Those who arrive in the old city centre of San Marino usually notice the words “Cava dei Balestrieri” on the stone wall of an ancient quarry. The words mean “The Crossbowmen Quarry” and this is the training ground of the San Marino Crossbowmen's Federation.
In the Middle Ages it was normal for armies to have corps of crossbowmen, these men had to practice their skills regularly and it was natural to have competitions. There are documents in San Marino proving that crossbow competitions were held in the 14th century and later. In the 17th century a crossbowmen competition held every year on the Republic Day was regulated by statute. Later on that tradition was interrupted, but it was revived in 1956 and is currently alive, so the competition takes place every year on September 3rd.
The San Marino Crossbowmen's Federation participates also in tournaments with Italian crossbowmen’s teams, from Gubbio, Lucca, Sansepolcro and Massa Marittima.
Prison Art in Rocca (I&V)
Prisons in the fortresses – it is not local custom of San Marino, it is global custom. But similarly to the Lev Tolstoy’s sentence – "All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way", guess that each prison has its "own way" of being horrible & unhappy place.
The tiny cell of prison in the First Tower of San Marino – Guaita or Rocca is unique for its what may be called – piece of prison art – marvelous wall drawing created by an unknown prisoner. We can only guess how old it is, and hope that it is not modern day tourist trap. But it is very impressive.
The handwriting VT member Orietta recognized as "Ma di tutte le ingiustizie nessuna e piu capitale di quella di coloro, i quali, quando ti ingannano, fanno in modo di sembrare uomini onesti" which could be translated as "Of all injustices, none is more appealing of the injustice of those who, while
deceiving you, appear to be honest", and which is probably the quotation of Cicero. We thank her for effort on helping us.
- Arts and Culture
Giuseppe Garibaldi & Republic of San Marino (I&V)
Giuseppe Garibaldi was the most important figure of il Risorgimento – Italian Revival, and he is considered to be Italian national hero. After the fall of Roman Republic in 1849, Garibaldi found a safe refuge for himself and his troops in San Marino. In memory of this support, wish of San Marino not to be incorporated into the new Italian state was accepted.
In 1882, the very same year of Garibaldi's death, the first monument in the world dedicated to him was erected in San Marino. The Bust of Giuseppe Garibaldi, artwork of Stefano Galletti, the author of Statue of Liberty, can be seen at tiny Piazzetta Giuseppe Garibaldi inside San Marino city walls.
Another tribute to Garibaldi was payed in 2007 – for the 200th anniversary of Garibaldi's birth, San Marino issued 2 Euros commemorative coin with his portrait.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
The Medieval Festival.
Check out the dates for the Medieval festival. You'll forget the present for a weekend and travel back 700 years in time. There will be costume parades, archery competitions, public banquets, dancing, sword fighting, horses, drums. If it's Medieval, it will be there. Everyone dresses up for the occasion, even the chambermaids at the hotel !!
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