San Marino, Italy

Europe boasts an array of stunning Microstates that are fascinating to visit. There is Andorra between France and Spain, Liechtenstein in the South of Germany, Monaco in SouthEast of France and San Marino within Italy. Apart from being very, very tiny the other thing these microstates have in common is a unique history that can give you a better understanding of the region you are exploring.


Me & my wonderful friend, San Marino

Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino
Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino
Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino

On my travels in Italy this summer I had the opportunity to visit the tiny Republic of San Marino, also known as Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, the Most Serene Republic of San Marino. This wonderful microstate seemingly built upon a cliff edge is the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, said to be founded in 301. Although only a tiny landlocked microstate in Italy it is deemed one of the wealthiest countries in the world with an extremely high GDP and low unemployment. The tiny country also boasts an impressive lack of national debt!


Views at San Marino

My friend and I were staying with an Italian family who showed us around this immensely popular day trip in Italy. We joined the crowds climbing up the hill to Castello della Cesta, taking in the splendour of the many little kitsch tourist shops on our way up. Our descent was a little faster as we used the cable car to take in the impressive scenery of San Marino.


San Marino Cable car

It is an unnerving experience browsing for perfume and then going to the shop next door and browsing at guns and knifes. San Marino has the most unrestricted gun laws in Europe. Surprisingly, although anyone present can buy a submachine gun there is a very calm and relaxed atmosphere on the hill. I bought a replica crossbow that would have been used in San Marino during the first world war. That afternoon we ate pizza at the restaurant at the top of the hill, sitting outside which although a bit cool this high up had breathtaking views of San Marino and the beautiful country of Italy beyond.


2 thoughts on “San Marino, Italy

  1. Chandler says:

    Did you happen to find out if anyone there had published a book and then translated it into English? I am doing a challenge where I read one book from every country in the world in a year and I am desperately looking for a book written by a San Mariner

    • No I didn’t. Interesting challenge. It may be tough when you get to Laos, there are no books published in this country. But I know an English writer, Colin Cotterill who writes fiction books that are based in Thailand and Laos. Though he lives in Thailand. There have been books about travelling in Laos, like Dervla Murphy’s One Foot in Laos. I do have a book written by a friend (an Anthropologist) who emigrated to Laos and wrote a book on the people and culture, but you can not get this anywhere but Laos!

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