Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Castles of San Marino

It was a quick walk from our hostel back to the train station where we could catch the bus to San Marino. We asks a couple of girls waiting for the bus where to get tickets and they pointed out the “Tobaccheria” (tobacco shop). Tickets are €5 and your u wait on the side of the street that you buy tickets on.
There are many statues.

An archery field.

Streets of San Marino

The ride is very scenic and it doesn’t matter which side of the bus you sit on, as there are steep switchbacks leading up the mountain to San Marino, which is basically a big fortress on a hill, but it is also its own country. Which sounds like a great deal in the world today.

According to Wikipedia "The country derives its name literally from Saint Marinus, a stonemason originating from the Roman colony on the island of Rab, in modern-day Croatia. In AD 257, Marinus, according to legend, participated in the reconstruction of Rimini's city walls after their destruction by Liburnian pirates. Marinus then went on to found an independent monastic community on Monte Titano in AD 301; thus, San Marino lays claim to be the oldest extant sovereign state as well as the oldest constitutional republic."

San Marino has about 33,300 people, and they were one of the first former socialist states to join the European Union. They gained their independence in 1991.

Basically the whole country consists of a mountain and some of the land around it. Beautiful green farmland and trees, and nothing is more idyllic than this place as you look down on the countryside from the top of the old castle, where you can see for miles! I also imagined I could see the line where San Marino's pastures end and Italy, with its busier and blander buildings, begins.

I don’t think there is a bad view in the whole country. The streets are clean, and paved with cobblestones and filled with attractive shops and friendly people. From almost every street in the city, you can see a castle tower or stone fortress wall jutting out.

In fact, there are two castles in town, and a tower. The cost is €4.50 for each castle/museum or pay €6.50 for a duo castle ticket. (The third tower is closed).

The First Tower (Rocca)

Neither of the castles are large, but both command a fantastic view of everything for maybe 50 miles. The first one had a high tower, which you get to climb to the top of. You can walk around and take pictures of the view from every side (and each photo will be postcard perfect).

There is also an old prison area, with a few displays. There is what looks like a small chapel, and a few walkways out to another great view, from which you can see the second castle.

The Second Tower (Cesta)

This castle may be smaller, more of a large tower, but it had a fairly impressive collection of items on display: many swords, glaives, halberds, knives, maces, old pistols, rifles, and huge tower rifles. Also armor, bows, crossbows, maybe a ballista, cannons. Some of the large rifles (mounted) where dated 1420 and 1460, or later.

Looking back at the 1st Tower

If you like medieval weapons, you won’t want to miss this display. You exit at the top for yet another spectacular view.

Part of the 2nd Tower

Looking back at the First Tower


This tower is closed, but you can still walk to it. We only went part way.

The 3rd Tower (closed)


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