Guaita Fortress, First Tower San Marino

Castle in San Marino

Torre Guaita, San Marino
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Diego Delso,

The First Tower, also known as “Rocca” or “Guaita,” is one of the oldest fortresses in Italy, dating back to the 11th century. It was built directly on the stone of the mountain without any foundations and has a pentagonal base. The tower has undergone several reinforcements and was rebuilt in the second half of the 15th century. In the 16th century, it was covered with a sloping roof.

The First Tower is known for its solid walls and double wall circle, with the outer wall featuring battlements and decapitated towers at the corners. This fortress served as a refuge for the people during sieges, with the central core functioning as a guardhouse. Some of its rooms were used as a prison until October 1970 for sentences not exceeding 6 months.

On the front door of the First Tower, you can see a baroque stone coat of arms representing the Republic, dating back to the 1600s. The inner wall is bordered by the Bell Tower and the Torre della Penna, which were built in later centuries. The Mastio, the innermost part of the tower, is the oldest and has remained unchanged over time. The upper gate, reachable via a staircase, is defended by a bertesca dating from 1481.

In the tower’s courtyard, you can find some artillery pieces from the last war, including two mortars gifted by Victor Emmanuel II, two cannons (75 mm) used for ceremonial purposes by the Guard of the Rock on holidays, and a gift from Victor Emmanuel III. Upon entering, on the right side, there is the Chapel of St. Barbara, patron saint of artillerymen, which was built in 1960.

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Visiting Guaita Fortress, First Tower San Marino


January 02 to June 06: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

From June 07 to September 5: 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

September 06 to December 31: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


€ 6.00 cumulative ticket with the Second Tower or another monument of your choice. € 8.00 full visit ticket for all monuments.

Address: Salita Alla Rocca, San Marino
Duration: 20 minutes

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