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If you've ever thought of living in Italy, the towns of Breganze and Thiene are great options.
I know everybody always thinks of Rome, Florence, or Venice whenever they think of living in Italy, but although these cities are great to visit, they aren't always where you'd want to live.
So many other factors need to be considered when moving to Italy, things like health care, schools, public services, and the opportunities for finding work. In all of these, Thiene and Breganze rank among the best in Italy.
Plus, the locals are really friendly, and the towns are lovely, with hills painted with vineyards and towering mountains on your doorstep.
What more could one ask for?
If you do visit this area, stay at Casa Lidia, which is tucked away in a country setting just outside of Breganze and offers impeccable service and a perfect location for exploring not only Breganze and Thiene but also nearby gems like Bassano del Grappa and Marostica.
How about we head off to explore both towns? We'll start with Breganze:
The main piazza is where all the town gets together on weekends and after work on weekdays. You can't really miss it, as the piazza is huge and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta dominates the entire town. Join in and order yourself an aperitivo at Bar Mazzini.
Walk a little outside of town, and you'll soon reach the rolling hills, covered with vineyards, that make the town such a lovely place to be. This old barn is one of my favorite spots, it almost looks as if it has been painted in pastels.
Some famous villas and a lot of picturesque old farmhouses are to be found in and around town. Many of them have been restored, while others still need a loving owner to bring them back to their former glory. Could that owner perhaps be you? There are some real bargains to be had.
Near the main piazza in town are a number of good restaurants serving traditional dishes and catering to locals. Well, they haven't a choice as there are no tourists to cater for, and I can pretty much guarantee you'll be the one and only tourist for the day.
In most towns in Italy, tourists come to see the town; here, the locals come out to see the tourists. You may well be asked a lot of friendly questions; people are so excited when they see somebody loving their town as much as they do.
Which restaurant should I choose? I'd suggest the Trattoria al Cappello, which is the restaurant on the right side of the picture below.
One of Thiene's most famous tourist attractions is the 16th century Castle of Porto Colleoni.
The older part of Thiene is a real pleasure to explore, with pretty little piazzas, narrow lanes, and churches dating back to the 14th century.
There are a number of really lovely little squares in Thiene. I could easily spend a morning here watching the world go by and sipping a cappuccino.