Hidden Beauty

Written by Kelsey Y. May 30, 2013

Last weekend, some friends and I decided to stay in Paderno and go to the open air markets in Bassano del Grappa Saturday morning and Crespano Sunday morning. We purchased our bus tickets from the Tabacchi on Friday, which was a lot simpler than we were expecting. Saturday morning, we boarded the bus right outside the front gate of campus and enjoyed the 30 minute drive to Bassano. Since I’ve been here I’ve learned the Italians drive a lot different than Americans do. Here, it’s completely normal to go extremely fast everywhere, fit down places that your car physically shouldn’t, and be in complete control the entire time.

Once we got to Bassano, most of the vendors were just setting up so we found a cafe and enjoyed a pastry and cappuccino while watching the locals and vendors interact. By the time we finished, most of the vendors were ready to begin business. It was amazing how many different things were for sale at the market. You could get anything from kitchen utensils to scarves to blankets to jewelry. It was really interesting to see that many of the vendors carried many of the same clothing items, but each vendor had a completely different feel.

Flowers for sale at the Bassano open air market

A flower stand at the Bassano open air market

After purchasing a few things and  wandering around admiring the pure beauty of a town just 30 minutes from campus, we ordered some pizza for lunch, stopped at the gelato shop, and headed back to Paderno.

Sunday morning, we took a 20 minute gorgeous walk to Crespano, another small town with an open air market. This market felt a lot bigger, but that may just be because the vendors were more spread out. We noticed a lot of the same things as we had seen the day before, but there was one very unique vendor. I wasn’t able to stop and actually look at it because I can’t handle the smell of fish, but my friend said this vendor truck had every kind of fish you could think of, including a squid looking thing.

My favorite thing we found in Crespano was two ladies with baby kittens. We aren’t sure if they were trying to sell them, but they let us hold the kittens for a long time before we moved on to a cafe for breakfast of a pastry and cappuccino. I have yet to find a cappuccino I don’t like here!

Even though I didn’t go anywhere off campus, it was an amazing weekend of exploring the little known parts of Italy just minutes from campus. Tomorrow, we leave for Florence! We have a guided day tour planned to see the city, visit a family owned winery to do a wine tasting and have lunch, see the Tower of Pisa, and see many of the sites Florence has to offer.