On one of my trips to Italia many years ago… before digital photography…I visited a friend in Castelfranco Veneto, near Treviso. As soon as I got off the train, I found out that she was able to get us tickets to Marostica’s Partita a Scacchi in Costume a Personaggi Viventi -a live chess game in costume.
In 1454, two young noblemen Rinaldo d’Angarano and Vieri da Vallonara, both wanted to marry Lionora, daughter of Taddeo Parisio, the Castellano (Lord) of Marostica. They wanted to duel for her hand, which was the thing to do at that time, but her father objected. He did not want to make an enemy of one of the families. Instead, he proposed a chess game played with live pieces in the main piazza on a giant chess board. This way everyone in Marostica could see the game. The winner would marry Lionora and the runner up her younger sister Oldrada. The original game was on September 12, 1454 and the event is recreated every other year on the second weekend of September on a 16 metre squared marble scacchiera (chess board)which forms Piazza degli Scacchi in lower Marostica.
Sbandieratori-flag throwers entertain the crowd. Both long-staff and short-staff sbandieratori perform. These in the photo are from Firenze and at the time, they were the world champions in short staff.
La Partita a Scacchi in Costume a Personaggi Viventi is held in Marostica every other year (even years) on the second weekend in September. The next dates are September 9-11, 2022. There are 4 performances, each with 3600 spectators. Three performances are at 9pm and one is at 5pm. Ticket prices vary from €23 to €92. More information is available on this website.
The photos were taken by me and by Nadia Bruschetta, although we aren’t certain who took which photos because they predate digital photography and we shared prints. I hope you enjoyed this viaggio in pultrona! Ciao, Cristina