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