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San Marino, Bild: dvoevnore / shutterstock

San Marino – State in the middle of Italy

In the middle of Italy, often unnoticed by the news or major European politics, is the tiny state of San Marino. The fifth smallest country in the world covers just 60 square kilometres and is a place full of curiosities and special features that make a trip recommendable on its own. Apart from the small size, however, there are some interesting sights and a unique lifestyle here. And after all, the country is the oldest existing republic in the world – so there is more than just a little touch of history to be felt here as you walk through the narrow streets.

Where is San Marino – find and discover

Image: bilciu / shutterstock

Located in the heart of Italy , San Marino is not really on the map of sights even for many holidaymakers in the region. No wonder, apart from occasional clashes of the national team, you hear very little from the dwarf state, which, by the way, is almost completely located on a hill. If you want to visit San Marino, you can take a flight to Rimini and take the bus from here. Of course, it is also possible to drive in the direction yourself by car and approach the dwarf nation without any problems.

How San Marino was founded is a question of which legend you would like to believe. The town’s namesake is said to have once climbed Monte Titano, the mountain on which the town is built, to escape the persecution of Christians. It is said to have been he who finally founded the city and ensured that San Marino is still a state within a state today. Of course, it has not always been easy for the small country to maintain its own status throughout history. Many countries and empires, especially in embattled Italy in the Middle Ages, wanted to take over San Marino for themselves, but they successfully resisted. And finally, the oldest republic in the world today began here in 1600.

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Today, visitors from nearby Rimini in particular are regularly drawn to San Marino. The small country has 2 million visitors a year and many of them want to discover the special culture and simply walk through the streets and understand why the small state was able to exist for so long. And there are really some good reasons for that.

More than just a country

San Marino, Second Tower
Second Tower, Image: MikeNG / shutterstock

When you talk about just 60 square kilometers, it’s hard to believe that there are really many things to discover. But that’s also what many people from countries like Liechtenstein and Andorra think. It is precisely the dwarf states that bring an unimagined variety for those who set out on the long journey to discover the city – or rather the country. But the sights are of course to be found in the actual capital of the same name. First and foremost, it is the old town with its many sights, which can be found on many photo motifs.

At the top of the sights are the three defensive towers of Monte Titano, which still dominate the “skyline” of San Marino today. They are also the landmark and can be found on most official motifs. In addition, the country’s basilica is a place that attracts the most tourists and, with due respect for the institution, invites you to visit. In general, the entire old town offers a beautiful view of a country that seems to be almost untouched by the developments of the last centuries and has hardly changed. The many small shops and restaurants as well as cafes also help you to feel at home in San Marino very quickly.

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Basilica of San Marino
Basilica of San Marino, Image: Yury Dmitrienko / shutterstock

However, most people only talk about the city of San Marino, although the state itself covers an area that is quite a bit larger. Therefore, there are more opportunities for vacationers and travelers than simple sightseeing. In addition to the gastronomic highlights that can be found everywhere in this region, San Marino is also the hotspot for active holidaymakers in the area of central Italy. Whether mountain biking, climbing or hiking – the entire area offers an interesting selection of possibilities for your own holiday and enjoys the many holidaymakers who use San Marino for their own trip.

The perfect holiday in San Marino – it can be so easy

San Marino Tourism
Small street in San Marino, Image: Zhukov Oleg / shutterstock

There are many ways to discover San Marino and spend your holidays here. If you want to discover the entire city, you can book yourself into one of the few hotels in the country and discover all the possibilities at your leisure. The better option is probably to settle in Rimini and have all the options of the region to yourself. The day trips to San Marino are a great chance to see and discover the city. At the same time, you can take part in one of the sports activities – or you can opt for a day at the beach. All in all, the country is a little treasure in the middle of Italy that is far too little known – especially when you consider how much history and sights are hidden in the narrow streets here.