The morning was bittersweet.  The sunrise was beautiful and I kept my eyes trained on the windows watching the changing light above the silhouette of San Michele.img_4072-1

Elisa stayed with us at the bus stop until we could board and officially say good bye. The Alilaguna took us to the airport, and we were able to get on the just opened moving walkways to find Europe Car and pick up our car.  And off we go!

Our first stop was only about an hour away:  Castelfranco Veneto.  I did zero research.  We just pulled, parked and walked around.  There is a walled, small moated area in the town center surrounded by a pretty park.  img_4098img_4080

























We wanted a simple light lunch and the one place inside the walls that looked good was jam packed.  Getting a table would be a very long wait and I don’t like eating standing up. Across the street this place caught my eye:img_4094

We went in and we were the only ones there.  We had our doubts, but we decided to live dangerously.  The waitress/barkeep brought us the menu or, if we preferred, we could select panini or tramezzini from the display case.  They also have a huge, well stocked bar and make unusual cocktails (mescole).  They have vegan and vegetarian things on the menu and some slow food items.  The outlook is brightening!  The food was fabulous!  I had red rice with zucca (like pumpkin or butternut squash) and papaya.  It was so good!  Ken had chick pea and ginger balls with onions and carrot chips.  I had a good glass of Valpolicella.  I was thrilled with our meal and spoke to the chef to find out how she made the chick pea balls hold together. We walked back to the car and had yet to see the sun.

As we were driving to Bassano, the sun emerged.  By the time we got all checked in and walked into town, it was gone.  I was so surprised how crowded the town was.  SO many people.  There were booths selling typical products.  On the main streets, heading to the old bridge. all the stores were open.  It’s Sunday.  Is this just on the weekend??  We’ll see tomorrow, I guess.


We walked to a view spot of the bridge Ponte degli Alpini, designed by Palladio in 1569:img_4112

And we walked over the bridge, window shopped and continued to be amazed by how many people were there.  Out. Walking around.  In their puffy jackets.  (I fit right in:))

mushroom shop

mushroom shop

just grappa?

just grappa?










We rested for a while and got ready  for an 8:00 dinner reso.  As we came out of our room, the owner announced she was driving us because it was too cold.  And she did.  She also insisted that I take her gloves and that we call her to pick us up when we wanted to return home, which we didn’t.  The walk is only about 10 minutes.

The dinner at Al Cardellino, was good homey food.  We shared a pasta with delicious porcini and a bit of sausage.  Then I had Stinco di Maile (pork shank) and Ken had polenta with meat balls and a nice light tomato sauce.  Good mountain fare.  The house wine was a watery red but I did have a nice Poli grappa to finish.

The walk home was nice, actually.  We read for a while and said our good nights.


Heading Northwest — 4 Comments

  1. What beautiful, artistic and gourmet experiences! I’m afraid life here in Tallahassee will not be enough for you. Are you communicating with the chef in Italian? Miss you.

  2. I’m happy you’re in Bassano del Grappa…sorry though it is so crowded. We were there for just a day but I thought it would be a great “base”. I bought the coolest bracelet from a small jewelry store just on the other side of the bridge…near a gelateria if I remember correctly. I think I paid only €15,00. It was black leather with a silver clasp,decor. I lost it in Firenze the next week. Anyway, it was a cool place (very small) and great prices.

  3. Spent only part of a day in Bassano del Grappa, but it was packed that day too. Is Castelfranco the town with the annual life sized chess game? That lunch sounded fab.