San Marino – The Oldest European Republic


San MarinoSan Marino is one of the smallest independent countries in the world. Surrounded by Italy, this country is only 12 km wide in its largest part. In the center there lies Titano mountain, 738 m high, in the Eastern valley of the Etruscan Apennines. San Marino is circled by short limestone mountains that barely pass a maximum of 700 m high in the center and mild hills leading to the Italian coastline. All across this tiny state there are several river lines, the most important being  Marano River, Ausa, San Marino, all cast up in the Adriatic Sea.

A rich political and historical tradition has made San Marino an interesting country for many visitors all around the world. This small country is, however, hardly the pit stop of a journey, but if you travel across Italy, or spend your holidays in one of the many resorts located on the Adriatic coastline, it would certainly be a shame to miss out the beauties of this place.

The most visited city in this country is San Marino. To get to this city you must go through the San Francisco gate, a XIV monument. Among the remarkable buildings in this city there are Palazzo del Governo and Basilica del Santo which is also referred to as the heart of the city as it hosts the remains of its builder St. Marinus. Other important places are Piazza della Liberta, Museo di Stato and San Francesco Church. Tens of small souvenir shops surround Piazza della Liberta, in the medieval center the city.   Rocca Fortress lying above the Eastern  side of Mountain Titano is a most beautiful sight in San Marino. Three castles rise above the city in the East: Rooca Guaita, an ex prison until 1970, Rocca della Fratta and Rocca Montale, but the best view of the is by far offered by Rooca Guaita.

The official language is Italian and despite the fact that San Marino is not yet part of the European Union, the official currency is Euro. Other important cities are Serravalle, Borgo Maggiore and Dogana. There are no airports, the closest being in Bologna and Rimini and no railway system, Rimini station being the most accessible.. but there are great roads and a developed public transportation system. A “mountain train” ensures the connection between the old city and the Borgo Maggiore region and makes up for a great trip.

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