Thursday, May 30, 2013

Marostica-La Partita a Scacchi

Steve and I found out our next duty station was to be Italy in the summer of 2011.  He was in Afghanistan and I was at Ft. Campbell, waiting anxiously for him to return home and for the Army to "tell" us where we were moving next.  We had filled out our "wish list" and had made some "suggestions" that we'd like Europe--preferably "off the beaten path", but we really had NO idea where we were headed to next.  I wanted Norway, Steve wanted pretty much anywhere that would allow him NOT to deploy again in the not so distant future.  We got Italy.


Steve called me and told me the big news while I was sitting in the Target parking lot in Clarksville, TN.  I immediately went inside and bought 7 pairs of shoes and an entire cart full of stuff I really probably didn't really need...and then called everyone I could think to tell.

Next, I went home and read everything I could possible read about Italy on the internet in just 24 hours.  I was convinced that by the time we moved to Italy, I would be fluent in Italian...  (if you're a military spouse who moved to a foreign country, you can stop laughing KNOW you did it, too!!!)
AND I came up with a list of MUST-DO'S while we are in Italy.

To start my list of MUST-DO'S, I consulted a lot of other people's MUST-DO'S.  By the time we moved to Italy in December, it was a HUGE list.  But at the top of it was:

 Why Go Italy's 5 Places to Go in Italy in 2012.

I don't know why this list fascinated me so, but it did.

I had no idea how far we were from this Marostica place, but WE WERE GOING!

The idea of this live chess match fascinated me.  I read everything I could about it and googled as many images as I could fine.  I told Steve and anyone else who would listen about it.

Then we moved to Italy and my MUST-DO list kinda got put on the back burner.  Until the summer rolled around and I started to think about the chess match and I started to google again.

It turned out that Marostica, the town with the chess match, was 30 minutes away...and an EASY 30 minutes.  I found out EXACTLY when tickets would go on sale and bought them the minutes that they was like camping out for U2 tickets back when I was in high school...expect...well, it was NOTHING like that...but it felt like it to me!!

I bought awesome tickets for just Steve and I because I figured we deserved a night out without the brats kids, plus we just didn't want to take them it would be late when we got home.

Finally that Saturday night rolled around and it was time to cross something of my ITALIAN MUST-DO list.  I was excited.  Steve was excited! WOOHOO!

We jumped into the Bug and headed to Marostica.

There are about 12 people who live in Marostica and I swear, those 12 people invited EVERY SINGLE PERSON THAT THEY HAD EVER BREATHED THE SAME AIR WITH.  The place was packed.

We had no problems finding the place because I've been to Sam's Clubs that are bigger than this entire town--not that that's a bad thing--the town of Marostica is ADORABLE.  We basically just followed the herd of people and there it was, the giant chess board in the middle of the town square.  Awesome.

Here's what it looked like from our seats:

The chess board is made from different colored marble.  The lower castle is at the back of the picture.  You can see the two seating areas where the two players sit while the game is being played.

You can read about the premise of the game and how it started HERE, but I'll give you a brief run down of what I know. Around the year 1454, two noblemen both fell in love with the daughter of the Lord of Marostica.  They planned a duel to determine who would get to marry her.  Not wanting to cause a riff in his townspeople and not wanting to lose either man, the Lord proposed a chess match to determine who would get to marry the daughter.  A table was set up in the square where the two men played the actually game.  A large chess board with really people acting as the chess pieces was nearby so that the townspeople could watch the match as it was played.  The human chess pieces would "mimic" what was happening on the real, small chess board where the two noblemen where actually playing. 

Since that year, the townspeople of Marostica have reenacted the chess match on even number years.  It was pretty amazing and hundreds of people act and perform in the actually play. I would strongly recommend going at night like we did because there was quite a performance involving fireworks and fire that wouldn't be possible to see during the day.  

 The rider signals that the event is about to start and the townspeople are about to arrive

 A flaming arrow was fired from atop the castle to light the fire around the chess board! It was amazing when the archer fired and struck just at the right spot! It was my favorite part!

The precessional took forever! Hundreds of people were involved!

 The second daughter--she would marry the loser (lucky her..)

 The court jester was quite a character...

Lots and lots of flag twirling....

 Blurry photo of the board being set

The princess....

It was an amazing event!  I am so glad that we went!  Sadly, I don't think we'll be here for the next performance, but if we are--we're going AGAIN!!

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1 comment :

  1. I saw the event listed on one of the base emails but I didn't think it would look this cool! I wish I went now.


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