BASSANO DEL GRAPPA

Bassano del Grappa is a vibrant cultural center, boasting an ancient and well-established commercial and craft tradition. Surrounded by rolling hills and favored by the mild climate, the town enhances theagricultural experience with world-famous quality productions: asparagus, schnapps distillation, and olive and grape growing. In addition to the famous Palladian bridge, the city is also renowned for the important museums it houses, the Venetian villas, the sumptuous palaces that embellish it, and its historical connection with the Alpini.

Although Roman evidence in the area is widely present, the first official document mentioning Bassano dates back to 998 AD. Three walls surrounded the city: the first was erected in the first half of the 10th century and included only the castle; the second was built in the 13th century by the Ezzelini to defend the village that had swelled; the third, still partly existing, was built in the late 14th century by Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti. In the following centuries the city became a cultural and artistic center: in the 16th century the talent of the painter Jacopo Dal Ponte, one of the great masters of the 16th-century Veneto, exploded. In the 16th and 17th centuries Bassano and its surroundings became one of the European capitals of ceramics and porcelain.

The squares that have always been the hub around which city life has developed now bear indelible marks of Bassano's glorious past: Freedom Square in which rise prestigious palaces, including the houses of the old Remondini Printworks, Garibaldi Square in which the Bonaguro Fountain is located thanks to the arrival of a water pipeline that brought pure spring water to the center in 1898, a fact of even national significance.

Heading west in the direction of the Bridge is the oldest square in the city: the Piazzotto Monte Vecchio. Well known for the production of grappa, contrary to what one might think, the name of the city derives from the famous Monte Grappa, in memory of the sad events related to the war conflict. In this regard, viale dei Martiri took this name as a result of the bloody episode of the Grappa roundup that took place between Sept. 20 and 23, 1944, culminating on Sept. 26 in the execution of 31 young partisans, most of whom were hanged from trees on what was then 20th September Avenue. Each tree bears the name and photo of the partisan who met his death there.

Bassano is also a stage city, every year since 1981 during the summer period it holds the Operaestate Festival Veneto, the third multidisciplinary festival nationwide. Theater, dance, music, opera and cinema inhabit castles, parks, villas, squares and museums in the foothills of the Veneto region, and over the years it has consolidated its prestige thanks in part to its ability to innovate with an important focus devoted to contemporary languages.

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