Home Sweet Paderno Del Grappa: A Student’s Guide to the City
Written by Emily February 26, 2016
Full disclosure: When I was packing up my bags a little over a month ago to come to Italy, I had zero idea of what this place I was going to was like. None. I would dodge questions with vague answers. “A little town outside of Venice”, was about as specific as I got. While some of this was just due to laziness on my part, another part of me didn’t really want to know exactly where I was going. To me, that was a little part of the fun.
So before I go on, I’ll caution this as a spoiler alert of sorts. If you want to do the whole get-here-then-figure-out-life thing, take this as your cue to stop reading and check out some other blogs! But, if you’ll be venturing to Paderno Del Grappa in the future and want to know a little about the city and places you’ll be frequenting, read on, my friends!
Background: Paderno del Grappa is a small town in the province of Treviso in the Veneto region of Italy. The campus is at the base of Mount Grappa, which is a mountain in Venetian Prealps. Paderno Del Grappa is about forty-five minutes north of Venice, and has a population of just over 2,000, making it a quintessential small Italian town. The city plays neighbor to the larger towns of Asolo and Bassano Del Grappa.
Paderno Del Grappa is small, it is mighty! Although there are not huge amounts of places to visit, the ones that do exist are perfect in every way. In order to get a wide variety of opinions, I surveyed some of CIMBA’s best and brightest to bring you….
The 2016 PDG Comprehensive List of Best Places. No Exceptions.
- Alpina Café: This little café, complete with indoor and outdoor seating will, without question, become your new favorite hangout. Whether you’re chatting with friends or cranking out a little schoolwork, you’re welcomed with open arms by Alma and the other owners of this café. A four-minute walk from campus makes it the perfect place to run between classes for a quick caffeine fix.
Pro Tip: Go early on the weekends for fresh, homemade pastries!
- Pizzeria Al Sole: Sick of the cafeteria food and want to indulge in the best pizza on the planet? You’re in luck! A twelve-minute walk from campus, this pizza place offers just about any pizza combo you can imagine. They’re also open late and have excellent wifi.
Pro Tip: This is a great place to practice your Italian—especially with the owner. He’s super nice and makes you pronounce words correctly until you get them right. No better way to learn.
- The Sports Café: A staple here at CIMBA, but don’t let the name confuse you! The Sports Café does not have any TV’s to watch sports; rather it gets its name from being situated next to sports fields. This is one of the main student hangouts come nightfall, despite the fact that it closes at 11pm. Head here to de-stress after a tough day of classes, to chat with co-owner Alessandra, or simply for any reason you can think of to celebrate!
Pro Tip: The Sports Café is also open during the day for coffee and some light snacks. It’s mostly locals here during the day, so go to strike up some good conversation!
- Tabacceria: A lifesaver. Commonplace in Italy, Tabacci shops have everything from bus tickets, to groceries, to toiletry items. There are two tabacci shops within about a two-minute walk from campus. Tabacci 2 (yes, that’s actually its name) has the most delicious made-to-order sandwiches with any type of meat and cheese you can imagine.
Pro Tip: Tabacci 2 allows you to pre-order sandwiches and pick them up the next day. Do this before travel weekends so you can quickly pick up your sandwich and still make the bus!
- Gelateria: Need I explain further? This gelato shop located right outside of PDG is especially nice since it’s a 25 minute walk from campus, so you never have to feel guilty about getting gelato every day again! They also have delicious pastries you can buy in large bags to bring back to campus. Full discloser: I don’t know the actual name of this gelato shop and neither did anyone I asked. It’s commonly referred to as “the gelato place near the roundabout”, so if you turn right at a roundabout, you’re in the right direction!
Pro Tip: Try a different flavor every time you go, and don’t be afraid to mix and match. You’ll be surprised at how good some of the more unusual flavors and combos taste!
So there you have it! Although you’re sure to discover many other hidden gems in PDG, be sure to check out the few mentioned. Happy exploring!