Bassano del Grappa
To the north, through the Valsugana gorges (canoes and winter sports) the River Brenta is a powerful torrent. It is strong but tame by the time it arrives in Bassano, where it flows under the picturesque Ponte degli Alpini, Palladio’s 16thC covered wooden bridge. (Many times swept away in floods, it has been many times patiently rebuilt.)
Monte Grappa, 20 km north, 1,775 m, gives its name to the town and its famous fiery spirit grappa, drunk all over Italy. Shops also sell ceramics from nearby Nove, noted for Venetian-style pottery.
Marostica, 7 km south-west, a town of the Venetian ‘Quadrilateral’, offers life-size chess every two years in September, the human ‘pieces’ wearing 15thC costume – set up originally by a peace-loving local noble as a duel for the hand of his daughter.