Venice to Bassano del Grappa: Day Trip to Italy’s Hidden Gem

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Are you looking for a break from the bustling streets of Venice? Do you want to discover a hidden gem in Italy? If so, this article is for you.

Just a short trip away from Venice, you’ll find the charming town of Bassano del Grappa. It’s a perfect day trip from Venice to Bassano del Grappa where you can escape the crowds and immerse yourself in authentic Italian culture.

Bassano del Grappa is not as famous as Rome or Florence. But that’s part of its charm. It’s a town that’s off the beaten path. It’s not packed with tourists. This makes a visit to Bassano del Grappa a perfect spot for a peaceful day trip.

But don’t let its quiet charm fool you. There’s plenty to see and do in Bassano del Grappa. From its historic sites to its local cuisine, this town offers a full day of adventure.

So, if you’re ready to explore a less-known side of Italy, join me on this day trip from Venice to Bassano del Grappa. You’re in for a treat!

Is Bassano del Grappa Worth It To Visit?

Bassano del Grappa is a treasure trove of Italian history and culture, and is easily in my top 5 of Italian cities to visit. This charming town offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling streets of Venice, inviting you to experience Italy at a slower pace. Visiting Bassano del Grappa is 100% worth it, in my opinion.

The town’s character is shaped by its rich past, with influences from the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods evident in its architecture and traditions. As you wander through the town’s picturesque streets, you’ll be greeted by the sight of Renaissance palaces and medieval churches, each telling a story of the town’s vibrant history.

But perhaps the most iconic symbol of the town is the Ponte Vecchio, also known as the Ponte degli Alpini. This bridge, designed by the famous architect Palladio in the 16th century, has been rebuilt several times but always remains true to its original design.

Beyond its historical sites, Bassano del Grappa is also known for its local specialties. The town is synonymous with Grappa, a strong spirit that is a must-try for any visitor. And let’s not forget the white asparagus, a gastronomic delight that has gained international fame.

So, if you’re looking for a unique Italian experience, consider a day trip visiting Bassano del Grappa. In this article, I will go over the many reasons you need to have this on your Venice itinerary. 

How to Get from Venice to Bassano del Grappa

Getting from Venice to Bassano del Grappa is a breeze, with several convenient options available. Whether you prefer to travel by train, bus, or car, you’ll find a mode of transport that suits your needs.

By Train

The most cost-effective and efficient way to travel from Venice to Bassano del Grappa is by train. Trenitalia operates hourly services from Venezia S. Lucia station to Bassano Del Grappa. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 14 minutes, and tickets cost between $5 and $11.

By Bus

If you prefer to travel by bus, services are available from Venice to Bassano del Grappa, with a transfer at Padova Autostazione. The total journey time, including transfers, is approximately 2 hours and 47 minutes. Tickets cost between $11 and $16.

By Car

If you have access to a car, the drive from Venice to Bassano del Grappa is straightforward and takes approximately 1 hour and 12 minutes. The distance between the two locations is around 50 miles.

From Treviso Airport and Marco Polo Airport

For those arriving at Treviso Airport or Marco Polo Airport, the best option would be to take a taxi or a shuttle service to Venezia S. Lucia station and then catch a train to Bassano del Grappa.

What to Do in Bassano del Grappa

For such a small town, there are loads of things to do. You can easily fill a day when visiting from Venice and still not feel like you’ve done it all when you return. Here are some of the can’t-miss things to do.

1 – Stroll along the Ponte Vecchio aka Ponte degli Alpini

One of the most iconic landmarks in Bassano del Grappa is the Ponte Vecchio, also known as the Ponte degli Alpini. This covered wooden bridge, designed by the renowned Italian architect Andrea Palladio in the 1500s, is a must-visit for anyone exploring the town.

people strolling on ponte degli alpini - what to do in bassano del grappa

The Ponte Vecchio is more than just a bridge; it’s a symbol of Bassano del Grappa’s resilience and history. The bridge has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times, most notably during World Wars I and II, but it always rises again, standing as a testament to the spirit of the town and its people.

As you walk across the bridge, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Brenta River and the surrounding mountains such as the town’s namesake the Monte Grappa. The bridge itself is a marvel, with its wooden structure and covered walkway providing a unique architectural experience.

drinking mezzo e mezzo from nardini distillery - what to do in bassano del grappa

One of the highlights of visiting the Ponte Vecchio is the small bar run by the Nardini Distillery located on the bridge itself. Here, you can sample the Mezzo e Mezzo aperitivo, a delightful concoction of homemade bitters, vermouth, and rhubarb grappa. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a leisurely stroll across the bridge, allowing you to savor the flavors of Bassano del Grappa as you take in the views.

The Ponte Vecchio is more than just a crossing point over the river; it’s a gathering place for locals and tourists alike. It serves as a sort of covered piazza where people congregate, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of Bassano del Grappa.

2 – Climb the Torre Civica

For a truly breathtaking view of Bassano del Grappa and the surrounding Veneto region, make your way to the Torre Civica built in the early 1300s. This historic tower, standing tall in the town’s skyline, offers a unique perspective that you won’t want to miss.

climb the clock tower - what to do in bassano del grappa

Climbing the Torre Civica is an adventure in itself. With 213 steps leading to the top, it’s a bit of a trek, but the reward is well worth the effort. As you ascend, you’ll find that some of the steps can be quite narrow, adding to the charm and historic feel of the tower.

river view from top of torre - what to do in bassano del grappa
mountain view from top of torre - what to do in bassano del grappa

Once you reach the top, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views that are truly unparalleled. From this vantage point, you can see the entire town of Bassano del Grappa, the Brenta River, and the stunning Veneto region stretching out in all directions. It’s the perfect spot for capturing memorable photos of your visit.

3 – Experience Grappa Tasting at the Poli Grappa Museum

When in Bassano del Grappa, a visit to the Poli Grappa Museum is a must. This museum, run by the Poli family, a name synonymous with grappa in Italy, offers a fascinating insight into the production of this renowned Italian spirit.

entrance to poli grappa museum - what to do in bassano del grappa

The Poli Grappa Museum is more than just a museum; it’s an immersive experience that takes you on a journey through the world of grappa. Here, you’ll learn about the history of grappa, its production process, and the role it plays in Italian culture.

poli grappa museum - what to do in bassano del grappa

The museum showcases the traditional distillation equipment, providing a glimpse into the intricate process of grappa making. There’s an interactive room where you can test your powers of smell perception. There are various scents that you can activate and take a whiff of the aroma trying to identify what it is from roses to different citrus.

what can you smell - what to do in bassano del grappa

But the highlight of the visit is, without a doubt, the grappa tasting session. After exploring the museum, you’ll have the opportunity to taste a variety of grappas. From the classic clear grappa to flavored versions and aged grappa, you’ll get to sample the wide range of flavors this spirit has to offer.

Whether you’re a grappa connoisseur or a novice, the knowledgeable staff will guide you through the tasting, explaining the characteristics of each grappa and helping you appreciate the nuances of this unique spirit.

4 – Visit the Museum at Palazzo Sturm

Step into the world of ceramics at the Palazzo Sturm, a historic building in Bassano del Grappa that houses the Ceramics Museum. This museum is a testament to the town’s rich tradition in ceramic production, a craft that has been honed over centuries.

palazzo sturm ceramic museum - what to do in bassano del grappa

The Palazzo Sturm is a significant part of Bassano del Grappa’s cultural heritage and unmistakable with a gigantic silver rhinoceros statue in the courtyard. The building itself is a sight to behold, with its elegant architecture reflecting the town’s historical charm. But it’s what’s inside that truly captures the imagination.

The Ceramics Museum showcases a vast collection of ceramics, tracing the evolution of this craft in Bassano del Grappa. From the earliest examples of local pottery to contemporary ceramic art, the museum offers a comprehensive overview of this important aspect of the town’s cultural identity.

As you explore the museum, you’ll discover the intricate processes involved in ceramic production, from the initial shaping of the clay to the final firing in the kiln. The museum also highlights the artistic flair that sets Bassano del Grappa’s ceramics apart, with beautifully decorated pieces that showcase the creativity and skill of the town’s artisans.

5 – Admire the Architecture of the Duomo di Santa Maria and San Francesco Church

While in Bassano del Grappa, take the time to visit the Duomo di Santa Maria and the Church of San Francesco. These two religious sites are not only places of worship but also architectural gems that reflect the town’s rich history.

chiesa san francesco - what to do in bassano del grappa

The Duomo di Santa Maria, also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Colle, is a stunning example of religious architecture. Its elegant facade and beautifully decorated interior make it a must-visit for any architecture enthusiast. The cathedral, built in the early 1300s and adorned with frescoes in the 15th century, holds a significant place in the town’s history and serves as a symbol of Bassano del Grappa’s cultural heritage.

duomo santa maria - what to do in bassano del grappa

Just a short walk from the cathedral, you’ll find the Church of San Francesco. This church, with its simple yet striking architecture, offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling town center. Inside, you’ll find a serene space adorned with beautiful frescoes and other artistic elements.

Past the Ponte Vecchio there is a small chapel that is also worthy of a visit called the Chiesa di San Donato. Built in the 13th century and then restored in the 15th, it is a charming little church with fading frescoes and intersting tidbits to look at while you beat the heat outside.

6 – Visit the Castello degli Ezzelini

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Bassano del Grappa by visiting the Castello degli Ezzelini. This medieval castle complex, perched high above the town, offers an intriguing glimpse into the past.

visit the castle ezzelini - what to do in bassano del grappa

The Castello degli Ezzelini is named after the Ezzelini family, who were influential figures in the region during the Middle Ages. In fact, Romano degli Ezzelini is represented in Dante’s Inferno since the reputation for tyranny was well known throughout most of Italy at the time. The castle served as a strategic stronghold, and its elevated position provided a vantage point for monitoring the surrounding area.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Castello degli Ezzelini is the opportunity to climb to the top of the castle. From this vantage point, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Bassano del Grappa and the surrounding Veneto region. It’s a sight that’s sure to take your breath away.

7 – Explore Bassano’s Squares: Piazza Garibaldi and Piazza della Libertà

Experience the vibrant heart of Bassano del Grappa by spending some time in its main squares, Piazza Garibaldi and Piazza della Libertà. These bustling hubs are the perfect places to immerse yourself in the local culture and rhythm of life.

piazza garibaldi - what to do in bassano del grappa

In Piazza Garibaldi, you can find the Church of San Francesco, a 14th-century structure that houses some frescoes by Guariento di Arpo. The square is also home to the famous Tower of Ezzelino from the 13th century and the Civic Museum, which contains several important works of art by renowned artists such as Alessandro Magnasco, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Marco Ricci, Pietro Longhi, and a section dedicated to Canova.

A short stroll away, you’ll find Piazza della Libertà, another of Bassano’s charming squares. Highlights here include the beautiful loggia, the clock, and the arcade where you can still see some frescoes from the 15th century.

8 – Walk the City’s Medieval Walls

Take a walk along the city’s medieval walls for a journey back in time. These ancient fortifications offer a glimpse into Bassano del Grappa’s past. The walls, which once served as a defensive barrier, now provide a unique vantage point from which to view the town.

walk the city walls - what to do in bassano del grappa

As you stroll along the walls, you’ll pass by the Tower of Ser Ivano, the only remaining tower of the original castle. This tower stands as a testament to the city’s medieval history and offers a panoramic view of the town.

In addition to the tower, you’ll also come across the Praetorian Palace, a 13th-century building that once served as the seat of the ruling Podestà. The palace’s magnificent entrance portal is a sight to behold.

This is where you’ll admire the views of the mountains and valleys below. there are parks that you can get down to which make a great picnic spot, such as the Parco dei 99.

9 – Learn About World War I History in Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa holds a significant place in World War I history. The town and its surroundings were the scene of intense fighting, and the marks of this tumultuous period are still visible today.

Start your exploration at the Museo del Ponte degli Alpini, located near the famous Ponte Vecchio. This museum offers a comprehensive overview of the Great War, with a particular focus on the events that unfolded in the local area. Here, you’ll find a collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that bring this period of history to life.

As you walk around the town, you’ll notice buildings near the bridge that still bear the scars of war, with bullet holes visible in their facades. These serve as a stark reminder of the town’s past.

buildings with bullet holes bassano - what to do in bassano del grappa

A visit to the Ossuary Church is also a must. This sacred site is a memorial to the soldiers who lost their lives during the war. The church houses the remains of thousands of Italian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers, offering a poignant tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

tempio ossuario - what to do in bassano del grappa

Finally, make your way to the top of Monte Grappa, where you’ll find a memorial dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the war. The memorial offers stunning views of the surrounding area, making it a fitting place to reflect on the events of the past.

10 – Do Some Shopping

Bassano del Grappa is known for its high-quality ceramics, leather goods, grappa, and clothing. Take some time to explore the local shops and bring home a piece of Bassano.

ceramic shopping - what to do in bassano del grappa

The town is famous for its ceramics, with a tradition that dates back centuries. You’ll find a variety of shops selling beautifully crafted pieces, from decorative items to functional kitchenware.

Leather goods are another local specialty. Whether you’re looking for a new handbag, a stylish belt, or a pair of handmade shoes, you’ll find plenty of options in Bassano’s boutiques.

grappa shopping - what to do in bassano del grappa

Grappa, a potent spirit made from grape pomace, is a must-try when in Bassano del Grappa. Visit the local distilleries for a tasting session and consider purchasing a bottle to take home.

Clothing shops in Bassano offer a range of styles, from high-end fashion to more casual wear. With less focus on catering to tourists, you’ll find that prices are often lower than in more touristy cities like Venice.

Don’t forget to visit the Bottega del Baccalà, a shop specializing in high-quality tinned fish. Whether you’re a fan of seafood or looking for a unique gift, this shop is worth a visit.

Bottega del Baccalà

11 – Do Some Hiking

Bassano del Grappa and its surrounding area offer a variety of hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are a few options:

  1. Monte Grappa: This is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the area. The trail starts from the town center and leads up to the summit of Monte Grappa, offering stunning views of the Veneto region. The hike is moderately challenging and takes about 5-6 hours round trip.
  2. Valbrenta Trail: This trail follows the Brenta River through the beautiful Valbrenta. The hike is easy and suitable for all ages. It takes about 2-3 hours round trip.
  3. Villa Angarano Trail: This trail takes you through the beautiful countryside to the Villa Angarano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hike is easy and takes about 2-3 hours round trip.

Where to Eat in Bassano Del Grappa

Ristorante Birraria Ottone

The Ristorante Birraria Ottone is a historic establishment in the heart of Bassano del Grappa. This restaurant has been managed by the same family for five generations, making it a true institution with a retro charm.

Ristorante Birraria Ottone

Stepping through the original glass doors, you enter rooms adorned with 1924 Art Nouveau furniture and decor, like the romantic winter garden, beautifully restored in the late ’80s. The walls are adorned with vintage photos and hundreds of objects collected over time.

The menu features a mixture of traditional Venetian cuisine plus classics from nearby Vicenza. The star of the show is the baccalà alla vicentina, or stewed salt cod Vicenza style with polenta. For meat lovers, there’s their famous gulasch, roast beef with potatoes and ribeye steak. There’s something for everybody in essence.


Operating Hours:

Wednesday to Sunday: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Tuesday and Monday: Closed

Al Porton

One of my favorite places to eat in Bassano del Grappa is Al Porton. It feels like an Alpine hut inside with lots of wood features, vintage knick knacks adorning the walls, and a great beer list.

The outdoor seating area is cozy and enjoys a privileged location right by the Ponte Vecchio. The menù is huge with lots of choices for bruschetta and sandwiches. Bruschetta is essentially a large piece of toasted bread that can be topped by just about anything. In the case of Al Porton, they use high quality ingredients and a lot of imagination. There are dozens of choices.

The bread for the sandwiches is an artisan ciabatta loaf with a crispy crust and tender interior. Filled with great cheese and cold cuts, they are delicious.

There are choices for pastas and main courses as well.


Operating Hours:

Tuesday to Friday: 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM – 2:00 AM

Saturday to Sunday: 11:30 AM – 2:00 AM

Monday: Closed

TIPIC Ficusbar

Tipic is a contemporary concept bar with a relaxed mood, wonderful retro-industrial design, and a pleasant international atmosphere. It’s situated right in front of the castle with great views and a quiet location. The inside is perfectly cozy on rainy days or in the winter. However, sitting at the giant wine barrel tables outside is highly recommended.

TIPIC Ficusbar

This is a popular spot with locals so you can easily enjoy some people watching and enjoy a slice of life in Bassano del Grappa. The menu is mainly snacks and appetizers called cicchetti. Think of it like Italian tapas. Things like fried salt cod fritters are popular but so are the crostini topped with local cheeses or cured meats.

One of the highlights at Tipic is the Sunday brunch. It features homemade bagels with local smoked trout and homemade pancakes among other treats.

The wine list is extensive and they make a variety of creative cocktails to enjoy while admiring the view of the castle tower.


Operating Hours:

Tuesday to Thursday: 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM

Friday: 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM

Saturday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM – 2:00 AM

Sunday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Monday: Closed

Osteria Cà Brando

Osteria Ca’ Brando in Bassano del Grappa is a popular dining spot, known for its delightful culinary offerings and warm ambiance. The restaurant has the best view of the bridge of any other restaurant in the area.

Osteria Cà Brando

However, the best thing about the restaurant is the food and not just the view. Enjoy the sounds of the water flowing by while you eat homemade pasta and risotto. The wine list is fantastic heavily featuring local wines but also some from the neighboring region of Friuli.


Operating Hours:

Tuesday to Friday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday: 10:30 AM – 10:30 PM

Sunday: 10:30 AM – 10:00 PM

Monday: Closed

Al Caneseo da Amedeo

This restaurant offers some of the best bargains in the town. The portions are great, the selection has a bit of everything on the menu, and the food is exquisite.

Here you’ll not only find a lot of traditional local dishes such as baccalà alla vicentina and tripe, but also dishes from the region of Abruzzo. There is a lot of lamb like the arrosticini which are skewers of tender lamb cooked over coals, and even some nice lamb chops.

Don’t be afraid if you aren’t a big meat eater as there are actually a lot of vegetarian options.


Operating Hours:

Tuesday to Sunday: 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Monday: Closed

Reservations Recommended

Honorable Mentions:


El Piron

Ristorantino Il Gatto e la Volpe

Premiata Fabbrica Pizza

Wrapping It Up

Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or an outdoor enthusiast, Bassano del Grappa has something for everyone. Its less touristy nature allows for a more authentic Italian experience, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking to explore the lesser-known corners of Italy.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Venice, consider taking a day to explore Bassano del Grappa. You’ll be rewarded with a rich cultural experience, stunning views, and a taste of authentic Italian life.

Sal Presti

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