Located on the three peaks of Monte Titano in the capital, also called San Marino, they are depicted on both the national flag and the coat of arms. The three towers of San Marino are named, Guaita, Cesta and Montale.
The Guaita is the oldest of the three towers constructed on Monte Titano and the most famous. It was built between the 10th and 11th centuries and served as a prison. The central core of the tower, which is protected by two walls, was a guard and shelter for the first inhabitants of Monte Titano.
The tower has a pentagonal plan and has no foundations as it rests directly on the rock of the mountain. A baroque coat of arms of the Republic, transported from the old Palazzo Pubblico, adorns the entrance door while in the courtyard it houses some pieces of artillery. Numerous restoration and reinforcement interventions modified the structure of the Tower, however without removing its primitive roughness.
The Cesta stands on the highest peak of Monte Titano. It was used as a lookout tower already in Roman times while its presence is mentioned from the 12th century. In the 14th century it was it was equipped with another wall and a series of fortifications that constitute the second defensive wall of the city.
Although the tower has been subject to restorations and modifications several times, it still has the appearance that distinguishes the medieval towers complete with machicolations and crossbowmen.
The 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. It is thought to have been constructed to give protection against the increasing power of the Malatesta who owned the nearby castle of Fiorentino. With the destruction of the Malatesta castle of Fiorentino in 1479, the Montale was abandoned.
Three successive restorations protected the tower over the centuries, the last in 1935 giving the fortress its original form. In the Tower there is a prison, called Fondo della Torre, six meters deep and which can only be accessed from above. Unlike the other two towers, it is not accessible to the public.