In this chapter we talk about one of the most fascinating, lively and characteristic cities of the whole Veneto region: Bassano del Grappa.
Crossed by the river Brenta, Bassano del Grappa, is a town located in the heart of Veneto, located between the provinces of Verona, Padua and Treviso, on the slopes of the Seven Municipalities Plateau and Mount Grappa.
It is a city with thousand talents and thousand flavors, thanks to a generous territory and artists of the highest level.
In fact, we can’t fail to mention the painter Jacopo da Bassano, who represented landscapes and animals with a perfect use of light and the famous prints of the Remondini family, famous throughout Europe, which in the eighteenth century gave work to about a thousand citizens. The first settlements date back to the 2nd century BC and evidence of the artifacts were found in the necropolis of San Giorgio di Angarano.
Later, this marvelous city was dominated for a long time by the great Ezzelini family, which favored progress and well-being and the establishment of the first judicial institutions.In 1404 Bassano and the surrounding territories became part of the Republic of Venice, which for four centuries dominated the territory favoring peace and stability that lasted, between highs and lows, up to the First World War, where there was a strong crisis, caused by hunger, emigration and loss of life.
With the outbreak of the Second World War and the fall of the fascist regime, the city underwent the German invasion giving way to a fierce and organized War of Liberation. The city was awarded “Gold Medal for Military Valor”. For this historical moment we cannot fail to mention the “Martyrs Avenue”. This avenue takes its name from the 31 partisans who were hanged in the city on September 26th, 1944, on these already existing trees.
Even now, to remember this tragic event, each tree presents a plate with the name, the surname and the photo of these young victims. Top attractions: the Ossuary Temple, 1908, was about to become the new Cathedral of the City but in 1930, a particular agreement between the parish and the Ministry of Defense, established its new destination.
The Temple is built in Gothic-Romanesque style and is characterized by an octagonal dome which is flanked by two sixty meters bell towers. Currently the Ossuary Temple houses the body of 5,000 fallen soldiers from all over Italy who died in the battles of Mount Grappa. The Church of San Francesco, dating back to 1306, was initially dedicated to the Virgin Mary and only after to St. Francis.
The church is completely in Romanesque style with a Latin cross and has a gabled structure. Inside we can see the “Annunciation” by Guariento di Arpo and a particular painted wooden crucifix. The Ponte di Bassano, called Ponte Vecchio, is mainly known as the “Ponte degli Alpini” (Alpines Bridge).
The first construction probably occurred in 1209 and lasted until October 1567, when it was overwhelmed by a flood which destroyed it. In 1569 Andrea Palladio designed a new wooden bridge, 58 meters long, which rests on 4 pillars. This new project lasted until 1748, when the bridge was overwhelmed by another flood.
It was quickly rebuilt by Bartolomeo Ferracina faithfully following the Palladian design even if unfortunately it was again destroyed, this time however by human hand, by the viceroy Eugenio di Beauharnais.
Once again it was rebuilt but, during the Second World War, it was blown up by the partisans to protect the city.
With the end of the conflict it was rebuilt and today is considered like a jewel and symbol of Bassano del Grappa. The Palazzo Sturm is one of the most important palaces in the city and was built in the 18th century on the left bank of the river Brenta. The imposing structure, originally commissioned by Vincenzo Ferrari, included about seventy rooms of various sizes distributed over seven levels.
The upper floors were the main residence and also had some representative rooms. The lower floors, on the other hand, from which were directly accessed by the river Brenta, housed laboratories and workshops for the production of silk. Currently the Palazzo houses one of the few museums in Italy dedicated to the press and it is not coincidence. In Bassano, in fact, lived and worked a family of printers … the “Remondini family”.
Giovanni Antonio Remondini, from Padua, in his early twenties, abandoned the city of Saint Anthony and bought his home in the main square of Bassano. There He opened a shop of cloths, wool, silks and later added to his goods also woodcuts of saints of popular origin. Over the years Remondini decided to get rid of suppliers by buying an old press, thus giving rise to a print shop and its own business, destined to become one of the most important and famous in Europe.
Typical Products are: Bassano del Grappa white asparagus. The legend says that the white asparagus was brought to Bassano from Saint Anthony of Padua, which would then spread it to the surrounding territories. Whether it was true or false, today the white asparagus D.O.P. is a product that is part of P.A.T. (city planning programme) and a fundamental food of the Veneto cuisine.
Famous and much appreciated is the “Asparagus Festival”, which takes place between the last week of April and the first of May, in San Zeno di Cassola, a town bordering Bassano. The other typical product of Bassano is certainly the famous grappa. The most famous distilleries are: the “Nardini”, which is located from 1779 in the final part of the Ponte degli Alpini, the “Poli”, where it was built a beautiful museum inside the production plant and, finally, the Capovilla.
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