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Overview to San Marino: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

San Marino

As the third smallest nation in Europe, San Marino shouldn’t really detain the traveler for long. After all, it  only takes a matter of minutes to drive from one side of this historical anachronism to the other...

But, as you might expect from a country with the world’s oldest democracy, it’s actually brimming over with churches, monuments and historical sights. Founded in 301 AD by a religious community, San Marino has managed to maintain something of the ancient world about it.

In terms of things to do, touring the churches of the region is a popular pastime for travelers. Of these, the most interesting examples include the Basillica of Saint Marino and the Church of Saint Peter, both in San Marino City.

The three peaks of Monte Titano, also known as the ‘Towers of San Marino,’ are the country's national emblem and appear on its coat of arms and flag. With the oldest tower of Guaita built in the 11th century, they’re well worth a visit, not least for their excellent views.

Completely surrounded by Italy, its almost impossible to tell San Marino’s way of life apart from that of its much larger - and better known - neighbor. The language and cuisine are identical, and the smattering of towns and villages are virtually indistinguishable from their Italian counterparts.

And yet there’s something that makes it quite distinct. At only 60-odd km², San Marino is a self-contained, relaxed and impossibly friendly place. An anachronism it may be, but it’s a decidedly charming one.