Outside Vicenza, right next to Bassano del Grappa is a quaint little medieval town called Marostica. Marostica is famous for it's life sized chess match that is played in it's town square (which is actually a large chess board) every two years. The origin of the game comes from the middle ages - the king's two favorite knights were vying for the hand of his oldest daughter. Not wanting to lose either of his best knights in a joust, he decided that they would have a chess match - played in the town square using real people as chess pieces - and the winner would gain his oldest daughter's hand in marriage. The loser didn't do too bad either - he won the younger daughter's hand!

Aside from the chess match, Marostica is a charming little town still nestled within the original town walls, which extend all the way up the small mountain overlooking it. It combines with Bassano to make a great day trip from Vicenza. Here's a few pictures:

A few pics of the town wall:

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The Piazza, where the infamous chess match is played out every two years:

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My favorite little house, just off the piazza:

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Virginia in the main courtyard:

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Virginia gets into the medieval spirit with some good old fashioned torture...

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