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.
An incredible fortress on the top of Mount Titano
From all sides of the old city, looking down on the rest of San Marino
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.
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.
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.
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.