Montale - Atlas Obscura

AO Edited


The smaller of the three towers of San Marino is a former prison inaccessible from the ground level. 


The towers perched on the top of the three peaks of Monte Titano are the symbol of the small country of San Marino, but while the first and second are famous tourist attractions, the third is hardly visited.

The third tower, known as Montale, is the smallest and most recent of the three fortifications. It was constructed during the 14th-century after some earlier structures were renovated. In 1320, it was connected to the other two towers by a wall. The fort was initially used as a watchtower during the wars against the Malatesta family that ruled the surrounding area. A bell inside the tower was used to indicate to the population that a threat was imminent.

The tower was also used as a prison with the only entrance being a few feet from the ground, making it impossible to access this area of the interior from ground level. After the destruction of the Malatestian fort of Fiorentino in 1479, the Montale was abandoned. It was subsequently restored in 1743, 1817, and 1935. Currently, the interior of the tower cannot be accessed by the public, but the view that can be enjoyed from the peak is worth the trek to the base of the tower. 

Know Before You Go

The base of the tower is a short rocky scramble from the path. 

The top path between the towers has some vertiginous drops. The lower path is slightly easier. From the Hotel Cesare, cross through the arch and follow the path that rises from the car park on the left. 

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April 8, 2021

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