Italy Today

A chess match with living pawns in Marostica, Italy

How to enjoy chess in the open air

A chess match with living pawns in Marostica, Italy

Claudia Astarita


When thinking about a chess game, we can be misled and imagine a dark and silent room. Marostica, in the Vicenza province, demonstrates that chess can be a way to enjoy the open air.

This Northern town is renowned for being the città degli scacchi, the town of chess, and it celebrates its name with an original event: a chess match with living pawns. Hundreds of people wear traditional costumes to assist, and the event is well-known on an

international scale. It aims to reproduce a legend created in the 15th century, when two gentlemen from Venice challenged each other in a spectacular living game of chess.

Such a fascinating match takes place in the Piazza degli Scacchi, the chess square, on the second weekend of September, on even years.

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