During the last year of the Great War, Mte Grappa, just 35 miles northwest of Venice became the last mountain bastion against a potential severing of the Italian frontline and encirclement of their forces deployed along the Piave River. Immediately south of the mountain on the Brenta River is located the picturesque old Venetian town of Bassano del Grappa. In late 1917 this became the major logisitcal and transportation center supporting forces the defenders atop Mte Grappa. Today Bassano with its heritage of heroism during both World Wars, beautiful architecture, museums and ceramics industry is a tourist's favorite.

Mte Grappa

Mighty Monte Grappa

The most famous war monument in Bassano is the covered Ponte Vecchio or the Alpini Bridge over the Brenta. Built before 1209 and destroyed at various times by floods and war actions, it was remodelled several times to Andrea Palladio's design of 1568. During the Great War it became famous as the Alpini Bridge after the elite mountain troops who marched over it on their way to Mte Grappa. While crossing the bridge they sang the sentimental song Sul Ponte di Bassano -- On the Bridge of Bassano -- about kissing a pretty girl and squeezing her hand as they parted.

Palladio's Alpini Bridge

Alpini Bridge with Base of Mte Grappa in Background

Sources and Thanks: The images were found on the Bassano civic website. Mte Grappa was provided by Ray Mentzer

To find other features on La Grande Guerra visit our

Directory Page

For Great War Society
Membership Information

Click on Icon

For further information on the events of 1914-1918 visit the homepage of

The Great War Society

Additions and comments on these pages may be directed to:
Michael E. Hanlon ( regarding content,
or toLeo Benedetti ( regarding form and function.
Original artwork & copy; © 1998-2000, The Great War Society