"San Marino - World's oldest republic" Top 5 Page for this destination San Marino by Willettsworld

San Marino Travel Guide: 417 reviews and 1,345 photos

San Marino at just 61 kmē is one of the so called microstates of Europe - the others being Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Vatican City - the smallest of them all. San Marino is an enclave in Italy, on the border between the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Marche. Its topography is dominated by the Apennines mountain range, and it has a rugged terrain. The highest point in the country, Monte Titano, is situated at 755 m above sea level. Being completely surrounded by Italy, there is no significant difference between the population of San Marino and Italy and many Italians live in San Marino. The state has a population of less than 29,000 including 5,000 Sammarineses living in foreign countries and 1,000 foreigners living in San Marino. San Marino is divided into nine municipalities, known locally as castelli, that are also towns.

The main town of San Marino is the capital town of the state which is also called San Marino and lies perched on top of Mount Titano. Your first impression of it is that its a very clean and orderly town full of tourists that want to say that they've visited. With this in mind, the locals have opened many touristy souvenir shops to capture this day-trip trade. These do spoil the character of the place but don't let them put you off as San Marino offers visitors beautiful cliff top castles and narrow winding streets.


San Marino, the world's third-smallest state, also claims to be the world's oldest republic. According to tradition, San Marino was founded in AD 301 when a Christian stonemason named Marinus the Dalmatian fled from the Dalmatian island of Arbe to escape the anti-Christian Roman Emperor Diocletian. Marinus hid on the peak of Mount Titano (the highest of San Marino's seven hills) and founded a small community following Christian beliefs. The owner of the land, a sympathetic lady of Rimini bequeathed it to the little Christian community. It is certain that the area had been inhabited since prehistoric times, although evidence of existence on Mount Titano dates back only to the middle ages. In memory of the stonecutter, the land was renamed "Land of San Marino," and was finally changed to its present-day name, "Republic of San Marino." Its written constitution was adopted on October 8, 1600.

  • Last visit to San Marino: May 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (18)

Comments (7)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Hello, Glyn! What a great trip you had! Thanks for the description! I'd like to see it all with my own eyes some day...

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2009 at 10:00 AM

    NIce tips on one of the world's "dots" ;-]

  • CliffClaven's Profile Photo
    Sep 17, 2008 at 8:11 AM

    The passport stamp now costs five euros!

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2007 at 6:18 AM

    San Marino is an interesting small state in europe, thanks for sharing :)

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Dec 4, 2007 at 11:27 AM

    I've never thought of visiting San Marino, but after browsing through your page I know I want to go there!

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2006 at 3:55 PM

    Great page, San Marino looks like a nice place. The towers look very interesting and beautiful, but I'll pass on the torture museum...

  • huwhit's Profile Photo
    Aug 21, 2005 at 6:14 AM

    How amazing is San Marino!! I was astounded to find this little gem - lucky enough to be there during a medieval festival! Glad you enjoyed it as well!


“"Don't listen to what they say. Go see." ~ Chinese proverb”

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