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San Marino

The 5th smallest nation in the world, just behind the Vatican, Monaco, and the island nations of Nauru and Tuvalu.  Covering just 24 sq miles with a population of 36,000; it is notably situated totally inside Italy. Though this certainly can be argued, it is said that San Marino is also the oldest continually surviving nation in Europe having been established in 301 AD. 

The Republic originates when Saint Marinus and his Christian followers fled persecution to the slopes of Mount Titano the early 4th century. The Republic survived encroachments by other bishops and lords due to its defendable geography.  It even remained independent under Napoleon and the Vienna Convention. When Italy became a nation state in 1862, San Marino still stood independent. 

The country has no mineral wealth and imports all electricity from Italy.  It has small manufacturing concerns, agriculture and tourism to rely on. Regardless, it has a GDP per capita nearly 30% higher than surrounding Italy.

First tower - Copy.jpg


An incredible fortress on the top of Mount Titano

Incredible Views

From all sides of the old city, looking down on the rest of San Marino

view from Piazza Girolamo Genga.jpg

Getting to and around San Marino

It is quite easy to get to San Marino from a base in Rimini. There are 8 buses per day by Bonelli Bus that leave from the Hotel Napoleon, and also from Arco d'Augusto or V.Della Fiera, 5. and the cost is only 6 euro each way.  For ease, you can pay the driver directly. 

If you are driving into San Marino, there is limited parking on the hill, so you may want to consider leaving your car farther away and taking a bus the final miles.  Or another great option would be to park near the bottom of the cable car, (Funivia San Marino). Take the cable car up for just 6 euro round trip. There are free parking lots that are just 5-7 minute walks from the cable car. 

Guaita 1st Tower

 Fortress on Mount Titano with panoramic city views.  The first watchtower was put here in the 13th century. By, the 14th century, the area was known to have 3 towers. In the 16th century, a bell tower and clock were added, then the tower was turned into a prison.  Restored in the 20th century, it was now an amazing place to visit and explore. 

Guaita San Marino
Guaita San Marino
Guaita San Marino
Guaita San Marino

Basilica del Santo

Neo Classical, 19th century church featuring relics of San Marino, the patron saint of the Republic. Built on the remains of the 4th century church, also dedicated to San Marino.

Basilica del Santo Marino
Basilica del Santo Marino interior

Falesia Second Tower and Montale Third Tower

The second tower features a small weapons museum but was closed during my visit in March of 2023.  The third tower is not open to visitors as the entrance is a door that is 6 meters off the ground, but visiting gives you sweeping views of the country below. 

second tower Guaita San marino
third tower Guaita San marino

Palazzo Publico and Piazza della Liberta

19th century building that is the seat of San Marino government situated in front of the plaza that features the Statue of Liberty.  Behind the building and plaza, there are battlements still standing. 

Piazza della Liberta San Marino
Piazza della Liberta
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