Geek holiday – Achievement unlockedWed, May 11th, 2011 @ 21:12
So I just got back from my summer holiday in Tuscany, Italy. Amazing trip and a break I sorely needed. Funny though what inspires you to go to certain places and in this case it was a computer game.
Yes my girlfriend and I are a pair of gamer geeks and I really got drawn into the history aspect of Assassins Creed 2. I loved the little historical snippets, I loved the way the buildings looked and I really wanted to see it for myself. My girlfriend loves Italy anyway (she’s been several times) and had played part way through AC2 herself so there was no resistance to the idea.
So off we went, flew to Bologna (cheap flight) rented a car and drove down the Autostrada to Florence. Believe me, everything they say about Italian roads and their drivers is true.
We spent four days in Florence and made it a point to walk around the entire city and visit as many of the landmarks from the game as possible. Naturally the game doesn’t represent them 100% as they are today (the game being set in the Renaissance period) but it’s a weird feeling standing in front of an enormous cathedral and realised that no, puny human, you can’t free climb that. I did however make it up Giotto’s Bell Tower (There are 414 steps and no lift – as the sign warns) and was suddenly struck with a vista of Florence I suddenly felt at home with – I realised that thanks to AC2 I knew Florence better from the roof tops that street level. One thing for sure, there’s no way on earth I’d leap off that into a stack of hay.
After our 4 days was up we drove down into Tuscany proper and stayed in a small village called Strove near Siena. From there it was just a 10 minute ride to Monteriggioni and an hour to San Gimignano and it’s famous towers.
Our three days up, we decided to drive the long way home and rather than drive straight up to Bologna we went cross-country from Florence to Forli via the Apennine Pass. Wow. I wasn’t expecting a road like that. 30km of 90 degree left and right turns with no more than 20m of straight between them. Starting at sea level, rising to 850m (where you end up driving through clouds) and back down again. Sheer cliffs either side, fog, rain, slippery gravel patches and ominous shrines ever so often marking where people have died. It was nothing like the gentle gallop in AC2 and when we finally arrived in Forli, the entire town was close. I kid you not.
So excluding Vienna we managed every single location in the AC2 game, all the historical landmarks in the database and yet didn’t find a single chest or feather.
Geek holiday – Achievement unlocked.
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