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Assassin's Creed also marked the beginning of Desmond Miles' story, the modern day bartender who is kidnapped by Abstergo Industries and forced to relive his ancestors' memories in the Animus. MetaScore: Buy It Here. In a series first, there's no modern day component, so the game takes place entirely from Altair's viewpoint. Unlike its big brother, Chronicle has limited stealth mechanics and focuses more on combat and puzzle elements. Altair travels to Cyprus to eliminate more Templars. Bloodlines plays largely the same as its home console counterpart, but with some control changes to accommodate the PSP.

This game heavily featured Maria Thorpe, a Templar who would eventually go on to become Altair's wife. This is the first game that starred Ezio Auditore da Firenze and it takes place in Italy during the height of the Renaissance. AC II is more dynamic than its predecessor; you'll spend far more time on the move as opposed to waiting patiently. This game introduced the Monteriggioni, Ezio's villa that you could upgrade and Leonardo Da Vinci, Ezio's friend who creates all of his cool gadgets.

Desmond's story is picked up here as he's freed from Abstergo and meets up with the modern day version of the Assassin Order. Buy It Here , Here , or Here. Discovery is a 2. Mostly forgettable in the grand scheme of things, but Ezio does meet Christopher Columbus and assassinates Templar Tomas de Torquemada. Yay, famous people! Brotherhood picks up right where Assassin's Creed II ends, bringing Ezio to Rome in his ongoing quest to get his revenge on the Borgia family. With the help of assassin Niccolo Machiavelli, Ezio rebuilds the local Brotherhood, allowing him to call on other assassins in-game.

A large part of the game requires you to attack Borgia towers to free areas of the city from Borgia influence, a feature that carries on into later games. In an expansion of his role, Desmond can leave the Animus at any time to explore the modern day Monteriggioni villa. Revelations features an older, wiser Ezio who comes to Constantinople in search of five keys that will unlock Altair's Library, where a relic is kept.

While there, he becomes involved with the local Assassin Order, Ottoman politics, and a young Suleiman. Revelations expanded the Borgia towers system with the addition of a tower defense mini-game, where the Templars return to retake territory. It also adds the new Hookblade tool for getting around the city and the somewhat game-breaking Bomb system, which allows you to craft a variety of grenades with different effects.

Ezio meets his future wife, Sofia Sartor, in Revelations. Part of the game involves Ezio delving into the memories of Altair at the end of his life. Desmond, who's trapped in a coma in the real world, spends the game in the Black Room, a safe mode within the Animus. In Desmond's final game, we jump forward more than years from Ezio's era to the American Revolution.

The game also adds a nautical sailing system for the first time, with Connor becoming the captain of the Aquila. Many hate it. Aveline's primary gameplay is based around three personas - Assassin, Lady, and Slave - that allow her to move around different areas with various abilities. The next game in the series jumps back to the era of Edward Kenway, Connor's grandfather. During the Golden Age of Piracy, Kenway lucks his way into a ship the Jackdaw and the familiar assassin outfit, only to find himself in the middle of a war between the Assassins and the Templars.

Black Flag integrated the sailing system from Assassin's Creed III into the main game, allowing players to go from running on land to sailing on the ocean seamlessly. It also introduced additional mini-games like diving and whaling. The modern day part of the game places you in the shoes of an unknown, faceless employee at Abstergo Industries, who like Edward, finds themselves in something much larger than they first thought. The side story follows the exploits of assassin Adewale, Edward Kenway's former quartermaster, more than a decade after the end of Black Flag. Adewale finds himself shipwrecked on the island of Saint Domingue, a French colony in the Caribbean.

Being a former slave, Adewale attempts to empower the slaves in the area and bring them to freedom. Freedom Cry is a relatively short game featuring much of the same gameplay as Black Flag.

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Even before Edward Kenway roamed the high seas, Alonzo Batilla decided to become the most feared captain alive. Batilla is neither Assassin nor Templar, but he finds himself trapped between both sides. Pirates features no assassin gameplay whatsoever and is completely a sailing combat and ship management game. It features some story characters from Black Flag, including Blackbeard and Ben Hornigold, but you can skip it. Should You Play It: Skip it. It's solid, but you have to really love Assassin's Creed.

This is the old-generation-only release for Players take control of Shay Cormac, a former assassin turned Templar assassin hunter. Shay's story takes place during the Seven Years' War and his quest makes him a contemporary of Haytham Kenway during his rise to power in the Colonies. The game is developed by Ubisoft Sofia and will utilize an improved version of Black Flag's gameplay. Rogue has no online play and the modern day side of the game actually focuses on the inner workings of the Templar organization Abstergo.

Should You Play It: Perhaps!

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Here's my review of the game and if you're looking for more Black Flag, Rogue is the game to play. Unity is the next-generation-only version of Assassin's Creed, built from the ground-up for the new consoles. French assassin Arno Dorian operates during the French Revolution, attempting to stop the Templars who would destroy the safety of the Paris.

Unfortunately for Arno, his adoptive father is the local Templar Grand Master and his love interest Elise is a Templar herself. Unity adds a new Parkour system to the game, allowing Arno to get down from high buildings as easy as other protagonists could climb up. Should You Play It: Maybe. Like I said in our review , it didn't come together all that well, but it's still a solid entry in the series. Set in Victorian Era London at the beginning of the industrial revolution, Syndicate is the story of twin assassins Jacob and Evie Frye.

Players can take control of either assassin as they seek to free London from the grip of the Templars by taking control of the city's gangs. One big change here is the more vertical nature of London, which feeds into the series' new feature: the grappling hook. Unlike previous entries, Syndicate has no multiplayer whatsoever, focusing purely on a single-player experience. Should You Play It: Yes! It also seemed the map indicated the museum was to the East.

My Boy Scout training said that since the morning sun was on our left , then the museum had to be on our left as well. Right or left? I was very confused. Borghese Gallery. Villa Borghese Grounds. A s the bus wandered into areas not on my map, I studied my map furiously. That's when I made a discovery. I noticed the Vatican Museum we had visited yesterday was at the top of the Vatican City see the red square in the picture above. That is when it dawned on me - my Hotel must be above of the Vatican City, not below it see True location. In other words, when I faced t he Wall in front of my hotel room I was actually looking South , not North!

In one sudden Galilean inspiration, my world had just flipped degrees. Marla had no idea the extent of the panic I was in, but she could tell I was worried about something. She sensed we were in trouble. Just how lost were we? Marla just kept staring at me with a very dark look.

You see, there was only one stop on this entire trip Marla deeply cared about - the impressive Borghese Art Gallery. This is such a popular location that you actually have to reserve a two-hour visiting block ahead of time. You cannot drop in unannounced. My mind wandered back to the day Marla had spent an hour on the Internet trying to figure out how to make our reservation to visit. This visit was practically all she could talk about. Now we had only 20 minutes left to make our appointment. Not only that, we had pre-paid our visit.

If we didn't show up, that money was down the drain. The pressure was really getting to me. This would be our one and only chance to see this place! I was deeply worried, but I did not know what to do. Where was this bus going? It was about this point that the comedy began. As we sat on the bus wondering where we were, the three of us tried different strategies. My strategy was to continue to stare helplessly at the street signs and hope a street would appear that was on my map.

Marla's strategy was to talk to the three people closest to her on the bus. Mean while Sam interviewed a fourth person. Not one person spoke English. Well, change that, they all seemed to understand a little English. This is another way of saying that Marla and Sam spoke English while the Italians nodded their heads a lot and waved their hands. I have to give the Italians credit - all four of them tried very hard to help. All four people were trying to explain things to us using sign language and broken English.

But I paled even further when I saw that none of them could agree on where we were headed! They started arguing among themselves pointing in opposite directions and gesturing wildly. What did I get us into? Watching this charade, Marla, Sam, and I didn't know what to do. As I stared at the map, I could see there were two bus stops next to the Borghese that had been circled by the woman at the hotel - Flaminio and Spagna. So I said, "Bus go to Flaminio?

Bus no go Flaminio! My heart sa nk. Then I tried my next option. Bus go to Spagna? At the Italian man's bidding, very soon we all got off the bus. To our surprise, the man got off too. I remember thinking it was kind of odd that he got off with us. I also noticed Marla had a big frown on her face, but I didn't have time to figure it out. Instead I looked around for street names. Not one street sign was on my map.

Pardon my Italian, but this sucks! The Italian guy pointed down the street. He seemed to indicate he was going to lead us there. So the three of us followed our Italian amico in silent prayer for four blocks. My gut was knotted with anxiety the entire time. The Gallery was still nowhere in sight, we had eight minutes left, this guy didn't speak a word of English and we still had no clue where we were.

Where we were going? Marla looked very unhappy. I didn't blame her a bit. So was I. Just about the time I wondered for the twentieth time if this guy knew what he was doing, Marla entered the Twilight Zone , her favorite TV show. Marla suddenly got a very worried look on her face. She pulled me over and whispered, "Rick, I saw that man put his hand in his pocket.

I saw a gun in there! He has a small gun! And we have no idea where he is leading us! The theme to the Twilight Zone started to play in my brain like a broken record.

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A gun? Were we in danger? Was he setting us up? For the record, I was skeptical. I seriously doubted t he man had a gun in his pocket. I wasn't sure if this man knew where he was going, but I had not gotten even the slightest bad vibe from him. His appearance was not exactly the Desperado type. He was a skinny guy, clean cut, maybe 5' 10 " and pounds. He wore office clothing and looked like a bookkeeper.

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He didn't have a muscle on his body and he wasn't tough looking at all. In fact, he was much closer in appearance to Mr. Rogers than the Godfather. But I also saw no reason to override Marla's fears. I could see she was serious. If Marla was right, we could be in a lot of trouble. Better safe than sorry. Fortunately at that exact moment Marla and I noticed a very expensive hotel just around the corner. So I told the perplexed man grazie , then suddenly changed directions and hustled my family over to the safety of the hotel. Our companion had a very confused look on his face, but he made no attempt to follow us.

Miraculously, our decision to part ways had a silver lining. There were taxis! We were about to get a taxi when a man walking his dog heard us speak the word ' Borghese '. In perfect English he said we didn't need a taxi. The entrance to the Borghese Gallery was only one block away! He pointed in the same direction the man had been taking us.

All three of us stared at the man with incredulity. You have got to be kidding! In a flash we had just gone from 'off the map lost in the middle of nowhere ' to ' robbed and murdered ' to ' here we are '. How weird is that? As relief came flooding in, I could still hear the Twilight Zone music playing in the background, theme song for the Adventures of Rick and Marla and Sam.

Following the dog walker's suggestion, we soon found the entrance to a huge tree-filled park. As we took a leisurely stroll through the grounds, two policemen on horseback came by. I said 'Borghese Gallery? We now had five minutes to enjoy our triumphant stroll through the gardens before our visit to the magnificent Borghese Gallery. In retrospect, I believe our mystery man was leading us straight to one of the entrances.

After all, the hotel we found was right across the street from the grounds. We owe him a favor for getting us there. But in Marla's defense, he may have indeed had a gun, perhaps for his own protection. Who knows?

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  4. All I know for sure is that we got very lucky. Italy won the World Cup in soccer. As you can see, they start 'em young. Just to put some closure on this ' Lost in Rome ' story, while I was at the museum I studied the map on the right. The map of the Borghese grounds helped me understand what had gone wrong with the bus trip. As you can see from the picture below, our bus did not take a direct route to the Borghese Gallery.

    When the bus made its left turn, it took us off the hotel map to the north. This explains why the hotel map did not show the streets of our bus route.

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    Flaminio was at the western entrance. Spagna was at the southern entrance. The Gallery itself was at the eastern entrance. The northerly route of the bus explained why everyone said no Flaminio and no Spagna. They were right. Our bus route went nowhere near those spots I think we were about a mile north of Flaminio.

    Looking at the Borghese map, I could see we had entered the grounds from the northern side. The bus had indeed passed within several blocks of the Borghese Gallery, but from the northern side that was not included in my limited hotel map. So our man with the gun was right too. It may have been the wrong bus, but fortunately the bus at least passed within walking distance of the Borghese Gallery.

    What a crazy morning! But, as Shakespeare would say, 'All's well that ends well. Such beauty. Plus they had air-conditioning and took credit cards! My kind of place. We were about to get an audio guide when the lady suggested that using a human guide was far superior.

    So we took her advice. Good move. She made all the magnificent sculptures and artwork come alive for us. Although I am hardly an art expert, in my opinion, the star of the gallery was Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Our friendly guide showed us several different sculptures done by Bernini that were unbelievably lifelike. The most famous was Apollo and Daphne. Another one was David right before he throws the stone at Goliath. The third was Pluto and Persephone. Th ese three were pretty amazing sculptures. As I study the pictures below, I can promise you they don't do justice to the incredible detail involved in these larger-than-life projects.

    It was very obvious we were in the presence of genius. Of course I felt very overwhelmed as we toured the museum. Bernini was the star, but there were so many other works of art throughout the gallery that we re famous in their own right. My head was spinning at all the deeper symbolism our guide explained to us in marvelous detail.

    I quite honestly had no idea there was so much secret code and hidden meaning in art! It was probably the most culture I have ever been exposed to in my life other than my recent case of athlete's foot support bacteria; they're the only culture some people have. All kidding aside, this was my favorite visit of the trip. I am grateful to Marla for scheduling our time here. The Spanish Steps. The remainder of the day was pure joy as we followed the map and wandered through the streets of Rome on foot. A s we were leaving the Borghese Gallery at 1 pm, Marla said she was happy now.

    As far as she was concerned we could do whatever we wanted for the rest of the day. Now that I had successfully become oriented with layout of Rome, the hotel map and I were no longer enemies. Looking at the map, I could see the famous Spanish Steps were just beyond the southern border of the Borghese estate. We also noticed the Colosseum was at the bottom of our map. We had been told you could get practically anywhere in Rome by walking, so we decided to see if this was true. Using the trek to the Spanish Steps as an experiment, we made walking the entire city our goal for the day.

    Since we were poor, walking made a lot of sense. It didn't hurt that the first part of our journey took us through the beautiful gardens of the Borghese estate! It turned out this advice about walking was correct. As the day unfolded, we were definitely able to confirm that most of the famous locations we re within walking distance of each other assuming you have all day to walk, that is.

    Although I am getting a bit ahead my story, later that day at the Colosseum we had a guide who pointed out that Michelangelo had stolen many rocks from the Colosseum to help build the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City just two miles away. I was a little skeptical at his 'two miles away ' part of the statement, but his point reinforced my notion that the most important parts of the ancient city were definitely within walking distance.

    I also smiled when the Colosseum guide referred to the Borghese Gallery as a remote country villa located 'far away in the distant regions of Rome'. Out in the country? W e had been able to walk from the Borghese 'country estate' over here to the Colosseum in less than five hours! The thought of the remote Roman 'countryside' being all of two miles away was amusing for a boy raised in the vast State of Texas.

    If you want a better definition for the word ' remote ', try walking from Katy to Downtown Houston in five hours. Good luck. After a brisk minute walk southward through the lovely Borghese gardens , ta da, we were suddenly treated to the beautiful view of the famous Spanish Steps , a favorite tourist stop here in Rome.

    The Spanish Steps are indeed wide and very steep.

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    They are so beautiful that t hey have served as a backdrop for many movies shot in Rome. This famous church is well known for its scenic dominance above the Spanish Steps that descend into the Piazza di Spagna. The Church of the Holy Trinity was important to my daughter. Although we are not Catholic, I have to admit that 13 years of this marvelous Catholic education has definitely had its impact on her. Sam definitely wanted to go have a look due to a special link between this church and Sam's school.

    The Religious of the Sacred Heart run schools all over the world. Besides the dozens of schools all over the US, there are Sacred Heart schools on every continent. In , a young girl studying at the convent in Rome painted a fresco of the Virgin Mary. When the painting was completed, the Mother Superior of the convent threw a curtain over it. She was convinced it was too ugly to be on display constantly. However, two years later, Pope Pius IX took a trip to the Trinita dei Monti and asked to see the painting behind the curtain. Begrudgingly, the Mother Superior uncovered the painting to discover that it had become a beautiful painting of the Mother of Jesus.

    The paint had faded over time to depict Mary perfectly. That day, the Pope named the painting Mater Admirabilis - Mother most admirable. The painting is extremely special to Sacred Heart Schools, and to this day a recreation of it sits in the foyer at Duchesne as well as other Sacred Heart schools.

    After the Spanish Steps , it was time for some ice cream. We were about to encounter the single defining moment of the trip. Let me paint the picture. It was hot. It was crowded hundreds of people were milling about in the general area of the Spanish Steps. It was afternoon. It was time for food. I suggested pizza or gelato. Marla said whichever we found first worked for her. We soon came across a small sidewalk shop that sold soft drinks, water, and gelato. The name was Caffetteria Antica Roma. Thinking back to how fast our gelato Italian ice cream had disappeared the day before, I decided to move up to an ice cream cone a little bit larger.

    Yesterday's scoops had cost 6 Euros. I picked the cone in the red rectangle see picture. I figured I could afford a little more, but I didn't go overboard. As you can see in the picture, there were only two smaller sizes. The young man not only gave us each three scoops of ice cream, he put some colored decorations and little Italian flags on top for good measure. How pretty! That was definitely the fanciest ice cream cone I had ever seen. As Marla and Sam hungrily devoured their gelatos, I walked over to another part of the store to pay.

    I stood in line behind four customers. Some old guy was slowly but surely collecting the money. I had not been given a bill or a price. I had no idea what the cones cost , but since this cone wasn't much bigger than the one from the previous day, I wasn't worried. This was a pretty loose operation. There were no doors and it was very crowded. The three of us could have walked away and no one would have known a thing. It occurred to me that if I wanted to pay for one cone instead of three no one would have ever known the difference. After all, I didn't have a receipt.

    I experienced a moment of weakness. Considering how poor I was feeling, maybe I could fool him. But after a brief contest between good and evil, my conscience won. I thought how Kahlil Gibran had once said it is much easier to be a moral person when you have money in your pocket. Now it's my turn. The old guy looks at me and asks how many. Without even looking up he says " 36 Euros ". I practically died from shock! Are you out of you mind! Suddenly the Twilight Zone music started playing in my brain again. I was in shock. As I clung to my money, I did some rapid calculations.

    How could 6 Euros of Gelato yesterday suddenly multiply to 36 Euros today? I had surely not increased the size of my ice cream by a factor of 6. There must be a mistake. My entire dinner last night for 3 people complete with wine had come to 42 Euros. Why does this guy charg e so much for ice cream? He stared at me and I stared back at him in silence.

    It was so quiet he might have been able to hear the Twilight Zone music playing in my brain. Did I remember to set my ears on mute? I tried to protest only to realize he didn't speak English! He only could speak in Euros. How do you argue with someone in another language? Just then two cops walked by outside. One word from this guy and I am sure the polizia strolling down the piazza would have flattened me like a pizza. So I begrudgingly handed over my precious Euros and shed huge secret crocodile tears inside.

    How would I ever be able to enjoy my ice cream cone knowing my deep-seated Puritan sense of thrift had just been ripped into ugly bloody shreds? Marla wasn't very sympathetic which didn't help much. First she insinuated how stupid I was for not asking the price ahead of time. Then she pointed out the cost was listed. As the new clouds of depression set in, I dully scanned the price list. There were prices for over a dozen different sizes of cones.

    And yes, one of them said 12 Euros. But as I stared at the different sizes of cones on the shelf above, how was I supposed to know which cone size correlated with which price? I thought that was a pretty good argument on my part. Why hadn't they put a picture next to the price? Marla pointed out I had selected the largest cone size in the display. But her argument didn't make any sense. There were several sizes larger on the menu as well as smaller sizes.

    I even saw cones listed that cost 25 Euros! Then it dawned on me that maybe the confusion was deliberate. It worked. As I realized what a fool I had been, what should have been a happy moment instead turned to Dark Depression. I had honestly not felt this poor since I was a struggling grad student waiting in the food stamp line forty years ago.

    In an idle moment I wondered how the Monster Mash would be received on the streets of Rom e. Should I dance and entertain in a desperate attempt to raise cash? My wife enters the Gelateria with the kids, and i chose to stay outside to take pictures and keep watch on our youngest one, still in the stroller. Now, being an Italian myself, I should have seen it coming, but not at this level. She told me that she was charged and in a moment of brain stress induced brain blackout, she paid 90 euros for the ice creams.

    And yes, I still have the receipt and a picture of the ice creams Rick's Note: I wish I had done this myself! There are no words to describe how stupid and cheated I felt. I should have gone back in, called the police, and created a huge fuss, but I did not, my bad, my loss.

    Truth to be told, Rome is gorgeous. Just treat the downtown area like "enemy territory" when it comes to eating and drinking. See original Writeup. I was so amused, I took the time to my add my own story as well. Sep 05, If you are at the Spanish Steps, and feel like an ice cream. Under NO circumstances should you go to this place. We paid 9. That is, we paid 30E for 3 small gelatis. It's the most expensive ice cream i've ever had. My mum stood there arguing with them for 10 minutes but no one in the shop would even talk to us and all pretended to not know what they should actually cost.

    Meanwhile the gelati was melting and wasnt even that good. We had much better elsewhere in Rome and much much cheaper too Mar 21, You are totally right, we paid 7. The cashier tall woman with dark brown hair said we had eaten 7. We argued with her, because there was a sign "2. I think she has different measurements for tourists and romans. We had similar experiences with other places in Rome and we will never go back to this country.

    After that we were in Barcelona. This town was cleaner and the people were nicer and were correct in money matters etc. We were in Italy in and they cheated us back then also. Don't go under no circumstances to this place. Sorry, but historic places AND people count! Try to find a Asteria to eat they usually are family owned and may not cheat you as easy.

    Mar 31, This place is evil. My boyfriend ordered a gelato in the smallest, plainest looking cone and when he went to pay they charged him 7. I was sure there was a mistake because I had just been to the place about 3 weeks before with a friend and I am sure we did not pay over 3. There were also people with giant cones, elaborately decorated with wafers and stacked with scoops After he paid, I asked the lady at the cash register if it was 7. I went back to the man who served us the gelato and asked him the same question and he pretended he did not speak English even though he did less than a minute ago when he served us.

    At first I was confused so I repeated myself and asked him again and he started speaking Italian really fast which my friend and I could understand and he said arrogantly "Speak Italian, I don't know English, speak Italian!!! Italian only! The man pretended to not understand her Italian and started yelling at her in Italian and then he waved his hands at us in a shooing and degrading motion telling us to leave.

    This whole time we were being polite, but I got upset at this and told him I had been here before and I didnt pay 7. He started to mimic me mockingly, making faces and continued waving us away. I don't think it would be so bad paying 7.

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    Posted on: Apr 02, haha! It's a total scam. I had the distinction of being ripped off by one of Rome's most famous tourists traps. Lucky me. Trevi Fountain. It took a while, but eventually I was able to carry on with my life. I ambled listlessly southward along the Via del Propaganda.

    Eventually my spirits returned. I noticed we were just a few blocks from the Trevi Fountain. A couple minutes later, there it was in its entire splendor. The Trevi was the biggest fountain I had ever seen in my life. I could not imagine the skill and the work that when into creating something this beautiful. I received further proof when suddenly I was hit by a hail of coins from people trying to shut me up. Instead, like a thirsty man hungry for water, I fell to the ground and groveled for the coins. Maybe one of them would be a Euro, a coin infinitely more valuable than gold itself!

    No such luck. Just a bunch of worthless pennies. Still broke. Obviously its tough to sing for money when you have no talent. I chucked the whole lot of them in the fountain. Maybe my luck would change. As a side note, I later discovered my new best friend Bernini had first designed the magnificent sculptures at the Trevi Fountain.

    Wonderful place. Victor Emmanuel and Pantheon. As we continued to stroll southward towards the Colosseum, out of nowhere appeared the marvelous Victor Emmanuel Monument see picture on the right. This was quite an impressive structure. However, I had no idea who this man was. I was immediately curious to find out what Victor Emmanuel was famous for, so I read up on him as Sam, Marla and I strolled over to the nearby Pantheon. It seems that after the Goths got through finishing off the Roman Empire around AD , during the Middle Ages the Italian Peninsula had divided into several merchant states.

    Apparently back in the s, a century when all the European powers were constantly at war with one another, these various individual states were under the control of different foreign powers. In other words, Italy as we know it today did not even remotely exist. These various states were too small to wield any real power on their own , so they existed under the control of their two powerful neighbors Austria and France and to some extent Spain.

    Furthermore these various states had no interest in merging with one another. In fact, they were usually fighting each other during this era. Things stayed this way for hundreds of years. United we stand, divided we fall. Two men changed all that. Victor Emmanuel with plenty of help from a brilliant general named Giuseppe Garibaldi began to reunify Italy by merging one piece of the puzzle at a time.

    Garibaldi started things off around by uniting the southern part of Italy. This area was much too remote for the European powers to show much interest. Their claims were in the central and northern parts of the Italian peninsula. France and Austria were determined to keep these territories in their place, but Southern Italy was just barely beyond their reach. So Garibaldi was able to gain at least a measure of strength without being squashed by France or Austria. Garibaldi and Emmanuelle joined force s in the s the same time as the American Civil War. Using S outhern Italy as their initial base of operations, the se two men began the reunification process.

    Emmanuelle was very cleve r in his method. Normally you think a revolution is the way to gain independence. Not Italy. What Emmanuel did was offer to fight alongside one superpower against another superpower in the wars that plagued Europe in the s. Emmanuel was the politician who was always busy making treaties with the major powers. Garibaldi would then fight whatever messy battle Emmanuelle had gotten him into. Emmanuel played one major power against another. He was constantly changing sides. By periodically aligning with the major players, Emmanuel positioned his small kingdom to pick up little pieces of territory here and there.

    For example, France and Austria would fight a war with Southern Italy playing a small role. It didn't matter who won or lost. Even if it was their ally who lost, after the war Emmanuel and Garibaldi would pick off one of the loser's Italian territories and add it to their collection. They gambled the bigger nation was too preoccupied with post-war headaches to come down and reclaim their prize. Pretty soon there would be another war, maybe this time France and Germany or Austria and Russia or Prussia and Hungary. Again when the bigger nation was preoccupied, Emmanuel and Garibaldi would pick off another territory.

    One by one , the merging territories were gr owing bigger. Soon they had an army sizable enough to play with the big boys. At this point, they began to acquire their new territory directly. They would pick a fight with France or Austria over the Republic of Siena. Austria would send down some troops. Using his home field advantage, Garibaldi would win the battle.

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    Now Siena belonged to them. Emmanuel and Garibaldi had picked up another piece of the puzzle and grown stronger in the process. Italy was becoming as powerful as its neighbors. In all it took about 20 years, but eventually a new nation was formed out of all the original dozen city-states.