Famous for its castles, its live chess game, and its cherries, this town has an unparalleled beauty and charm that will invite you to linger in its piazza, take photos in front of the castle, and soak up the medieval atmosphere that somehow remains here.

Marostica

A walled city that dates back to Roman times, Marostica attained its present form in the 14th century, when its walls were built to contain the town and the two castles. The city was ruled by several families until 1404, at which time it became part of the Republic of Venice. Bearing witness to this fact is a statue of a winged lion, well-known symbol of Venice.

Marostica is the home of a biannual, live chess game, played out in the town square by hundreds of people dressed in medieval costumes: ladies, knights on horseback, chess figures, dancers, jugglers, musicians and comedians. Legend has it that the ruler of Marostica offered his daughter in marriage to the winner of a chess game rather than have her two suitors fight in a duel.

The ride to Marostica can be either flat or hilly. The hilly route includes a classic climb called La Rosina; we stop to visit a chapel dedicated to cyclists along the way. Of course, there’s a stop for a cappuccino in the town square.