Monday, October 31, 2011

San Marino City, San Marino

The independent country of San Marino, located inside of Italy, is a 210 km (~130 mile) drive from Florence.

It's capital city is also called San Marino and it's a beautiful town with winding, hilly, cobblestone streets. The historic center was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.

The Basilica di San Marino is the town's main church and is located in the northeast part of the city. The Catholic church was built in 1836. It's next to the Church of St. Peter which was originally built in 600 AD.

The neo-Gothic Palazzo Pubblico is San Marino's town hall.

In front of the town hall is the Statue of Liberty. It was dedicated in 1876. Lady Liberty's crown features the three towers of Monte Titano.

Guaita was the first fortress built. It was carved out of the mountain in the 11th century. It was an important guard tower and for a brief time it served as a prison. This is the most impressive tower. However, from the second tower you get the best views of the first and third towers.

The second tower, Cesta, was built in the 13th century due to the Crusades. It is located on the highest of Mt. Titano's summits. Cesta houses a museum of antique weapons.

The third tower, Montale, is the smallest of the three towers and sits on the lowest peak. It was built in the 14th century. The first two towers are open to the public but the third tower is closed.

The three towers are worth exploring and offer great panoramic views. Unfortunately, it was kind of cloudy today but not enough to put a damper on the sightseeing.

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