WHERE: Marostica, Italy.
WHEN: 09 – 11 September 2022
In the Italian municipality of Marostica, on the edge of the Asiago plateau, one of the most incredible and followed events has been held since the fifteenth century: the chess game with living characters.
The event takes place in even years, in the setting of Piazza Castello, during the second weekend of September.
The chess game probably originates from a story dated 1454, a period in which Marostica was one of the “loyalists” of the Venetian Republic.
At the center of the story, two noble and valiant warriors, and the daughter of the Castellano di Marostica.
The two young men, determined to win the love of the young damsel, challenged each other in single combat; however, the Castellano, referring to an ancient edict forbade the duel and decided that the two challengers would face each other in a noble game of chess. To those who had won, Lionora’s hand would have gone; the loser, on the other hand, could have consoled himself with his younger sister.
And so, the Marostica Chess Game was born with living characters. An event in which everything has been repeated for centuries, according to tradition.
Sumptuous and incredible costumes. Picturesque characters. Infantrymen and Knights. Songs, dances, dances and fires. And, the extraordinary elegance that distinguishes this event.
Really beautiful and magical, especially at night.
Photo ©, Patrick Keogh
Marostica is located in Veneto, in Northern Italy, about 30 kilometers from Vicenza, and less than 100 km from Venice.
The best way to arrive is by calling at the nearby airports of Venice Marco Polo, or Verona, and, from here, renting a car.
It is also possible to reach the town by public transport. In this case, you must arrive by train in Vicenza. The Vicenza-based company SVT guarantees daily connections with Marostica. You will have to use, in this case, the extra-urban line number 5 which operates from Vicenza Autostazione to Bassano FS. More info on the official website.
There are over 600 characters, including actors and extras, on stage. The actual chess game, today, must follow very specific criteria. It must last around 20 minutes and end with a number of moves ranging from a minimum of 16 to a maximum of 20. The showmanship is one of the strengths of the event.
Today, the game of Scacchi di Marostica represents one of the most interesting historical-folkloristic events on the Italian scene. It is no coincidence that it was requested, and represented, even across the border.
The chess game takes place on the large marble chessboard in Piazza del Castello, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 21:00. Only on Sundays there will be a further repetition at 17:00.
You can assist in one of the 3600 seats, in numbered armchairs. Prices vary by day and by location. It goes from a minimum of €46.00 per person for the Silver and Curve grandstands, to a maximum of €80.50 in the Platinum grandstands. Only on Sunday afternoons, you pay about half.
In conjunction with the event, it is rather unlikely to be able to find available facilities, due to the high demand and limited availability.
A good solution could be Bassano del Grappa, about 8 kilometers away and, moreover, also connected by buses.
Cristina House, in this sense, is an excellent choice for quality-price, in an excellent location, just 250 meters from the train station.
The rooms feature a kettle, flat-screen TV and, in some cases, a seating area to relax after a busy day. Bathrobes and free toiletries are also available. A shared kitchen is available on site. Info and reservations from this link.
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