Piazza degli Scacchi

Marostica (Vicenza)

The legend of the Human Chess Game dates back to 1454 when Marostica belonged to the Venetian Republic. 
It happened that two noblemen, Rinaldo d'Angarano e Vieri da Vallonara, fell in love with the beautiful Lionora, daughter of Taddeo Parisio, who was the Lord of Marostica. The Lord decided that the two rivals should have played a Chess Game: Lionora would take the winner as her husband and the loser would in any case join his family, marrying Oldrada, the younger sister.

The match should have taken place on the square in front of the Lower Castle on a feast-day with armed living person carrying the noble ensigns of Whites and Blacks, in the presence of the Lord, his noble daughter, the Lords of Angarano and Vallonara, the noble court and the entire population. He also decided the challenge had be honored by a performance of armed men, foot soldiers and knights, with fireworks, dances and sounds.

The Human Chess Game event is still played today just like the first time, every second weekend of September of even years.

Overlooking Piazza degli Scacchi there is the suggestive Lower Castle, built during the 14th Century in the form of a castle enclosure similar to Lombard and Verona fortified palaces.


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