While living and working in Italy for the summer I decided to take a quick day trip up to San Marino as it was only an hour and a half north. For those who haven’t heard of San Marino its an enclaved micro-state located within Italy, which claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world. It’s on a mountain in Apennines, located on Monte Titano. The country is only 61.2 km2 and has a population size of 32,000. Approaching San Marino from a distance is incredibly easy- you can basically see the whole country on the roads. I didn’t have anything planned when I visited but knew there was a ton of things to do and see.
Here’s what not to miss:
Three Towers of San Marino
Guaita, Cesta, and Montale are a group of towers with the first two are open to the public. They have some of the best views of the city and display an impressive collection of 1,550 weapons dating from the Medieval Era to the modern day. Guaita, the oldest of the three was constructed in the 11th century and served briefly as a prison- this one is not to miss!
This town hall, located in Piazza della Liberta, is where the official State ceremonies take place, and where the main institutional and council sits. It was built in 1894, but sits on the site of an ancient building called the Domus Magna Comunis. There is a changing of the guards carried out every 30 minutes which is my favourite to watch.
Basilica del Santo Marino
Visiting historic churches is one of my favourite ways to experience a culture’s art, religion, and architecture. Basilica del Santo Marino was built in 1836 in place of the previous one which dated to the 4th century so there’s lots of history here.
San Marino Nature Park
Walk a walk through San Marino’s prettiest park and witness some of the best views in the country. This charming piece of wilderness is the perfect place to have a picnic or wander one of the medieval trails. I could only imagine how amazing it looks in the fall or spring!
For fun explore a different side of San Marino such as Borgo Maggiore by taking the cable car down the mountain. The cost is only € 2,80 one way and about two minutes but you’ll be provided with stunning views of the landscape and over 200km of the Adriatic coast. We parked our car here and took the chair lift up instead of stressing about parking.
I was able to wander the city quite easily in just a few hours, if I had more town I could have easily seen all the major points. Nonetheless, it is a great day trip and would love to visit here again.