San Marino

Travel Guide
Guaita Tower featuring a castle, tranquil scenes and a sunset

One of the world’s smallest countries lies within eastern Italy’s countryside. Visit the longstanding city-state for natural beauty, culture and food specialties.

San Marino is an independent country and capital city, 12 miles (20 kilometers) from Italy’s Adriatic Sea coastline. Only 24 square miles (61 square kilometers) in area, it is filled with age-old architecture, excellent food and shopping delights. Visit San Marino to experience a separate country from surrounding Italy.

Monte Titano is the site for the town center of San Marino that has existed since A.D. 301. UNESCO recognizes this area for its many preserved towers and other architecture. Walk the path of medieval stone walls connecting the Three Fortresses that protected the settlement during the early days of Italy’s feuding city-states.

Inside the walls is a car-free area of narrow streets and monuments. Browse through myriad shops for unique items including hand-painted ceramics and collectible stamps and coins.

Note many houses of worship. St. Francis Church and Museum, built in 1376, features beautiful frescoes and paintings. Step inside the Basilica of Saint Marinus to view seven altars decorated with paintings and precious stones. St. Peter Oratory holds remains of St. Marinus and St. Leo in beds carved into rock.

The city’s museums reflect its sometimes-violent past. Visit the State Museum in Palazzo Pergami to learn about local history and the Waxworks Museum with 100 historical characters. See scores of pain-inflicting instruments in the Torture Museum. The Museum of Ancient Weapons is in Cesta Tower, or the Second Tower, of the three fortresses. The Curiosity Museum gathers a collection of oddities for amusement and education.

Beyond San Marino’s city walls is countryside with rolling hills and outstanding views. Rent a bicycle or camper, trek on hiking trails or do some rock climbing. Play bingo or go bowling.

Enjoy San Marino’s gastronomy. Farmers provide olives, honey, fresh meat and dairy products. Try brugneto, tessano, biancale and roncale wines. Eat fresh pasta and finish your meal with a Titano cake with moscato wine.

Reach San Marino by flying to Rimini’s Federico Fellini International Airport or traveling by car, train or bus across Italy.

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