Save the Medici!

We didn’t have a lot of time to plan our trips, so we only wrote down a few things we wanted to do in each city. By our third day, we had already done all the things we wanted to in Florence: We had eaten gelato, pasta and pizza, we had marveled at the Duomo, visited the Uffizi gallery, petted Il Porcelino and seen the view from the Piazzale Michelangelo. For our remaining days, we just wanted to wing it, see what we encountered and decide on the spot what we wanted to do. We decided to save the medici family…

Here’s a little tip: On mondays, almost every museum or gallery in Florence is closed. There were some places we wanted to visit, but none of them were open so we had to find something else to do. And we did. We googled a bit and came across The Medici Conspiracy Quest.

There are traces of the Medici family to be found everywhere in Florence and we had seen a couple of them already. The medici family was a very powerful family of bankers in the 15th and 16th century in Florence and throughout the city, you’ll find bits and pieces of their history. Before traveling, I had read the first installment of Medici trilogy written by Matteo Strukul so I felt like I knew the family a bit.

We found the quest at tripadvisor when looking for things to do in the city and it sounded like fun. We downloaded an app called Questo and we bought the quest on tripadvisor for €12,-, which is cheaper than it is in the app.

Actually, there are a lot of different quests in this app, and since this one was fun, I’ll definitely look into it whenever I’m traveling to a new city, to see if there are any fun quests to do there as well.

The Medici Conspiracy Quest is a quest and a walking tour combined. You’ll get a start location (ours was the Santa Maria Novella which was close to our hotel, so that was already a win) and then you’ll get questions you have to answer before heading towards a new location. It’s like a scavenger hunt. And it really wasn’t difficult (I could have done with a little more of a challenge) but it’s fun and probably also fun to play with children. The quest took us through the city and its highlights, telling us a little bit more about the places we saw.

Even though it was not much of a challgenge, we had fun. I especially liked how the quest asked us to pay close attention to details we hadn’t noticed before, even though we had been in the city for a couple of days. The only thing that was too bad, was that at a certain point, the quest took us to a location for which we actually needed tickets. We were awkward for a bit, hanging around the area, before I finally walked in and told the lady in the parlor that we were on a quest and if we maybe could have a little peek. Luckily for us, there had been a couple doing the quest just before us, so she didn’t really mind. She even helped us find our next clue!

We really did have fun playing the game. Halfway through, we were getting hungry so we decided to rest for a bit at the Hardrock Café where we shared a platter of nachos. Yum! Can you believe this was my first time visiting a Hardrock Café? I always thought they were hipster and overrated, but the nachos were really good, the music was too and I loved the atmosphere. We even bought some souvenirs before trying to save the Medici again.

The quest story is that you’re part of the family and you suspect your brother is in danger, so you have to find out who is planning to hurt him. The quest is rather like a story in which you’ll have to give answers so you’ll continue towards the next clue and part of the story. I don’t know how much of it is based on historic facts, but we did have fun anyway. I’m curious to see what other quests we’ll do with this app in other cities.

After succesfully finishing the quest, we spent the rest of the day relaxing in our hotel pool. Swimming a bit, reading a magazine, enjoying the sun. It was a lovely, calm day in the city and I absolutely loved it. We didn’t see many new highlights but it was a fun and new way to explore the city.

When we had enough of our siësta and our stomachs began to rumble, we set out to have dinner. We ended up at Il cavallin at the Piazza de la Vecchio where I had a yummy tagliatella with salmon in a rosé sauce. Once again, an amazing meal in the city. Boyfriend had a salad which, according to him, was a bit boring.

Halfway through our meal we could hear classical music. We couldn’t see where it came from, but it was a nice touch to the already nice dinner. When we finished, we followed the sound. As it turns out, every monday an orchestra plays beautiful music at the piazza, from inside the Palazzo Vecchio. We sat there for a while, admiring the music and looking at birds. It was a lovely last night in Florence ♥

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