Bassano del Grappa is located to the north-east of the Veneto region of north-east Italy, in the province of Vicenza. The town is best known for its medieval bridge.
The castle was the original heart of the city and is a good place to start a visit. Inside, the castle opens on to a big square called Piazza Terraglio where you can see the only tower still in existence, called the Tower of Ser Ivano.
Next to the the castle you can enjoy a beautiful and picturesque overview of Bassano del Grappa, and a little further north of here is the cathedral, rebuilt over the centuries and containing several paintings by the painter known as 'Iacopo Bassano' (Iacopo da Ponte, 1515-1592).
Descending from the castle by the Via Voltarelli, you can see another example of a palace dating from the 13th century at the Praetorian Palace, the former seat of the ruling Podestà, with a magnificent entrance portal.
Continuing along the Via Voltarelli, you arrive in Piazza della Libertà which stands where there was once a defensive moat. Dating from 1405, highlights include the beautiful loggia, the clock and the arcade where you can still see some frescoes from the 15th century.
Continuing along Via Roma you can visit the 14th century Church of Saint John the Baptist and, in Piazza Garibaldi, the church of San Francesco (also 14th century), which contains some frescoes by Guariento di Arpo.
In the nearby square are the famous Tower of Ezzelino (13th century) and the Civic Museum, containing several important works of art by Alessandro Magnasco(aka the Lissandrino, 1667-1749), Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), Marco Ricci (1676-1730), Pietro Longhi (1701-1785), and a section dedicated to Canova (1757-1822).
Entering Via Nova, you can visit the remains of the early 14th century Castle of the Berri. Other highlights worth mentioning include the Church of the Heart of Jesus (15th century) and the Church of the Virgin of Mercy (14th century), buildings which are reached through the Dieda Gate' and the Via Beata Giovanna.
To the south of here lies the Piazza Monte Vecchio with the Palaces of Ezzelini and the beautiful 15th century palace of the Monte di Pietà, while to the west of this square is the Brenta River.
The bridge, called the Ponte di Bassano, is the best known monument in Bassano del Grappa.
Originally built in medieval times, the covered bridge was was reconstructed by Andrea Palladio in 1570, then largely rebuilt again in the 18th century to the same design following damage.
Beyond the bridge the villages of Angarano and Margnan are very rich in buildings with extensive gardens; among these the most important was Ca Bonaguro (16th century).
At Angarano you can visit the Church of the Trinity and San Donato and in Margnan (on the left bank of the Brenta River) there are also some interesting buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries and the ruins of the church and convent of St. Catherine and St. Sebastian.
It is also worth pausing near Bassano to taste some local products. Among those typical of the region are the 'bigoli of Bassano', the 'white asparagus of Bassano', tagliatelle, and its famous liquor called Grappa. Also popular and tasty are dishes such as small shrimps and fillets of sea bass.
Finally, for those with a passion for art objects, be sure to see some of the blown glass works by the glassmakers of the area, some fine ceramics (there is a long tradition of majolica production in Bassano del Grappa), and perhaps even the furniture produced using the traditional Bassano techniques.
Related article: see also the history of Bassano del Grappa.