Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day trip to Marostica and Nove

The second day, we were up by 8:30 and ready to head to the nearby towns of Marostica and Nove. Piper, mom, Kam, and I loaded up one car, while Rob, Felix, and Ana were in the other. After one sneaky roundabout, we managed to get separated, and instead of reconvening, Rob opted to show his mom around the army base and other local sights, while us girls continued on with the day's plans. 
Kam and I in Marostica
In Marostica, there is a huge walled castle area that hosts a biannual medieval festival in September. In every September of each even year, there is a live chess game where people are used as the chess pieces played in the main square. The story tells of two men who were fighting for the king's eldest daughter. Rather than having them duel, resulting in a potential death, the king held a giant chess match between the two suitors. The winner was awarded his oldest daughter's hand, while the loser was given the youngest daughter. This story was written by an Italian comedy writer after the second world war, and thus the town adopted it into part of their culture.
Kam, Piper, and I at the upper castle in Marostica
We walked up to the upper part of the castle to take in a view of the city below. It was absolutely gorgeous, despite the smog and dust in the air. We hiked around and visited a few churches in Marostica before heading down to the city for lunch. I love Italian food!! Mom and I split chicken and rice with veggies and a huge Greek salad. Most Italian shops and stores close between noon and 3:00pm, so we spent a long time in the restaurant eating before finally a few of the stores were reopening.
View looking down to Marostica
We drove over to Nove, a small town that is famous for its ceramic industry. One of the largest store is La Ceramica VBC; apparently this local ceramic shop, along with its partner store Ancora, are the same designers that are used for Tiffany, Lenox, Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn. Luckily we were at the original manufacturing store, so it's ridiculously cheaper than if we had bought these items in the States.
Some of the ceramics 
After a great afternoon, we headed back home to rest before a delicious family dinner of homemade Hispanic food made by Ana.

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