Now that we’ve looked a little bit at Western Europe in the first part of my blog series on chess sets from around the world, let’s take a look at some of the Mediterranean countries and what their chess set offerings are. Today, we’ll be look at chess products from Italy and Greece.
Italy has a wide selection of metal, brass and alabaster chess sets. There are a number of top Italian manufacturers such as Italfama and Chellini. Italfama has literally hundreds of chess sets from metal or brass chess pieces and amazing chess tables. They also have some of the most expensive chess sets available – super elaborate chess pieces and chess tables plated in silver or gold. Those sort of chess sets can cost over five thousand dollars or more, and come in some really spectacular detail, as if they had come right out of a renaissance king’s court.
Italian Alabaster sets are more expensive alternatives to marble chess sets, but are often less fragile, of a higher quality, and offer storage options compared with Central American and Asian alternates.
It’s worth mentioning that Italy has a selection of traditional games that goes well beyond chess, including metal and brass checkers and leather backgammon sets.
We do not currently have a particularly large selection of Italian chess sets, but the renaissance metal chess set shown has long been a popular item, and can be seen to the left. Metal Renaissance Chessmen – Additional Information
Greece also specializes in metal chess pieces, but generally not the brass you might find in Italy. What they do have are some extremely heavy metal theme chess sets – usually with a Greek, Roman, or other historical themes such as mythology or medieval. They also uniquely have metal chess boards to go with their chessmen with a wide variety elaborate designs. The Medieval Knights set shown to the left is perhaps one of the heaviest theme chess piece sets available for purchase – The rooks are so heavy you might be afraid to lose to a particularly fiery opponent, less’ you are prepared duck for cover! Another unique aspect to Greek Chess sets is occasionally you will see “Oxidized” chess sets. This allows the pieces to have a weathered, antique feel right out of the box.
Like Italy, Greece manufactures other games as well. If you’re traveling to Greece or Turkey, be on the look out for some absolutely fantastic backgammon sets – many are vastly more ornate than what you commonly see in the United States – Backgammon is a much more popular game over there!
There are a large number of fantastic Greek chess sets that we carry, so obviously we can only show a few here. If you are looking to buy one, please check out the chess store website for a greater variety.
Next time we’ll head to Eastern Europe and discuss the various chess sets coming out of Poland, which manufacturers a wide variety of chess sets, chess tables, and chess boards.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email or put a comment down below.