The first time I visited Marostica was nearly ten years ago, not long after we arrived in Vicenza. We were in town for the popular live chess match, with humans and animals as the pieces, that is held there every other year. The very crowded town was hopping and filled with excitement for the event, but even then I remember being in awe of the beauty of the two castles and the extraordinary wall surrounding the medieval town.
We've returned to Marostica many times with on visitor or another since that first visit. It is a marvel to behold and is quite impressive upon first sight when approaching by car. A stroll through the streets is equally enchanting.
It's possible to explore the town and the lower castle and stand in the piazza where the giant chess board is located, crafted with the local stones. There is also a nice trail that leads to the upper castle, where the views are wide and sweeping. We've enjoyed lunch at the fancy restaurant up there a time or two as well.
Saturday we chanced upon a wonderful little osteria, La Madonnetta, located just off the main piazza, near the lower castle. Without a reservation, we were also without a table initially but were invited to return a bit later. We visited a quaint enoteca, In Vino Veritas, nearby where the bartender was pouring vino and sharing his collection of vinyl on his record player while we waited for a free table at the osteria.
The day was calm, slow, quiet, easy. Did I mention that Young One spent the day with a friend and was not with us? I didn't? All that quaint enoteca waiting and record playing would have gone down a bit differently had she been there, to be sure. She is an easy traveler, but we are constantly considering her needs when she is with us. It's nice to have a break from that from time-to-time.
I highly recommend Osteria Madonnetta, as well as making a reservation in advance of your visit. I think the chess match is worth a visit as well and am hoping to make it back again this September.