Arts and Culture

The old-town centre and its monuments


San Marino is not only the name given to the Republic, but also to its capital town. The old-town centre is located on the top of Mount Titano, 750 m above sea level. The mighty medieval stone walls enclose the original settlement, which is likewise entirely built of stone and closed to traffic. The old-town centre is criss-crossed by narrow streets lined with buildings and monuments. The Three Fortresses at the top of the Mount give San Marino its best-known image and are linked by a path that runs along the entire ridge of the mountain. Inside the second Fortress is the museum of historical weapons. Located in the higher part of town is the Basilica del Santo, where a number of institutional ceremonies are performed and the Church of San Pietro, with the beds of the Saints Marinus and Leo. Near the main entrance gate to the old-town lies the Church of San Francesco with attached art gallery, dating back to the 14th century. Not far away is the Church of the Cappuccini and the State Museum housed in the recently-restored Palazzo Pergami. Piazza della Libertą is the heart of the country’s institutional life. Here stands the Public Palace (1894), where the Great and General Council (the Parliament) sits. The Palace war restored for the 1994 centenary – it reopened in 1996 - by the internationally renowned architect, Gae Aulenti. The public can visit the room where the Parliament sits and admire the large fresco by the Roman artist Retrosi, dating back to the late-19th century. Behind the Public Palace lies the beautiful Cava dei Balestrieri, where traditional events are staged, involving the crossbowmen and flag-wavers of San Marino. In Contrada Omerelli are a series of historical buildings that currently house a number of ministries and the Ancient Monastery of Santa Chiara dating back to the early17th century, which is now the seat of San Marino University. Another outstanding building is located in Piazza Sant’Agata, the Teatro Titano, a charming balconied theatre built around 1750 and totally restored in 1941 by Gino Zani.


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