Italy, with its rich culture and art, famous attractions and delicious food is a travel destination enjoyed by many.
In this 12 part series, Back 2 Basics Tradition’s “12 Day Culture Guide to Italy” will be showing you special and unique locations, people, experiences, and of course food and wine that you will not want to miss on your next Italian adventure.
We were priviliged to “road test” these experiences on our recent travels to Italy – so we know you will enjoy them too!
Don’t miss Experience 1 – Valdobbiadene
After reluctantly leaving the beautiful Cartizze hills (click here) we continued on our adventure to Bassano Del Grappa – the town most famous for inventing the Italian spirit known as Grappa.
Bassano Del Grappa is a beautiful town that lies at the foothills of the Canale di Brenta valley in the province of Vicenza in the Veneto region. The town has a rich history having thrived under many rulers from the Romans, to free commune under the Ezzelino family. These influences are not only evident in the many unique foods and wines offered, but also in its architecture. There are structures inspired by the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio and the town was originally named Bassano Veneto, having taken the last name of local artist Jacopo Bassano.
Poli Grappa Museum
While at Bassano Del Grappa, a tour of the Poli Grappa Museum (family owned since 1898) is a must. Here you will learn the history of Grappa and be shown how it is made.
Here we learnt that Grappa is obtained from the distillation of the pomace remaining after the grapes are pressed to make wine. The flavour of grappa depends of the type and quality of grapes used, as well as many variables throughout the distillation process. In its purest form, Grappa is a clear colour, however there are many flavoured varieties on the market which are coloured. Grappa, like Champagne, is now a protected name in the EU, thus to be named Grappa, the following criteria must be met:
· It must be produced in Italy, the Italian part of Switzerland, or San Marino
· It must be produced from pomace (i.e. Grape skins, pulp, seeds and stem)
· Fermentation and distillation must occur on the pomace, so no added water
The museum also has five suggestive rooms and over two dozen ‘vapour’ stations where you can ‘smell’ the aromas of the various types of Grappa produced. And of course, it is all finished off with a few grappa tastings – the plain grappa was very smooth and the fruit flavoured grappa was filled with great aromas. Caffe’ Ponte Vecchio is another great place to sample Grappa.
The Local Cusine
Bassano Del Grappa is also renowned for White Asparagus, one of the rarest and prized delicacies in Italy, with legend attributing its introduction into the region by Saint Anthony of Padua.
In addition to White Asparagus the local artisan food shops offer many wonderful products from Porchetta focaccia, to sauces, pesto’s and delicious pizza. There is no shortage of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Have you visited Bassano Del Grappa and experienced some other attractions? Please let us know in the comments below.
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Coming soon… Experience 3 – Bigolino
Poli Grappa Museum – http://www.poligrappa.com/eng/
Premiata Fabbrica (our favourite Focaccia & Pizza joint) – http://premiatafabbrica.com/
Caffe’ Ponte Vecchio – https://www.facebook.com/CAFFE-PONTE-VECCHIO-39268292300/