Bassano Remembers

Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours

What comes to mind when you hear the name Bassano del Grappa? No doubt, Bassano’s claim-to-fame, grappa, that after- dinner drink that can knock your socks off (but is supposed to aid digestion). Right in the center is a Museum of Grappa along with a tasting room, courtesy of the Poli distilling dynasty.02101402 Poli tastingAn even older claim to fame of this charmer of a town is this  alpine- looking bridge designed by Palladio.02111406 palladiosThere’s plenty to invite exploration, both in and outside of the old city walls. Looking north, there’s the verdant valley which connects Italy to Austria.02111403 austria beyondThis General named Gaetano Giardino successfully stopped the Austria-Hungarian armies in WWI from invading Italy down this valley, using specially trained mountain soldiers called “Alpini”. In WWII, after the Alpini broke with Mussolini, they once again ensured the Nazis could not come down this valley into Italy. His statue gazes out over the valley he and his fighters secured and where the general is buried alongside the Alpini.02111403 generalWhen the Nazis finally made it by another route to Bassano del Grappa on the 26th of September, 1944, they hanged one mountain fighter on each of these 15 trees. It’s now called the Viale dei Martiri (Way of the Martyrs.)02111403 viale dei martiriThe green Robin Hood cap with a feather is now the symbol of the brave and beloved “Alpini” soldiers trained to fight in these mountains.02111403 viale photoBeside the wall is yet another in the string of bars around the world where Hemingway hung out… he was a war correspondent here.02111403 war correspondentNo doubt he sampled some Polli grappa, don’t you think?
2009 Anne and Kirk ViasThe best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe.
Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the south of France. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.



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