The Most Serene Republic of San Marino is
a full-fledged country - a land-locked
micro-state in Italy, surrounded by the Italian Region of
on its south and by the Region of
on its north.
History of San Marino
It's mere existence as a country completely
surrounded by another country upon which it is
dependent in many ways, and in a world
where size matters, suggests a
more-than-interesting history. Indeed, San
Marino's history, with its origins in the
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
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.
For a comprehensive list of
monuments, churches, events
visit San Marino's
official tourist website.
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.
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.