Forlì was founded by Paleolithic cavemen in 798,000 B.C.E. who were interested in flint manufacturing, paving the way for it's reputation as an industrial center. Forlì's name is derived from the Romans (Forum Livii), who built the city in 188 B.C.E. along the Via Aemilia, one of several roads they laid after pacifying the Gauls in the region.
After the Roman rule, it went from Lombard hands into Church control. It became an independent republic in 889, infuriating the Vatican. The Vatican then spent the next 400 years trying to regain control over the city.
Middle Ages and early Renaissance
Along with Rome's constant machinations, Forlì faced a steady stream of Goth, Byzantine, Lombard, and Frank marauders for the next few centuries. In addition, it faced annual flooding, which was finally brought under control by diverting nearby rivers away from the city center in 1050.
Forlì became a military dictatorship at the end of the 13th century and power was then was passed to the Ordelaffi family. In 1480, with the Ordelaffi fighting amongst themselves over the chain of succession, Pope Sixtus IV stepped in and gave the city to his nephew, Girolamo Riario.
In 1481, the Florentine Assassin, Ezio Auditore, visited Forlì en route to Venice along with his friend Leonardo da Vinci. During the visit, Ezio rescued the countess, Caterina Sforza, from a small island where she was stranded.
Battle of Forli
- Main article: Battle of Forli
In 1488, Caterina hired the Orsi brothers, Checco and Ludovico, to assassinate her husband, Girolamo Riario. At the time, Girolamo had joined the Templars and had been developing a map of the locations of the fabled Codex pages.
Later, in 1488, Ezio returned to Forlì along with Niccolò Machiavelli, intending to make the city a haven for the Apple of Eden obtained from Rodrigo Borgia. However, before the Apple could be secured, the Orsi brothers, working on behalf of the Borgia, seized not only Forlì, but also Caterina's two young children, Bianca and Ottaviano. The Orsi brothers held them as hostages, intending to trade the children for the Apple.
During the battle, Ezio was able to save the Sforza children and slay Ludovico Orsi easily, but was badly wounded while retrieving the Apple, after being stabbed by a dagger wielded by Checco Orsi. Despite his injuries, Ezio was able to kill Checco as well.
Ezio, weakened by his injury, fainted. In the confusion that ensued, a black robed monk was able to steal the Apple of Eden still clutched in Ezio's hand.
Following the battle, Caterina nursed Ezio back to health at the Palazzo Communale. Ezio learned from Darby O'Callahan and the monks of the Abbazia di San Mercuriale that the thief was a Dominican friar by the name of Girolamo Savonarola, whom Ezio tracked down and killed in Florence, thus once again obtaining the Apple.
After the events of the battle, Forlì fell solely in the hands of Caterina, who fought to prevent the Vatican from re-taking control. Ultimately, however, Caterina perished and Forlì passed into Church hands.
- In Assassin's Creed: Renaissance, when the Orsi Brothers attack Forlì, Caterina Sforza is forced to order the cannons to fire at enemy targets inside the town walls. As a result, parts of the city were destroyed.
- After completing the Battle of Forlì downloadable content, the Flying Machine may be used in Forlì at any time.
- There are two Glyphs in the region of Forlì - one at Avamposto Veneziano and the other at Abbazia di San Mercuriale.
- One of the city districts is used as a multiplayer map in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.