Have you ever heard about Geocaching?
We hadn’t until a good friend of ours told us about it a few months ago, knowing how much we love to go hiking and discovering new places.
So we found out that Geocaching is a treasure hunt game played all around the world by a huge community of people. The goal is to hide and search for treasures (hidden in containers called caches) knowing only the coordinates. With the help of a GPS, every participant searches for the caches hidden by others, takes the treasure inside and leaves a similar treasure in exchange. Each cache has a logbook which you can sign so others know who else has found the treasure and, if you take a photo of you with the treasure, you can share it with the community.
It might sound easy but there is a lot more than that: to find the coordinate of the treasure you might have to solve clues, and instead of the prize you might find the coordinates to another cache hidden nearby so that it becomes a true “treasure hunt”. In the cache, you can hide a trackable item (such as a geocoin or a travel bug) so that it can be picked up by other players and left in other caches. You can then follow it through the official geocaching website (www.geocaching.com) as it travels the world from cache to cache, before maybe returning to you.
We thought it sounded like fun so we went to geocaching.com, registered and started scrolling the list of caches hidden in Florence. We were impressed by how many treasures are hidden here in Florence and in Tuscany! Since the caches are hidden in places that are particularly interesting for one reason or other, this is a perfect excuse to go around hiking with friends, explore new places and feel a little like Indiana Jones 🙂
For our first cache we chose one hidden in Florence close to home since it was almost dark and we didn’t have much time but wanted to try it out right away. We downloaded the coordinates from the site and went out following the indications on our GPS. It led us to the area in front of the soccer stadium and when we reached the precise point indicated by the GPS, we started searching in possible places. After a short search we found our first cache! This was an easy one and didn’t have any treasure inside but it was special because it was dedicated to the Fiorentina soccer team. We signed the log and put the container back in place after we took a a picture with the cache, of course 🙂
I think we are hooked and can’t wait to go in search of our next geocache in Florence and Tuscany!
About Stefano Romeo
Stefano is a native from Florence but with a quarter of Sienese blood in his DNA and many years living in Pisa is a true Tuscan. He is still learning that his homeland has many corners and hidden gems he has to discover, ones he particularly enjoys seeing from the saddle of his bike.