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Travel Picks Friday

Travel Picks Friday: Live Chess Games in Marostica

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Marostica’s Live Chess Match is held every 2-years on even numbered years. We were there early to video pre-show preparations and for the evenings 2 1/2 hour performance.

chess game marostica

Located about an hour and a half from Venice sits the charming hill town of Marostica. The Upper and Lower Castles are joined by a crenellated wall, and the center of town has a giant Chess Board in the main Piazza. This small jewel of a town is not to be missed on your journeys throughout the Veneto Region of Italy.

Italians love love. Italians love pageantry. Italians love a “festa”. Italians love tradition. In all of Italy, you would be hard pressed to find all of the things that Italians love in one place at one time.  However, if you were to travel to the charming town of Marostica during even numbered years, on the second weekend of September you would discover the Partita a Scacchi di Marostica (The Marostica Live Chess Match).

This Live Chess Game commemorates the historic match of 1454. Pink and White marble slabs are imbedded in the center of Piazza Castello and form the Chess Board. The “living game” is a re-enactment of the match that Lord Taddeo Parisio held to determine the marriage of his daughter, Lionora.

flags throwers

Two noblemen were in love with the Lord’s daughter. In order to preserve unity and find an equitable way out of this predicament, The Lord held a chess match to decide whom the groom should be (the loser would still be in the family, as he would marry the Lord’s younger daughter, Oldrada). A Grand festival was held with parades, flag-throwing, fireworks and a huge feast.

This event is repeated today, just like the first time. Fabulous costumed players, banners and parades culminate with the human chess match. The spectacle involves over 700 participants and tickets must be purchased well in advance.

You can also check out the video by clicking on the image below:

live chess game near venice

This article has been written by Luke & Barbara from POV Italy, a great site for travel resources and other useful information when planning a trip to Italy. All pictures are copyrighted to Luke Wynne.


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