Fortress of Guaita, San Marino
Yesterday we introduced you to the gorgeous “toy-town” of San Marino City. We only had half a day to spend in this tiny country, completely landlocked by Italy, so we had to be selective about what we saw. We knew that visiting one of the clifftop castles was an absolute MUST-DO! San Marino has a group of three towers. Located on the three peaks of Monte Titano in the capital city, they are depicted on both the national flag and coat of arms.
The Guaita Tower is the oldest of the three towers, and also the most famous. The lady at the tourism office told us that if we were to only visit one of the towers, then Guita would be a good one. Luckily for us, this was also the one in closest walking distance. It was constructed in the 11th century and served briefly as a prison. It was rebuilt numerous times and reached its current form in the 15th century during the war fought between San Marino and the House of Malatesta.
The most amazing part about this experience was that there were actors dressed traditional clothing, “tending to their daily duties”. There was era-appropriate music playing, and all through the castle there was an air of mystery. I felt like an excited little kid. This is definitely an experience worth heading to San Marino for!
The Second Tower, Cesta, is located on the highest of Monte Titano’s summits. You can see it in the distance, above image. A museum to honor Saint Marinus, created in 1956, is located in this tower and showcases over 1,550 weapons dating from the Medieval Era to the modern day. It was constructed in the 13th century on the remains of an older Roman fort. The third tower, Montale is located on the smallest of Monte Titano’s summits. Unlike the other towers, this one is not open to the public. It was constructed in the 14th century.
Above, I climbed this steep ladder to get to the highest point of the castle. From there I could see for miles! Much to my horror and dismay, when I returned to the ladder to climb down, there was a group of people trying to come up. I waited and waited, but I knew that Justin would be getting anxious. The people just kept coming. We had a deadline, and the time was ticking away. Eventually it became clear that I wasn’t going to be getting out of that tower unless I braved the stairs. The problem was that I was wearing a short skirt and the ladder could only be climbed with butt away from it… ie. flashing the entire crowd of people down below. As I was climbing down, I did everything I could to use my other hand to “cover myself”, but I am 100% sure that I was flashing way more than I wanted to.
When I got to the bottom of the stairs, the room was PACKED and everyone had there heads facing upwards towards the stairs! Urrgggg… Blushing and completely humiliated, I put my head down and quickly ran towards the door!
What a fantastic place to visit!
We highly recommend a stop in San Marino if you are traveling around Europe or Italy.