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San Marino travel guide - Travel S helper

San Marino

travel guide

San Marino, formally the Republic of San Marino, sometimes known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino (Italian: Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino), is an enclaved microstate bordered by Italy on the Italian Peninsula’s northeastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It covers an area of little more than 61 km2 (24 sq mi) and has a population of 33,562. San Marino’s capital is San Marino City, and its biggest city is Dogana. San Marino has the lowest population of any Council of Europe member state.

Marinus, a stonemason from the Roman colony on the modern-day Croatian island of Rab, gave the nation its name. Marinus took involved in the rebuilding of Rimini’s city walls in 257 CE, after their destruction by Liburnian pirates. Marinus then founded an autonomous monastic community on Monte Titano in 301 CE, establishing San Marino as the world’s oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic.

San Marino is governed by the San Marino Constitution (Leges Statutae Republicae Sancti Marini), a collection of six late-16th-century Latin texts that establish the country’s political structure, among other things. The nation is believed to have the oldest surviving written constitution (constitution).

The economy of the nation is based mostly on finance, industry, services, and tourism. It is one of the richest nations on the planet in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, with a number similar to that of the most developed European areas. San Marino is regarded as having a very stable economy, with one of Europe’s lowest unemployment rates, no national debt, and a budget surplus. It is the only nation in the world with more cars than inhabitants.

San Marino is the world’s oldest republic and the third smallest state in Europe. It is the only surviving member of the autonomous city states that used to make up the Italian peninsula before to Italy’s union. It is located just 10 kilometers from Rimini and is 657 meters above sea level, offering magnificent views of the surrounding countryside and Adriatic shore. According to legend, the founder of San Marino, a stonemason from the Dalmatian island of Rab, ascended Mount Titano to establish a tiny community of Christians who were persecuted for their religion by Emperor Diocletian.

San Marino is made up of a few villages that are scattered across the mountain slopes. San Marino’s capital, the City of San Marino (Città di San Marino), is perched high on a mountain ridge. The capital is fortified with a wall, and three unique towers tower above the rest of the nation. In 2008, the site “San Marino: Historic Centre and Mount Titano” was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The villages that surround the capital are more industrial and, in general, less appealing than the major metropolis. San Marino is twenty times the size of Monaco and half the size of Liechtenstein.

San Marino’s foreign policy is linked with that of its neighbor, Italy. The republic’s social and political developments are likewise strongly related to those of its bigger neighbor.

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San Marino - Info Card

Population

33,600

Currency

Euro (€) (EUR)

Time zone

UTC+01 (CET)

Area

61.2 km2 (23.6 sq mi)

Calling code

+378

Official language

Italian

San Marino | Introduction

Tourism in San Marino

Tourism in San Marino accounts for about 2.2 percent of the country’s GDP, with approximately 2 million visitors in 2009.

The majority of visitors that visit San Marino are Italians who come to spend their vacations on the Romagna Riviera and opt to spend a half-day or at most a night in the nation. Despite the fact that only a tiny number of non-Italian foreigners visit the nation, they are important to the Sammarinese economy.

There are no border crossing procedures with Italy. Visitors may, however, buy memento stamps that are legally canceled within their passports at the tourist office.

The majority of the attractions are located inside the city of San Marino. The city is built on a hill and has plenty of parking for automobiles and buses. The city’s historic core is just a pedestrian zone with mainly souvenir stores and eating establishments on both sides.

Geography Of San Marino

San Marino is an Italian enclave located on the boundary of the regions of Emilia Romagna and Marche, approximately 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) from the Adriatic coast at Rimini. It is part of the Apennine mountain range and has a mountainous terrain with no flat area. The top of Monte Titano is 749 m (2,457 ft) above sea level, making it the highest point in the nation. There are no large bodies of water in the area. San Marino is Europe’s third-smallest nation, behind only Vatican City and Monaco. It is also the world’s fifth-smallest nation.

Climate In San Marino

The climate is Mediterranean with continental characteristics, with warm summers and mild winters typical of the central Italian peninsula’s interior regions.

Demographics Of San Marino

San Marino has a population of around 33,000 people, including 4,800 foreign inhabitants, the majority of whom are Italian nationals. Another 12,000 Sammarinese reside in other countries (5,700 in Italy, 3,000 in the USA, 1,900 in France and 1,600 in Argentina).

In 2010, the first census since 1976 was conducted. The findings were anticipated before the end of 2011. However, 13% of households failed to return their forms.

The main language is Italian, although Romagnol is commonly spoken as well.

San Marino residents have one of the world’s greatest life expectancies.

Religion

San Marino is a primarily Catholic state, with more than 97 percent of the people practicing Roman Catholicism, although it is not the official religion. Approximately half of people who claim to be Catholic really practice their religion. San Marino has no episcopal see, but its name is part of the current diocese title. Historically, San Marino’s parishes were split between two Italian dioceses, the Diocese of Montefeltro, and the Diocese of Rimini. The boundary between Montefeltro and Rimini was redrawn in 1977, bringing all of San Marino within the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Montefeltro. The bishop of Montefeltro-San Marino lives in Pennabilli, in Italy’s Pesaro e Urbino region.

However, there is a provision in the income tax laws that allows taxpayers to request that 0.3 percent of their income tax be allocated to the Catholic Church or “other” organizations. The Waldensian Church and Jehovah’s Witnesses are two religious organizations represented in the churches.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro was the ancient diocese of Montefeltro until 1977. It is a suffragan of the Ravenna-Cervia archdiocese. The present diocese encompasses all of San Marino’s parishes. The first reference of Montefeltro, as Mona Feretri, is in the diplomas through which Charlemagne validated Pepin’s gift. Agatho (826), the first recorded bishop of Montefeltro, lived at San Leo. The see was moved to San Leo again by Bishop Flaminios Dondi (1724), although it was subsequently restored to Pennabilli. The historic diocese was a suffragan of Urbino’s archbishop. There has been an apostolic nunciature to the republic since 1988, although it is vested in the nuncio to Italy.

San Marino has had a Jewish presence for at least 600 years. The earliest mention of Jews in San Marino is in official records documenting Jewish commercial dealings in the late 14th century. There are many records dating from the 15th to 17th century that describe Jewish transactions and confirm the existence of a Jewish community in San Marino. The government provided Jews with formal protection.

During WWII, San Marino served as a safe haven for over 100,000 Italians and Jews (about ten times the Sammarinese population at the time) fleeing Nazi persecution. Only a few Jews remain now.

Economy Of San Marino

Although San Marino is not a member of the European Union, it is permitted to use the euro as its currency via an agreement with the Council of the European Union; it is also permitted to use its own designs on the national side of euro coins. Prior to the euro, the Sammarinese lira was linked to and convertible into the Italian lira. The limited supply of Sammarinese euro coins, like the lira before it, are mainly of interest to coin collectors.

San Marino has a per capita GDP of US$55,449 and a quality of life similar to Denmark. Banking, electronics, and ceramics are all important businesses. Wine and cheese are the most important agricultural goods. San Marino mostly imports basic products from Italy.

San Marino’s postage stamps, which are valid for mail sent inside the nation, are mainly sold to philatelists and are a significant source of revenue for the government. San Marino is a member of the Cooperation of Small European Postal Administrations.

Taxation

In San Marino, corporate earnings are taxed at a rate of 19%. Capital gains are subject to a 5% tax, while interest is subject to a 13% withholding tax.

In 1972, Italy implemented a value-added tax (VAT) system, which was also implemented in San Marino in line with the 1939 friendship treaty. In addition, a tax on imported products was created, which would be collected by San Marino. However, such tariffs were not and still are not levied on national goods. Until 1996, San Marino’s produced and sold products were not subject to indirect taxes.

San Marino continues to impose fees on imported products, the equivalent of an import tariff, under the European Union customs accord. In addition, a global VAT was established to replace the Italian VAT.

Things To Know Before Traveling To San Marino

Accommodation & Hotels

Although San Marino has a few hotels, the coastal town of Rimini has many more and is likely to be less expensive.

Internet, Comunication

In certain areas of the city, free wifi is accessible.

Language

San Marino’s inhabitants speak a fairly clear Italian.

Due to the large number of Russian visitors, English is taught in schools in San Marino, and Russian is spoken in many businesses.

The Akademio Internacia de la Sciencoj San Marino (AIS) holds its conferences in San Marino and actually utilizes the Esperanto language.

Visa & Passport

Although San Marino is not legally part of the Schengen region, there are no border restrictions when traveling between Italy and San Marino, thus it may be considered part of the Schengen area for all practical reasons. Foreigners staying in San Marino for more than 20 days, on the other hand, must get a government permission.

Respect

San Marino is a proud nation, and it should be treated as such. When having pictures made with the guards, be polite; a grin will enough; hand gestures/funny expressions will not be well appreciated.

It would be regarded very insulting to refer to them as “Italians” – not because they dislike Italians, but because they are immensely proud of their independence.

How To Travel To San Marino

Get In - By plane

There are no airports in San Marino. Rimini’s Federico Fellini International Airport (IATA: RMI) is the closest major airport. Ancona, Bologna, and Forli also have airports.

Get In - By train

There are no railway stations in San Marino. Rimini is the closest major railway station.

Get In - By car

You should have little trouble getting into San Marino by car. There are no border restrictions.

Because parking in San Marino is scarce, why not leave your vehicle at neighboring Borgo Maggiore and ride the cable car up to the city? Near the cable car station, there is ample of parking.

Get In - By bus

Every day at regular intervals, a bus travels from Rimini to San Marino, stopping in Dogana, Serravalle, Domagnano, and Borgo Maggiore. A round-trip ticket costs around €9. This bus stops just outside the Rimini railway station. It is important to note that if you arrive only a few minutes before departure, the bus may be full and you will be instructed to wait for the next bus, which will arrive one hour later. It’s probably a good idea to arrive a little early to ensure there are adequate seats on the bus. Tickets may be purchased on the bus.

How To Travel Around San Marino

Once within the walled city, it’s small enough to stroll about in. There are just a few streets where vehicles may drive (and only if they are small cars).

A 1.5-kilometer cable train (funivia) connects San Marino to Borgo Maggiore. A one-way ticket costs €2.80 and a round-trip ticket costs €4.50.

Walking is difficult outside of the capital. San Marino is the only nation in the world with more cars than people, and it shows—sidewalks are at best uneven, particularly between cities. There is, however, a shaded stone walkway, Costa dell’Arnella, that connects the City of San Marino with Borgo Maggiore. It begins at the western end of Contrada Omerelli and finishes near the Borgo Maggiore cable car station. The walk is very difficult since San Marino sits so high up.

The bus from Rimini is helpful for traveling between cities, and San Marino has its own bus system.

Things To See in San Marino

The three towers that appear on the national flag are the major attractions of San Marino. Only the Guaita Tower and the Cesta Tower are accessible to tourists; these are tiny castles at the summit of Mount Titano with stunning views over San Marino, Italy, and the Adriatic Sea.

Cesta is the largest of the two and includes a modest armour and weapon museum. The “Yellow Card” costs €3 and allows you to visit one castle; the “Red Card” costs €4.50 and allows you to access both. A walkway runs between the two towers, following the city walls along the edge of a cliff. The towers provide excellent picture possibilities. Among the other attractions are:

  • Piazza del Liberta. This tiny plaza has wide vistas and is bordered on both sides by two government buildings, including the town hall, the Palazzo Pubblico.
  • State Museum (Museo di Stato), Piazzetta del Titano, 1, Città di San Marino,  +378 0549883835, e-mail: [email protected]. Summer 8AM–8PM, winter 9AM–5PM. Museum of art, architecture, and archaeology. €3.
  • St. Francis’ Museum (Museo San Francesco), Via Basilicius, Città di San Marino, +378 0549885132. Summer 8AM–8PM, winter 9AM–5PM. Art collection located in a centuries-old cloister. €3.
  • Torture Museum (Museo della Tortura), Contrada San Francesco n° 2,  +378 0549991215. 10AM–8PM daily during the summer; reduced hours in the winter. Small, kitschy museum catering to tourists
  • Wax Museum (Museo delle Cere), via Lapicidi Marini, 17 – 47890 San Marino,  +378 0549992940, e-mail: [email protected]. Oct–Mar 9AM–12:30PM and 2–5:30PM, Apr–Jun and Sep 9AM–6:30PM, Jul–Aug 9AM–8PM.

Otherwise, just go for a stroll! The tiny cobblestone streets are full of surprises, and you may explore the city by going up and down the city. There are hardly no vehicles, and the streets have a medieval air about them. The city walls may be climbed and walked along in certain areas. The Basilica di San Marino, a Roman-style basilica, is one of the sites you may visit.

Borgo Maggiore, a town near the capital, features a historic center. In Faetano, you can also view the San Marino lake, where you may catch fish.

Food & Drinks in San Marino

Food in San Marino

Pasta, pizza, gelato (Italian ice cream), and anything else you eat in Italy come to mind. Restaurants are simple to locate, and some have tables with fantastic views.

Supermarkets in San Marino are few and far between, however the following may help:

  • Conad, Azzurro Shopping Center, V M Moretti 23, Serravalle.
  • Sma Supermercati. Via del Passetto 113, Fiorentino
  • Ristorante Terrazza Titano. Contrada del Collegio 31
  • La Fratta, Via Salita alla Rocca, 14 (Next to the parking lot n.6).

Drinks in San Marino

Pasta, pizza, gelato (Italian ice cream), and anything else you eat in Italy come to mind. Restaurants are simple to locate, and some have tables with fantastic views.

Supermarkets in San Marino are few and far between, however the following may help:

  • Conad, Azzurro Shopping Center, V M Moretti 23, Serravalle.
  • Sma Supermercati. Via del Passetto 113, Fiorentino
  • Ristorante Terrazza Titano. Contrada del Collegio 31
  • La Fratta, Via Salita alla Rocca, 14 (Next to the parking lot n.6).

Money & Shopping in San Marino

The euro is used in San Marino. It is one of many European nations that utilize the Euro. All euro banknotes and coins are legal tender across the EU.

One euro is made up of 100 cents.

The euro’s official sign is €, and its ISO code is EUR. The cent does not have an official symbol.

San Marino, like other countries that use the Euro as their currency, has its unique designs on the reverse of Euro coins. You may attempt to acquire these coins by just walking about purchasing items and collecting the coins that way, but buying the set in a souvenir store is a faster option. Take note that some of these sets missing the €1 and €2 coins.

San Marino has a plethora of souvenir and apparel stores. Many souvenir stores offer weaponry, ranging from swords to B-B pistols.

San Marino has lower prices for goods such as disposable cameras and batteries than Italy. This is due in part to the fact that San Marino does not have to pay the 20% IVA (VAT) that Italy does.

Festivals & Holidays in San Marino

Date Name Explanation
1 January New Year’s Day Festival marking the beginning of the new year
6 January Epiphany Commemorates the visit of the three wise men or magi to the infant Jesus
5 February Feast of Saint Agatha Commemoration of St. Agatha, patroness of the Republic, as well as liberation from foreign rule
Variable, the first Sunday after the full moon and the March equinox. Easter Resurrection of Jesus
Variable, the Monday after Easter day Easter Monday Monday after Easter day
25 March Anniversary of the Arengo Anniversary of the Arengo and the Festa delle Milizie (Feast of the Militants)
1 May Labour Day Celebration of workers and employees
Variable, the first Thursday after Trinity Sunday Corpus Christi Commemoration of the body and blood of Jesus Christ
28 July Liberation from Fascism Commemoration of the fall of the Sammarinese Fascist Party
15 August Ferragosto(Assumption) Commemoration of the Virgin Mary’s assumption into heaven
3 September The Feast of San Marino and the Republic National feast of San Marino, celebrating the origin of the Republic in 301
1 November All Saints’ Day Feast dedicated to all saints
2 November Commemoration of all those who died at war Remembrance of all those who gave their lives for San Marino in war
8 December Immaculate Conception Remembrance of the Virgin Mary’s conception without original sin
24 December Christmas Eve Day before the commemoration of the birth of Jesus
25 December Christmas Birth of Jesus
26 December St. Stephen’s Day Commemoration of the death of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr
31 December New Year’s Eve Celebration which closes and marks the end of the year

Culture Of San Marino

The Three Towers of San Marino are situated in the city on the three summits of Monte Titano. They appear on both the San Marino flag and the coat of arms. The three towers are: Guaita, the oldest (built in the 11th century); Cesta, built in the thirteenth century and situated on the highest of Monte Titano’s peaks; and Montale, built in the 14 century and still privately held.

University

The main university is the Università degli Studi della Repubblica di San Marino, which includes the Scuola Superiore di Studi Storici di San Marino (Advanced School of Historical Studies), a distinguished research and advanced international study center governed by an international Scientific Committee coordinated by professor Luciano Canfora. The Istituto Musicale Sammarinese (Sammarinese Musical Institute) and the Akademio Internacia de la Sciencoj San Marino (Accademia Internazionale delle Scienze San Marino) are two more significant institutions (International Academy of Sciences San Marino). The latter is well-known for using Esperanto as a teaching and scientific publishing language, as well as for making extensive use of computerized educational technologies (also called e-learning).

Umberto Eco, an Italian novelist, tried to establish a “university without physical buildings” in San Marino.

Sport

Football is the most popular sport in San Marino. Basketball and volleyball are other prominent sports. San Marino Football Federation, San Marino Basketball Federation, and San Marino Volleyball Federation are the three sports’ federations.

The San Marino Grand Prix, a Formula One event, was named after the state, but it did not take place there. Instead, it was held at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy, approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of San Marino. In 2007, this international event was dropped from the schedule.

The San Marino and Rimini’s Coast motorcycle Grand Prix, as well as the San Marino round of the World Superbike Championship, were restored in the calendar in 2007.

T & A San Marino, San Marino’s professional baseball club, competes in the highest level of Italian professional baseball, the Serie A1. It has hosted the European Cup competition for the best European professional baseball clubs on numerous occasions, including in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2007. It won the title in 2006 and finished second in 2010.

San Marino has had limited success at the Olympic Games, with 0 medals to its name.

Cuisine

San Marino’s cuisine is quite similar to that of Italy, particularly that of the neighboring Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions, although it has its own distinct dishes and products. The Torta Tre Monti (“Dessert of the Three Mountains” or “Cake of the Three Towers”), a wafer-layered chocolate-covered cake representing San Marino’s Three Towers, is perhaps its most famous. There is also a minor wine industry in the nation.

UNESCO

In 2008, the Historic Centre and Mount Titano were included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The decision was made at the 32nd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which met in Québec, Canada, and was attended by representatives from 21 countries.

Music

The nation has a strong and rich musical history that is intimately connected to that of Italy but also extremely distinct in its own right. Composers such as the Sammarinese Francesco Maria Marini di Pesaro produced some of the greatest works of the 17th century.

San Marino has competed in the Eurovision Song Contest six times, reaching the final for the first time in 2014 with Valentina Monetta’s third appearance and the song Maybe.

Stay Safe & Healthy in San Marino

San Marino is a secure nation. Pickpockets should be avoided, just as they should be avoided in any other tourist destination.

This is a really healthy environment. If you get sick, the processes are the same as in the European Union, but severe problems will almost certainly result in you being transported to Rimini.

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