Assassin's Creed - no really!

The Fortress of Monteriggioni as seen from the south west

It is fair to say that Tuscany is full of history. It is also fair to say that I don't get much time for life- consuming, first-person role play or platform games for the XBox, PS4 or 5 or 6 or whatever is the current iteration.

The aspect facing approaching Florentine troops - north facing gate
So with my mind focused on the Via Francigena (medieval pilgrim's route from England to Constantinople), wars between Italian City States and Condotierri, the presence of Assassin's Creed merchandise in the medieval fortress village of Monteriggioni washed over me completely.

South facing gate

I made two visits on consecutive days as the camera and phone both died on me on visit one due to hyperactivity earlier in the day at Lucca where the medieval/renaissance walls created photo overload.

Ah! now I get it!

A casual mention pre-expedition day 2 to Mrs H that I had seen all the AC clap-trap around in Monteriggioni the day before prompted the response - 'well obviously!'

For those with vertigo like I,  a walk along this with ground below visible through the decking was a trial!

'Monteriggioni is where part of the game is set, didn't you know that?'
'Well, no actually that had passed me by'.

Theme park it is not - history you can walk around and have a drink in.

Our now grown up son had recently been blathering on to his mother about Florentine and Sienese history all gleaned from playing this game that I was the only one not in the know. He was apparently quite the wag and impressed Mrs H to the extent that for once, she said, he sounded like he knew what he was talking about.. and now I do too!

Entrance to the Templar Museum

Monteriggioni was/is an outlier and strong-point of Siena on the Via Francigena designed to thwart Florentine advances south towards the town. It withstood numerous attacks, sieges and attempts to capture it from 1200 till around 1500. It was finally given away to the Florentines by one of their own commanders adopted into the Sienese army and who wished to return to the fold. The betrayal got him reintegrated into the army of Florence and probably murdered in an Assassin's Creed style hit during the subsequent years!

One of the several mannequins in the Armour museum

Within the intact and unmodified walls is a small, attractive village and the crown shaped castle is still remarkably convincing as a medieval fortress as can be seen from these pictures. This very place is mentioned in Dante's writing. Inside are three museums - a Templar Museum, an 'Armour' museum and a 'walk along the walls' experience. You can see the lot for four Euros! 

I will blog on the two museums separately as both are excellent and full of high quality wargaming fodder.

This relic was left over from 1291

For now - I am initiated into the ways of Assassin's Creed and where modern gaming very occasionally collides with my world. The photographed relic above will provide fodder not only for the horse 'in shot' but for Messrs Harrison, Talbot and O'Brien each of whom has a personal penchant for dressing up, the collective intensity of which I can only aspire to.