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Fancy an unusual cocktail during a trip to northern Italy? Simply stroll up to an unassuming hatch in a charming piazza, ring the bell, order a cocktail through the small window and enjoy it al fresco.
CuCù Bar, located in Bassano del Grappa (in the Veneto region of Italy), has space for about 10 to 15 guests inside. But it’s much more fun to order at the window and sip your drink outside.
Brothers Leone and Edoardo Miotti had the idea for CuCù after working in California and Milan. The duo wanted to bring something a little different back to Bassano del Grappa — a ring and drink concept complete with dependable, professional service and clever craft beverages. And that’s how CuCù was born. The name of the bar was borrowed from a watchmaker whose shop once occupied the same building.
CuCù serves specialty cocktails such as a traditional Italian Aperol spritz, the mezcal-based Mayahuel and a signature Julep. The so-called Julep Jump features classic ingredients like cognac and mint, as well as a special aperitif made from wine infused with different spices: sweet and bitter orange, cloves and quassia, all stored in a steel barrel lined with clay for a month. This special elixir is called leone, and is also sold separately at CuCù.
The town of Bassano del Grappa has become somewhat well known for its CuCù bar, as well as its 16th-century wooden bridge, the Ponte degli Alpini. The village also has a cathedral, a palace with frescoes and a beautiful town hall.
A visit to the city of Bassano del Grappa, which dates back to the 2nd century, can easily be combined with a trip to Milan, Venice or Verona. The best way to work a detour to Bassano del Grappa into your itinerary would be to first fly nonstop from the United States to Milan. Here, you can rent a car and drive east to reach Bassano, Verona and Venice. Alternatively, you can take local buses or trains.
American Airlines flies nonstop between Milan Malpensa (MXP) and New York (JFK) and Miami (MIA). Economy awards are bookable from 22,500 AAdvantage miles one-way, while business awards start at 57,500 miles one-way at the MileSAAver level.
Alitalia flies to Milan (MXP) from New York (JFK), but travelers should note that the airline filed for bankruptcy last year and is currently up for sale, while still operating regularly. TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig flew Alitalia in late 2017 without any issues, but it may still be best to consider a Delta Air Lines flight from New York (JFK) instead if you want to fly SkyTeam.
Or, travelers can choose to fly from New York (JFK) on Emirates’ A380 — and remember, you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Emirates, too. You’ll need at least 38,750 Emirates Skywards miles to fly one-way in economy, 62,500 to fly in business and 85,000 to fly in first.
United Airlines flies to Milan Malpensa (MXP) from Newark (EWR); one-way awards at the Saver level start at 30,000 miles in economy class and 60,000 in business class.
From Milan, you can drive to Bassano del Grappa in approximatley three hours.
Photo of CuCù Bar by Barbara Beltramello.
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