The Game of Living Chess

From 13 September 2008 to 14 September 2008

City of Marostica, Vicenza.With 500 people and 20 horses.

Every other year on the second weekend of September sees the piazza of Castello da Basso in Marostica transformed into a chessboard for living pieces, a spectacular event and one of the main folklore attractions for visitors to the Veneto region. The tradition dates back to a historical event of 1454, when the two noble warriors Rinaldo dAngarano and Vieri da Vallonara both fell in love with the beautiful Lionora, daughter of Taddeo Parisio, lord of the castle of Marostica. According to the laws of the day, the two rivals had to fight a duel to decide who would win the hand of the maiden. Parisio, however, being an esteemed man of culture, forbade any bloodshed and proposed instead a contest of the noble game of chess, though with figures large and living, and the loser would be consoled with the hand of his younger daughter Oldrada. From that time on to commemorate this act of diplomacy and pacification every second Saturday and Sunday of September is recreated, with 500 chesspieces dressed as knights, damsels, archers and other key roles, while the moves are made by real-life international chess champions. Also interesting is the fact that the commands of the pieces are given in the ancient Venetian dialect.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff