To visit Republic of San Marino while I am living in Florence was always a plan. How can I not check the third smallest country in Europe, as well claimed to be the oldest republic in the whole world, when I am so near? And there appeared a moment when this plan became true.
Reaching San Marino
My definite suggestion about reaching San Marino is doing that by car: it is really easier, more comfortable and probably – even cheaper. If you choose intercity transportations, let’s say, from Florence, steps should be like that: go to Bologna, change train/bus to Rimini and finally from Rimini, which is only around 20 something km from your final destination, take a special bus to San Marino. Have in mind, that in country of San Marino there are no airports and railways. By the way, speaking about trains, their lines from San Marino to Rimini were built before World Word II. As tunnels still exist today, but there are no actions about reopening this way of transportation.
So, we did this trip by car. Instead of taking a highway Florence-Bologna-Rimini, what is more comfortable, but makes a big round, we’ve chosen to choose mountainous road and go to the East. Grey pavement of a highway is definitely not that beautiful as mountains, hills, forests and lovely nature panoramas, but in this case should be chosen as a better option. On our way almost in the middle we touched San Piero in Bagno and passed all other small towns, it was lovely, but in total such winding trip of 150 km lasted more that 4 hours. It is long and can be tiring enough for the driver. So, have in mind that.
Once in San Marino…
As we didn’t have time to visit more towns, our destination was the City of San Marino. Despite the fact that it is capital, this city is the third biggest in all the country after Dogana and Borgo Maggiore. As well, historic centre of San Marino city together with mountain of the Apennines and the highest country’s peak Monte Titano is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
So, we parked our car outside San Marino city walls and got inside. Narrow streets, mainly going up, buildings covering you from all sides and numbers of various shops, especially those of souvenirs. On top you can find an open square where beautiful panoramic view can be seen. As well, there is a place where you can grab a cable car and get down to the second biggest city Borgo Maggiore.
When you’ll be going up to this place, on your way don’t forget to pay attention to the open-air sculptures park! Unique ones, I should say.
Once you are there in this micro-nation, go to the Tourist Information center and get your passport stamped. And this is nothing else but an official ink stamp and a visa tax stamp. Such beauty costs 5 Eur. If you are thrilled about these kinds of things – don’t forget to take a passport with yourself!
I think that for a short staying – micro-state of San Marino is really perfect place. Don’t miss it if you are somewhere around. We had a walk there, felt the atmosphere, admired the views, got just perfect pizza and put one more visited country in our pockets. The fact by itself, that we step into the third smallest in Europe and 5th smallest in the whole world state, is really wonderful.
Main facts about Republic of San Marino:
- Currency – Euro
- Official language – Italian
- Area – 61 sq km
- Population – 31.735