Chess town, Marostica (Veneto - Italy)

Chess town, Marostica

[ Jun,2016 ] On the second day of our short trip to Veneto in north Italy, we visited Marostica. This town is famous for their human chess event. They have it every autumn of even year on the chessboard painted at Castello square which we came across soon after entering the town.It is an even year this year and we saw some posters of the event. According to the photo of the posters, they dress up in the costumes of Middle Ages, but in fact this event is not that old tradition. After the WW1, apparently the local chess club started the simple human chess and after the WW2, a comedy writer wrote an story about the human chess in the Middle Ages in this town. In this story, in the mid 15th century, two noblemen in Marostica got in love with one woman who happened to be the daughter of the lord. They decided to fight a duel, but the peaceful lord stopped them and suggested that they should have a chess match to decide who wins his daughter. So the chess match was played in the square with the knights of the noblemen playing as the pieces. The current event is held according to this story, so they dress up as medieval people.

There is a hill behind the square and a ruin of a castle on top of it. A long wall was stretching towards it, which reminded me of Bellinzona in Switzerland. There were some old upright pianos here and there in the town and the notices said “Play Me”. There was also a children’s piano concert in the pilotis. Actually we saw the similar pianos in Bassano, too. If you can play something better than “Der Flohwalzer”, it would be nice to sit and play the piano there. By the way, we saw similar pianos a few months later in a different country, too.

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