San Marino (officially the Most Serene Republic of San Marino) is the third smallest state in Europe (after the Holy City and Monaco), and claims to be the world's oldest republic. According to tradition, it was founded by a Christian stonemason named Marinus in 301 A.D. San Marino's foreign policy is aligned with that of Italy, which surrounds it. Social and political trends in the republic also track closely with those of its larger neighbor.
San Marino is made up of a few towns dotted around the mountain sides. The capital of San Marino is itself called 'San Marino' and is situated high up on a mountain top. The capital is surrounded by a wall and three distinct towers overlook the rest of the country.
The towns surrounding the capital are more industrial and generally not as attractive as the main city. San Marino is 20 times bigger than Monaco and half the size of Liechtenstein.
San Marino has no airports. The nearest major airport is at Rimini. There are other airports at Ancona, Bologna and Forlì.
San Marino has no railway stations. The nearest major railway station is at Rimini.
You should have no problems driving into San Marino. Border controls do not exist.
San Marino is highly accessible but can take 3-4 hours from the West.
Mostly all free parking, try not to park right at the bottom of the hill, otherwise it's a long way to the top!
Bus 72 runs from Rimini to San Marino daily at regular intervals. A return ticket costs around € 8. This bus can be found just outside the Rimini train station.
There is a 1.5 km cable railway connecting the city of San Marino to Borgo Maggiore.
Once you're inside the walled city, it's small enough to simply walk around. There are only a few streets on which cars are able to drive (and only if they are small cars).
The people in San Marino are very friendly. They speak a very clear Italian.
You can see two of the three towers (as seen on the flag of San Marino) by purchasing the "Red Card" for €4.50. The "yellow card" (€3) only allows you to see one of the towers. You cannot enter the third tower (since there does not seem to be an entrance!) Simply walk around the city. The narrow streets are full of surprises. The walkways wind up and down the hillside in an interesting way, inviting exploration.
Get your passport stamped at the tourist information centre. This is an excellent souvenir as they stick a postage stamp and then an official ink stamp over the top, €5.
A lot of the souvenir shops sell weapons, from swords to B-B guns.
Like other states which have the Euro as their currency, San Marino has its own patterns on the back of the Euro coins. You can try to obtain these coins by simply going around buying things and collecting the coins that way, but a quicker solution is to buy the set in a souvenir shop. Unfortunately, these sets seem to lack the € 1 and € 2 coins.
Prices for items such as disposable cameras and batteries are cheaper in San Marino than they are in Italy. This is partly because in San Marino you don't have to pay the 20% IVA (sales tax) that you have to pay in Italy.
Obviously Italian dishes, like lasagne, spaghetti alla bolognese, gelato (italian ice-cream), and whatever you eat in Italy.
Supermarkets in San Marino are few and far-between, although the following can help in this area:
Conad. Azzurro Shopping Center, V M Moretti 23, Serravalle SM 03508
Sma Supermercati. Via del Passetto 113, Fiorentino SM
The local beer is very tasty.
Spirits are also very commonly found, especially Limoncello, a lemon liquor.
Try the locally produced wine.
The coffee, like in its Italian neighbour, is superb.
Although San Marino has a few hotels, the seaside resort of Rimini has a lot more and is probably a cheaper option.
San Marino is a safe country with no real threat from terrorists or war. Like in any other place that attracts many tourists, you should watch out for pickpockets.
This is a very healthy place, you shouldn´t be afraid.
San Marino is a very proud country and it should be viewed in this respect. Be respectful when having photos taken with the guards, a smile will do, hand gestures/funny faces are not recieved well.
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This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at View full credits
|Area||61.2 sq km|
|Callingcode||+378 (+0549 From Italy)|
|Electricity||230V/50Hz (European, Italian plug)|
|Population||27,730 (July 2002 est.)|