The Republic of San Marino is about an hour’s drive from the Adriatic Coast and it lies in Central Italy. With an area of about 40 miles, San Marino is the third smallest country in Europe after Monaco and Vatican City. Mount Titano rises dramatically from the republic’s farmlands and rolling hills. In the 3rd century, Saint Marinus the country’s founder sought refuge from religious persecution here. Over the years, they built three towers to ward off those who challenged its freedom and independence. These towers today watch over a country overflowing with beauty, culture, and history.
The capital of this republic is also called San Marino. It lies just beyond the tower’s cliff top. Whether you ride the cable car or you take the winding drive, once you get to the top you will find yourself in another state of mind and another time. This city’s historic center is a world heritage center, and it is easy to see why as you wander its narrow streets.
San Marino is the oldest constitutional republic in the world. Liberty Square is this republic’s heart and soul. The Palazzo Publico is San Marino’s town hall and its own Statue of Liberty. The changing of the guard takes place here every hour in summer, so make sure you time your visit to catch a glimpse. Look for the bust of Abraham Lincoln once you are inside. During the dark days of the American civil war, he saw the values of San Marino as a beacon of hope.
At the Council Hall, the painting of Saint Marinus watches over those guiding the republic into tomorrow. You will see a tribute to this republic’s founder wherever you turn. In San Marino Basilica, you will find the bones of this stonecutter resting beneath the altar. Just like Saint Marinus, many people have sought refuge here, including Garibaldo, the Italian revolutionary hero
San Marino is also a great escape for history and art lovers. Discover many years of firepower in the Museum of Ancient Arms as well as Whimsical exhibits at the Museum of Curiosities. Stand before the artworks of St. Francis Museum before exploring the state museum priceless treasures. San Marino is also a great place for shoppers as it is a tax-free haven. As well as traditional offerings, you will find many luxury brands here.
The true stars of San Marino lie in its towers. One of such is the Guaita Tower which dates back to the 11th century. It is the largest and oldest fortress in this republic. Next to this tower is the bell tower which once warned of an impending attack. Today it unites the citizens of San Marino in times of celebration. Montale is the smallest of the towers and it stands like a lonely sentinel on the farthest peak of Titano.