Introducing San Marino

San Marino © fdecomite

Completely landlocked by Italy and located in the Apennine Mountains, it's not surprising most people don't know where the Most Serene Republic of San Marino is. The third smallest state in Europe, after the Vatican City and Monaco, San Marino is the world's oldest republic, having been founded in 301 by a Christian stonemason fleeing religious persecution.

San Marino boasts a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm, sunny summers, providing the perfect environment to explore all this magical country has to offer. With three distinct towers overlooking the country from the three peaks of Monte Titano in the capital, San Marino's history and culture is evident in its sights and simply walking around the city's narrow streets will award visitors with some unique discoveries.

The San Marino Historical Centre and Mount Titano was named a UNESCO World heritage Site and is worth a visit, and the city holds other attractions, including the Gothic Palazzo Publico and colorful fortress guards at Piazza della Liberta, the sacred art at the St Francis Musem and compelling stories of the Museum of Emigration, and the Basilica di San Marino. Nearby villages such as Serraville and Valdragone make pleasant day trips as well.

San Marino is a safe country with very little crime, but visitors should, as in any country, be aware of petty theft and pickpockets, and although there are no major health risks associated with travelling to San Marino, travellers should have comprehensive medical insurance. San Marino has no airport of its own, but travellers can fly into Rimini, just six miles (10km) away.

Sample some of the country's Limoncello and wines, or relax with a cup of coffee and a slice of La Torta Di Tre Monti (Cake of the Three Mountains/Towers) and watch the world go by in this beautiful, verdant mountain country.

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