If you are thinking about going on a trip to the north of Italy, also plan a visit to San Marino. This is a small state surrounded on all sides by Italian lands. The interweaving of natural landscapes with ancient medieval architecture here delights even the more cynical beings. Sanmarines are madly proud of their passports, so never call the inhabitants of the tiny republic “Italians“. Better yet, just remember once and for all that Italy is Italy, and San Marino is San Marino. Let’s read why you definitely need to go to this miniature island of freedom.
How to get there:
The easiest way to get to San Marino is from the Italian city of Rimini. You can take a regular bus from there which takes about 40 minutes. By the way, the airport in Rimini is also the official air harbor of San Marino. True, it is very small, and only a small number of airlines fly there. Another airport nearby is in Bologna (135 kilometers).
Plan a visit to San Marino: Admire the incredible mountain scenery
San Marino is located about 750 meters above sea level on the slopes of Monte Titano. Therefore, admiring mountain landscapes is the main (and most beautiful) entertainment in the country. When you enter San Marino, you’ll find it hard not to keep saying “look, look what a beauty!”, and that will be the phrase for the entire journey through the republic.
Well, the most romantic option for viewing San Marino from a bird’s eye view is from the funicular. Moreover, it is also a good option if you want to go from the center to other traditional hamlets: Borgo Maggiore or Monte Titano. The cable car is quite short here – only 1,5 kilometers. You can take the funicular approximately every 15 minutes, and the cost of such a trip is quite acceptable – 4,5 euros in both directions.
Go through the museums
Firstly, visit the Gallery of Modern Art (Via Eugippo – San Marino Città). There are more than 750 works by world-famous artists here, but the main focus of the gallery is still on local authors. Experience contemporary San Marino art for only 3 euros.
Secondly, let’s go to the National Museum of San Marino (Piazzetta del Titano, 1). This place contains the most important artifacts from the history of the ancient state. While you walk through the center of San Marino, you will definitely go past this museum. And you can get admire its exposition in just a couple of hours. Among the exhibits are the remains of an ancient basilica, many coins from different historical periods, sculptures, paintings, and a bunch of old gizmos. Interestingly, the museum was opened with donations from individuals. That is why here you can see Egyptian, Roman, and other archaeological finds. The latter were generously donated to the national museum by collectors from different countries.
Without having to spend a fortune, you can also see the exhibits of the Aviation Museum. It is located near the border with Italy – on the way to the historic center of San Marino, you will see it on the side of the road. You can slow down for a while and get out of the car to look at the vintage liners. Of course, such a cult trip is very popular among children, who happily stick around rusted airplanes from all sides.
Plan a visit to San Marino: ‘’Days of the Middle Ages’’
To get a better picture of this miniature state, come here for the ”Days of the Middle Ages”. This event takes place during the celebration of San Marino when it might look like a setting for a medieval performance. It turns into just a picture from a book about knights. Residents dress up in authentic costumes and go out onto the cobbled streets of the center of the capital to jump into the cycle of real medieval entertainment. They dance to the sounds of ancient musical instruments, watch street theaters and acrobats and participate in crossbow shooting competitions. The local market at this time also becomes medieval. Here you can not only buy traditional products from artisans but also take part in masterclasses.
Buy a couple of branded items
San Marino is a duty-free zone and all things here are about 20% cheaper than in Italy. Therefore, do not rush to shop in Italian cities if you still have a trip to San Marino in your plans. The entire city center is littered with small shops, brand boutiques, and souvenir shops. And among the sellers, every second is a native of Eastern Europe, who will be happy to help you out. Don’t worry – no intrusive service, everyone is very friendly and measured.
In the center, we advise you to pay attention to the small boutiques of Italian designers, which are not very well known and popular. It is especially beneficial to snatch some leather clothes or bags. You will immediately notice how many shops with watches and jewelry there are – practically on every corner. A quality piece of jewelry can be bought for a reasonable price. Take a closer look at the sunglasses. For just 20 euros, you can grab some good glasses with the right lenses. And if you don’t regret spending a bit more, you can choose something from the luxury brands.
Feel like a citizen of a tiny state
Yes, yes, it is precisely to feel and dream a little about it, because in fact, it is extremely difficult to obtain citizenship in San Marino. In fact, you need to live here for 30 years in order to obtain the praised citizenship. At the same time, it will be necessary to renounce other citizenships and swear allegiance to the tiny state. And no convictions – the future citizen of San Marino must be law-abiding and clean as glass. Moreover, you can find more information on the official website of San Marino visitsanmarino.com