Friday night we had the chance to visit the castle of Marostica, the birthplace of chess. Every other year they celebrate that birthright by having a grand festival that tells the story of a princess being fought over by two princes - we've seen it and heard that before right?! This story turns you for a loop - instead of the usual duel to the death that comes with these kinds of stories, the King decided that no one should die but instead they would duel for the hand of the eldest daughter by playing a match of chess. This chess game wasn't the usual one, however, it was a live chess game with real people playing the parts. The loser would gain the consolation prize of the younger daughter and all would live (really) happily ever after. This original battle of the geek allstars (I kid, I kid - I love chess) took place in 1454 when the city of Marostica was under the Venetian Republic and I have to say I am lucky that this year happened to be the year in which the reenactment was to take place - it was wonderful, fun and a bit long but what celebration isn't right:)
The castle that sits on the mountain - dates back to Venecian Republic days - 1400's - so cool!
A close up of those old castle walls - right before I took this picture I took a charging leap onto the wall and was brought down only by 10 or 20 Italian police officers - I don't know what came over me, it was a Braveheart moment!
The flags lining the entrance - I like to think that this flag also dates back to the 1400's and that is why they decided on honoring the ladder - not what you would typically think belongs on a flag, right?!
A few of the castle walls up close - it was a beautiful night, perfect weather not to hot or cold with a slight breeze every so often.
Me and the girls waiting for Cele, who had gone to get the tickets (Wendy - Cristina loved her headband so much that she wears it everyday, all day - you will see it again:)
This, if you can't tell, is Mia trying to play around with I-photo editing - so cool - I antiqued the bookstore picture and put black edging around it:)
The bookstore, that man was weirded out that I took this picture and looked up just as the flash went off:)
Sitting in our seats, wating for it to start - doesn't the kid in the background look like a creppy Edward?
Cristina and I, again waiting. There was a lot of that taking place but it was fun all the same.
When they finally came out - there was jokers and fire breathers and all sorts of fun medieval things - That is your first view of where the "to the death" chess game will take place:)
One of the castles that was part of the show - all of the actors, sorry - I mean all of the people from the 1400's that had traveled forward in time, came out of the castle and onto the drawbridge:)
Another view of that castle
It was late and we were all a little tired and it was a little longer than expected - they had a lot of pageantry - walking out, flag running and throwing - that the chess game came at the way end and only lasted like 20 minutes
Finally! The game is to begin - that stupid light was in my way or that could have been a cooler shot:)
The black side! (Hope I'm not spoiling anything for you but THEY win!)
That is where the two princes are sitting and will play the chess game and the moves will be announced by that gentleman on the stairs.
Critical point in the match - -- - - - The black queen is on the move but not if the white can help it!
So poised, so elegant . . .
Here we have the the white king and queen with a knight in the far top corner and here at the bottom I can't remember what piece these guys are representing - I thought it was the bishop but - No, that's wrong - help me out here, will ya!?
The highlight of the night - fireworks lit by a bow and arrow from the ground!
Here is where it really gets crazy!!!:)
And last but never least - - - - - - the cascading waterfall of color and mystery!
That was our night filled with intrigue and oldworldness - stay tuned for tomorrow when I post about out trip to Verona - the city of Romeo and Juliet, the city of love, the city where green traffic lights don't really mean go and we almost get into a wreck . . . . .