Moving day, and while we have told the car rental agency that we would be there at 10 am, somehow packing up a small apartment takes more time than a hotel room - we have spread out a little, I guess. And we need to doublecheck the trash, the dishes, make last pot or two of espresso, get in and out of the vertical bathroom one last time, all this takes time. Finally we are packed, down stairs, over the bridge and one the vaporetto for the ride up the cana to Piazzale Roma where the car agencies are.
And yet, we find the door locked. David calls and the agent is in the car garage since we were 30 minutes late. He will be there in 10. Fine. 10 turns into 20, but he does come and we do the paperwork and he says the shuttle will be here in 10 minutes. Shuttle? Apparently they house the cars off site in Mestre, because it costs too much to keep them overnight in the garage. Oh, and since the May 1 holiday next week is a Tuesday, they are taking a 4 day holiday, just toss the keys in the door on Monday. Fine, the shuttle arrives, we drive to Mestre and trade the vaporetto in on a Fiat.
We're off! Bassano del Grappa is not too far, maybe 90 minutes, and we decide to go to check out the tiny town of Marostica, known for the human chess game they stage every other year in September. I thought it would be fun to at least see the board on the town square. Not to be, they are remodeling said town square, but we sit at a cafe on the edge and have lunch at least. This is where I understand that white asparagus is special to this region, and it is white asparagus season. I have the first of several to come pasta with white asparagus dishes for lunch.
Bassano del Grappa
With the help of our GPS we find our hotel, The Brennaro, in Bassano del Grappa, with not much trouble, and David is shown how to garage the car. It's a basic Italian family run hotel, and I am happy to have a bathroom that is flat, no steps, again. It is mid-afternoon, and we decide to take a walk through the town, over to the covered bridge that spans the river, across a few piazzas. We also find the Poli distillery and Grappa Museum, have a gelato, and walk back to the hotel to do some dinner research. We look at our TripAdvisor notes and David decides that their number 1, Ristorante Birreria Ottone, looks very good. We walk over there, and they can seat us without a reservations. And it was very good.
We both have pastas for a primi, mine is gnocchi primavera with the trifecta of white asparagus, artichokes and baby peas, David has torellini in brodo. We both have paillards of veal, which comes with potatoes. And then, just because, we have desserts of frozen zablione and a semifreddo with vanilla gelato and warm berries. We also ordered the house red wine, which was a little sweet and frizzante for me, the whites in this region are really much better. I think we have had enough welcome to Bassano for one night after this meal, and we head back to our hotel.
Tomorrow: driving the Prosecco Road