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Claimed to be the 'world's oldest republic', San Marino is the third smallest state in Europe (after the Holy See and Monaco).
The Postcard Republic.
Driving From San Marino.
The Most Serene Republic of San Marino boasts an association with some
of the leading characters in the play of history.
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Napoleon offered gifts and friendship to San Marino, in 1797, and
expressed the wish to extend its territorial boundaries.
There might have been no San Marino today, if the humble people of the
free city had not rejected the grandiose plans of the little Frenchman.
A better man by far was Abraham Lincoln. In a letter to the Captain's
Regent in 1861, he showed his friendship and sympathy for the people of San Marin by
Although your dominion is small, nevertheless your state is one of the
most honoured throughout history. The great Abe had also read about their refusal to do a
deal with Monsieur Bonaparte.
San Marino grew in stature when it offered asylum to Garibaldi, who
fled from Venice after the end of the Roman Revolt of 1849.
And during World War II, the stone-cutter's hills became a safe haven
for over 100,000 refugees.
Camel trains and indigenous people will not be found on the road to San Marino. Most
holidaymakers make the trip up from Rimini to send their postcards.
From the town of Borgomaggiore, a cable-car carries
some of the punters up to the capital, San Marino town.
Those who arrive by coach miss this little delight as they are driven
up to the heart of medieval commercialism.
As in Italian cities, the streets fill with
the smell of pizza and pasta sauces, but the breeze that chases the aroma has a cooling
effect because of San Marino's hilltop position; seven hundred and fifty metres above sea
Apart from buying postcards and tacky souvenirs, the highlight of a
trip to San Marino is a walk through the forest paths to the three tower fortresses that
crown the peaks of Mount Titano.
No cars are allowed in the city itself, but there are plenty of modern
parking areas beyond the thick stone walls.
Much of what is seen in San Marino town is a reconstruction; right
down to the detailed fancy dress.
Outside the palace, reconstructed in 1894, tourists queue up to have
their person recorded alongside a Ruritanian guardsman.
The men in green jackets with brass buttons stand serious while the
rabble in beach wear smile stupidly beside them.
With stunning views across the neighbouring countryside to Rimini and
the Adriatic Sea, it is easy to see how this tiny republic was so defendable.
The modern armies of tourists are welcome of course, and even the
Church has changed with tradition for them.
Where Catholics used to put a few coins in the box and light a candle
for loved ones, the Basilica del Santo has now installed rows of electric candles.
As wave upon wave of tourists ebb and flow, the curator periodically
switches off the candle lights to encourage the deposit of more money into church funds.
After a few hours in the medieval streets, most of the tourists then
switch off their culture craving and return to Italy's number one beach resort.
San Marino doesn't have as hectic an events calendar as Milan or Rome, but the
Feast of the Foundation of the Republic - complete with crossbow challenge - is always
held on the third of September.
Accommodation in San Marino
San Marino Hotels.
Grand Hotel San
Marino: San Marino.
|Viale Antonio Onofri 31.
Grand Hotel San Marino.
|The Grand Hotel San
Marino is a 4-star hotel and rises on the peak of Monte Titano, close to the Rocche and
the old town centre.
The Grand Hotel San Marino has 63 comfortable, cosy rooms, equipped
with all the modern facilities you'd expect in a hotel of quality. Some rooms have
balconies with panoramic views of the Apennines.
If you're looking for somewhere special to stay in San Marino, the Grand Hotel is the
Relax in front of the fireplace during winter, or gaze at the breathtaking view of the
Montefeltro landscape. Located on the third floor of the hotel, with a panoramic view of
the old historic centre of San Marino, you'll also find a Solarium and Jacuzzi.
Ufficio del Turismo
Contrada Omagnano, 20
47890 - Rep. di San Marino.
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Maggiore, Dogana, Murata, San Marino, Valdragone.
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