For me, Marostica is a good place to start my Italy trip (after all the family hugs and kisses, of course). Typically, I’m tired from the over night flight the day before, we’re still adjusting to time differences, and it’s a small town so we can take in as much as we want and not miss anything.
I saw Marostica for the first time in 2009 when we were doing the hour drive from Cody’s parent’s house in Santorso to his sister’s house in Rossano.
The small town is nestled into the the foothills of the Alps. From the main roadway you can see one of it’s two castles sitting on top of the hill. This is called Castello Superiore. The walls of the city, like strong protective arms, extend down the hill from the upper castle and encircle the original small town, coming to their conclusion at the bottom of the hill with the lower castle (Castello Inferiore). Twenty-four towers symmetrically spaced down the wall have been keeping a watchful eye for intruders since 1372.
The lower castle and walls are amazingly still intact while the upper castle was mostly destroyed in 1510. It’s now a beautiful restaurant with what remains.
Like I said, Marostica isn’t that big. But what it has is worth checking out. The town is known for three things:
- The two castles and walls. Tours of the lower castle are given to groups. But individuals can also do a self-guided walking tour any time for only 5 Euro. They give free tours to the public on Sundays.
- Delicious Marostica cherries. There is a cherry festival every year at the end of May. Here’s something I didn’t know about the cherries: “The Marostica cherry P.G.I., the only Italian cherry to bear this geographical indication, is heart-shaped and is picked by hand without removing the stalk, a technique that helps the fruit maintain it’s flavor and aroma. The color of the Marostica can range from pink to dark red according to the variety. It is juicy and has a full taste, ranging from somewhat tart to sweet.” (Taken from chefbiseski.com)
- A live chess match played every other year on the second weekend of September. This is a reenactment of a fictional story of two noblemen who fell in love with Lionora, the King’s daughter. The tradition was to duel for her hand. But the king wouldn’t have it. He ordered them, instead, to a chess match. The winner would marry Lionora. The loser would marry Oldrada, Lionora’s younger sister. How would you like to be a consolation prize?
On past trips we walked through the town and in the courtyard of the lower castle to check everything out. Last year I was on my own while Cody took care of business with his mom and dad. I hiked up the hill to the upper castle, enjoying the views and some Marostica cherries (cherry is ciliegia in Italian, pronounced chi-lee-eja).
This year we did the self-guided tour of the lower castle. I thought it would be audio, but it was a page with a description and explanation of each area of the castle to read. It was very helpful and gave you just enough explanation of each room to to give a great overview.
We really enjoyed the tour of the castle. It was worth the time to see it. Marostica has so much to offer and is a always a good addition to anyone’s Italy trip.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Thanks for reading!