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The urban heart of the city was protected by three towers: the first, Guaita, constructed in the 11th century, was famous for being impenetrable, which to a great extent discouraged attacks on the city.
Due to the Crusades, it was felt necessary to construct a second tower, Cesta (13th century).
Due to its being the capital and previously the only city in San Marino, the history of this city is almost the same as the History of San Marino.
San Marino is also notable in that cars are prohibited in much of the town center.
Before the Second World War, a railway was built from San Marino to Rimini under the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini.
Its tunnels, and the railway station 'Piazzale Lo Stradone', still exist.
Proposals for the reopening of this railway have been presented to the government on several occasions, but thus far without action. The city had the Olympic Flame pass through San Marino during the run-up to the 2006 Winter Olympics.
The city is visited by more than three million people per year, and has developed progressively as a tourist centre. There are also more than a thousand retail outlets, where one can find a great variety of products.