On the way home from Trento (well, sort of on the way) we made a quick stop in Bassano del Grappa.
I wanted to see the place because I have a family connection. My 12th great-grandfather was Jeronimo Bassano, patriarch of a family of musicians and instrument makers from Bassano (ergo the name) who eventually made their way to England to play in the court of Henry VIII. This was cool to discover, but I was mostly happy to find that I was just a little bit Italian! Because I do love Italy, you see.
As it turned out, Bassano del Grappa was a good place to break up the journey, anyway. It is a ancient Roman market town that is the birthplace of grappa, a liqueur made from leftovers of the wine-making process. We arrived on market day, along with lots of Italian tourists on day trips from Venice, Verano, and other nearby cities.
The medieval walled town center is all very picturesque, but the main attraction of the town is the wooden Ponte degli Alpini across the river Brenta. Originally designed by Palladio, it has been destroyed several times, most recently in WWII and was last rebuilt by the Alpine unit of the Italian army, after whom it is named.
We had time for a really terrific lunch of fresh trout at a riverside restaurant and a bit of shopping for the famous local ceramics. Unfortunately, with another 6 hours of road time ahead of us, we could not stay to see the town museum, churches, or other attractions. But I will be back…