Republic of San Marino

Countryside of San Marino

Explore the Cities and Towns of Republic of San Marino


The Republic of San Marino is a full-fledged country - a land-locked micro-state in Italy,  surrounded by the the region of Emilia Romagna in northern Italy.  It's a must see when traveling in the area and makes a fantastic stop for lunch when traveling from either north to south or vice versa. It is also a wonderful place for shopping for luxury goods since it is duty free. 
The mere existence San Marino as a country completely surrounded by another country upon which it is dependent in many ways,  suggests San Marino has a more-than-interesting history.  Indeed, San Marino's history, with its origins in the Paleolithic Age, reveals a  remarkable evolution as a geographical and political entity.
Although San Marino has been occupied by outside powers from time to time (Romans, Longobards), its existence as a separate "country" has been generally recognized and protected since its founding in 391 BC.  Kings, emperors and popes, and in later times, modern nation states have, for their own reasons, and in their own interests, recognized the sovereignty of San Marino.  And so it continues to this day.
The area of San Marino, situated in a very rugged part of the Appenines, is only 61 sq kilometers, but within the territory there are nine towns, locally known as castelli, and of course, the city of San Marino itself.  San Marino city, which is the seat of government, sits impressively on and around the country's highest peak, Monte Titano (749 meters).
San Marino is certainly a destination that travelers to Italy should add to their "must see" list.  The mountainous landscape upon which local farmers grow olives and grapes and graze sheep, goats and cattle, or tend to fields of wheat and other grains, is thrilling, and the smaller towns and villages remain largely medieval in nature.
The historical center of the city of San Marino likewise has a relaxed medieval ambiance which invites a leisurely exploration of its streets and alleys.  There is an abundance of interesting architecture and art, the museum is fascinating, the dining is superb and the views from the city walls are stunning.
Car racing buffs will know about the San Marino Grand Prix.  However, the race does not take place in San Marino, which is considered too small to host the event.  Instead, it takes place about 100 kilometers to the northwest along the Via Emilia at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, an Italian town.
The other important industries in San Marino includes banking - not surprisingly given its national status - electronics, ceramics and food production (wine and cheese).  San Marino stamps are also sought after by philatelists around the world.
As you might expect, with over 3 million visitors every year, tourism plays a significant role in the local economy, accounting for over 50% of the GDP.  So, if you can, plan your trip to San Marino for April to June, or September to October, and enjoy the country without having to rub shoulders with masses of tourists.


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