As the former home of the Imperial Riding School, the Renaissance hotel in Vienna (one of two) captures a… more>>
The 3rd smallest country in the world is San Marino. It is centered in its main city found on the three peaks which make up Mount Titano. On each of these peaks lies a splendid tower which has guarded the world’s oldest republic for over 1700 years.
On a recent trip, one which was our third or fourth time in “The most serene Republic.” We discovered a series of mountainside hiking trails that connect the two open towers with the more remote and closed third tower. Since the third tower is the smallest and closed to visits, most tourists including ourselves very often do not venture along the mountain ridge to see the last tower. The trails to it and beyond it are real gems not to be missed!
What we discovered this time was a beautiful series of hiking trails through the forest that no guide book we can find talks about. The first tower is called ‘Rocca Guaita “and it is easily accessible and overrun by tourists. The second tower is a little further of a walk down and it is called Fratta. This smaller tower draws many because it has an exhaustive Museum of Ancient and Modern Weapons: around 500 objects make up the display which ranges from the Middle Ages into the early 1900s.
Next to the second tower is a gate and a path into the woods. We had never walked it previously and boy were we missing out. Just because the tower is closed, don’t skip this scenic loveliness. It is not crowded at all, the walk is beautiful and the scenery surreal. The slopes of the mountain are wonderful to admire from the sturdy path. The Third Tower is known as Montale dating from the late thirteenth century. While being ‘the smallest in size, to offers history and views: especially for defense it played a strategic role: it is placed in the best location for a lookout. From here one can enjoy a breathtaking 360 degree view from Le Marche into Ravenna. All around are large, old masses of rock with walls and infrastructure that inspires.