. Reply

    Siarra | Wander.Focus.Love

    August 20, 2017

    Bright colors, beautiful photography, and those reflection shots are out of this world!

    So, when I visit Italy, I’m going to need an entire month because this just got added to the list of destinations.

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 20, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ Yes there are so many amazing destinations in Italy to see!

  18. Reply

    Julia

    August 20, 2017

    Wow, what a beautiful little town! I’d never heard about Bassano del Grappa, but I’m not surprised you loved it there – Italy is full of little gems like that where nobody goes because it’s not as famous and full of landmarks as cities like Rome, Florence of Venice. Spending a day relaxing in an authentic environment is always nice, it shows you another side of the country you’re visiting!

    Julia x
    Last Post: At the Universal Studios Hollywood, LA | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.fr/2017/08/universal-studios-hollywood-los-angeles.html

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 20, 2017

      Yes I love these little towns! It’s inspired me to try to find more gems in Italy!

  19. Reply

    Eulanda

    August 20, 2017

    We often find small town exploring to be the most laid back, yet exciting. It’s great that you’re enjoying travel to underrepresented destinations. Those pastries make me want to go there… Now!

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 20, 2017

      Yes I agree! It’s inspired me to try to find more of these small towns!

  20. Reply

    Bee

    August 21, 2017

    you really captured the hidden gem aspect of this town! nice pictures and your accommodation looks amazing. this is one of those serene getaways in the Mediterranean

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 21, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  21. Reply

    laagan kaayo

    August 21, 2017

    This post makes me wanna book a flight to Italy ASAP. T_T

    • Reply

      Julia

      August 23, 2017

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

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