Sunday, 29 November 2015

Monteriggioni: Armed and Preposterous

Monteriggioni, Italy (Monteriggioni, Italia) 
The threatening skies only let loose their droplets once we left Siena. So thoughtful. 
Not wanting to camp in the rain, we booked a hotel for the night only to discover it was more difficult to find than a  Where's Wally puzzle (aka Waldo for my American readers) while blindfolded. We drove around the general area we knew it to be in for about twenty minutes, and mistakenly fixated on a farmhouse with tall fencing. Eventually we found it, and were greeted by a man who spoke Italian, Tuscan and Sienese, but not English or French. He showed us our room, asked when we wanted breakfast and explained many things that we will never know. After settling in, we drove to the hilltop fortress of Monteriggioni. 
While the town has a colourful history (it was built as a frontline defence by Siena during the wars between the city and Florence), we visited for an altogether more modern reason: Monteriggioni is a main location in Assasins Creed II, a video game in which the character Ezio Auditore murders a bunch of people. 
As Yannick is a fan of the game, he just had to don my raincoat's hood and assume an assassiny pose.  
We paid a few euros to walk along the town's fortified walls, which was unfortunately a bit lame. Most of the walls were blocked off, stating entry was "severely forbidden". This clashed unsettlingly with our perception that "Noting is true! Everything is permitted!" (according to the laws of video games, and not real life). 
Though not a player of Assassins Creed myself, I also had a go with the butter knives. And to be honest I felt pretty badass. (Though I did realise that I looked more like a cuddly teddy bear than a killer. Such is life. And yes, I did feel weird carrying two knifes around in my handbag, even if the toughest thing they could cut through was stale bread. All the other tourists milling around were middle-aged retired couples under umbrellas, who certainly didn't recognise the reference. I guess it's good after all that I didn't look threatening.)
Driving back to our hotel, we were treated to excellent views of the fortified walls and towers, with vineyards in the foreground. It's so Tuscan it pains me to behold! (For I am there no longer. Sob!)
Restaurants within the walls seemed too tourist-centric to deliver proper Italian meals, so we searched elsewhere. At an agriturismo down a dirt road, we dined upon ravioli and pasta carbonara at Ristorante Antico Ulvieto. As the TripAdvisor reviews promised, our waited did bear a resemblance to a young Johnny Depp! Though we didn't stay in the accommodation, we greatly enjoyed the meal, reinforcing our ideas that agriturismos are awesome. 
And finally, what you've all been waiting for: Yannick in his pose as Ezio, morphed into the game system. Fancy a 'gentle push', anyone? (I don't know what it means either.)

Today's post was almost called: He's Happy - Don't Tell Him It's Not Real