Stephen Totilo writes:
"Forli is a small city depicted in Assassin's Creed II. It is based on a real place where real battles occured. The not-always-reliable Wikipedia dates a Battle of Forli as having taken place in the 13th century, which would overlap with some of the events referenced in some of the texts and bonus material in Assassin's Creed II. Those alluded-to events precede the new game and bridge it back to the first Assassin's Creed, explaining why the new game is set in Italy.
Could the first DLC take place then? Here's something I found about that 13th-century Battle of Forli via a quick Google search. Note the reference to Dante Alligheri who - keeping spoilers from ACII to a minimum - is referenced in the main game."