Again, Bassano became the site of more, violent battles during World War I; many soldiers lost their lives on the nearby Mount Grappa. Originally called Bassano Veneto, the town changed its name in 1928 to Bassano del Grappa in honor of the dead soldiers. Interestingly, several American authors spent time in Bassano during the war, including Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway. The latter settled in the town for a time and wrote his novel “A Farewell to Arms” based on his experiences.
Bassano offers several lovely sights and historical attractions, such as the Duomo Santa Maria in Colle, a cathedral built in the early 2nd century and later renovated in a more Baroque style. It is the oldest cathedral in the town and boasts a collection of works by Leandro da Bassano, Ottavio Marinali and other artists. The Church of St. Francis, built in the 13th century in the Romanesque-Gothic style, rises above Piazza Garibaldi. Within are 14th and 15th century frescoes, including “The Crucifixion” by Guariento di Arpo. Nearby is the civic museum which hosts a collection of archeological artifacts as well as various works of art by Jacopo Bassano, Antonio Canova, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Albrecht Dürer.
Finally, there is the Ponte Vecchio or Ponte degli Alpini, a covered wooden bridge that spans the Brenta River. It was designed by the architect Andrea Palladio in 1569 to replace a pre-existing medieval bridge. The bridge was destroyed many times, the last time occurring during World War II.