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Every even year, in September, a game of chess using live pieces is played. After the First World War, members of the local chess club began playing chess in the main square and decided to play a game of chess using people as the gamepieces. After the Second World War, the comedy writer Vucetich Mirko authored a play in which "Two noblemen, Renaldo D'Anganaro and Vieri da Vallanora, fell in love with the beautiful Lionora, daughter of the local lord, Taddeo Parisio.

As was the custom at that time, they challenged each other to a duel to win the hand of Lionora. The Lord of Marostega, not wanting to make an enemy of either suitor or lose them in a duel, forbade the encounter. Instead he decreed that the two rivals would play a chess game, and the winner would have the hand of Lionora. The loser of the chess game would also join the family, through marrying her younger sister, Oldrada. During the play the game takes place on the square in front of the Lower Castle with supporters carrying the noble ensigns of Whites and Blacks, in the presence of the Lord, his noble daughter, the Lords of Angarano and Vallonara, the court and the entire town population.

The Lord also decides the challenge would be honoured by an exhibition of armed men, foot-soldiers and knights, with fireworks and dances and music". Needless to say, this literary account has nothing to do with factual history and the chess square in the city was built after the Second World War and after the writing of Vucetich's play. This fictional story is now re-enacted in the main square of Marostega every second Friday, Saturday and Sunday of September of "even" years. The orders are still given to the cast today in the local Language (Venetian) of the "Most Serene Republic of Venice".

Bassano del Grappa

The original name of the town was Bassano Veneto. After the terrible battles on Mount Grappa in WWI , where thousands of soldiers lost their lives, a decision was made to change the name of the town. In 1928, the name was changed to Bassano del Grappa, meaning Bassano of Mount Grappa, as a memorial to the soldiers killed. Ernest Hemingway during his days as a ambulance driver in the war spent many days in Bassano and eventually setted there a part of A Farewell to Arms. Also other American writers spent some days in Bassano during WWI such as Scott Fitzgerald and Dos Passos.

During World War I Bassano was in the front area, and all industrial activities were halted. In World War II, after the Armistice with Italy, the city was invaded by German troops, which killed or deported numerous inhabitants.

The symbol of the town is the covered wooden pontoon bridge , which was designed by the architect Andrea Palladio in 1569. The bridge was destroyed many times, the last time during WWII. The Alpine soldiers, or Alpini have always revered the wooden bridge and Bassano del Grappa. After the destruction of the bridge, they took up a private collection and had the bridge completely rebuilt. Often soldiers flock to the bridge to remember and sing songs from their days as alpine soldiers. The grappa shop of Nardini Distillery is located on the bridge, also known as Ponte Vecchio.


Its great location and wonderful climate made Asolo a population centre right from prehistoric times and later a principal settlement for the Veneto people. Acelum, the Asolo of Roman times, went through a period of great expansion: the town that also became municipium, developed mainly between the first century BC and the first century AD. Archaeological remains and findings - housed in a special section of the City Museum- document the present of a spa, an aqueduct, a forum and a theatre testifying to the importance of Asolo in Roman times.

A very ancient centre of Christianity as far back as the sixth century, the city had a bishop and was the centre of the diocese until 969 when it became enfeoffed to the bishopric of Treviso. At different times between the XIth and XIVth centuries it knew the hegemony of various powerful families (Tempesta, Ezzelini, da Camino, Scaligeri, Carraresi) and finally fell under the sway of Venice. From the end of the fourteenth century with the Venetian denomination, the centre entered a period of great splendour. In 1489 Venice bestowed upon Caterina Cornaro, former Queen of Cyprus, the Seigniory of Asolo. She created a magnificent Renaissance court of artists, men of letters and poets and left an indelible imprint in the art and in the very ideal of the city.

Through Venice, Asolo received far-reaching urban reorganisation and its big brother bound it to itself and its aristocracy inextricably until the fall of the Venetian Republic. "Asolo is Venice and Venice is Asolo" goes the saying to underline the similarity of the atmosphere that is demonstrated in the architecture and in the spirit of the towns. The year 1797 saw the entrance of Napoleon. In the nineteenth century under the dominion of Austria, Asolo was involved in the reforms of the civil institutions and by a programme of public works, such as the revamping of the Duse Theatre. It finally became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.

A curious testimony to the events in Asolo's history during the XIXth century is the old clock with an enormous pendulum hidden behind the counter in a wine shop in via Browning, not far from the Teatro dei Rinnovati. The events of the city's history are noted down here starting from the beginning of the nineteenth century.

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