A curious place, a country within a country, the fifth smallest country in the world, the smallest republic in the world, great stamps and a rubbish football team.
This tiny enclave perched high in the Apennine mountains and surrounded by Italy is a relic of history that has somehow surived, being the oldest constitutional republic in the world.
After leaving what is today called Croatia and working in Rimini as a stonemason, Saint Marinus had to escape from persecution due to his Christian sermons and headed for the hills, Monte Titano to be precise, where he built a small church and so was born the city and state of San Marino, the date given is 3 September 301.
It’s really just a city on a hill, like so many other cities on hills, fortified, towers, cliffs although this one does have a crossbow corps and their ancient training ground which is quite exciting,
and fantastic views on a sunny day.
The beer costs the same as in Italy, there is no longer a border control post although you can get a ceremonial passport stamp in the tourist office if you choose. Walking through the ancient streets is worth the trip, but today they are sadly full of tourist tat and fast food outlets. Although not part of the Euro zone, there is an agreement for them to use Mr Junkers money, so no need to change currency.
If you’re in the area and you like collecting countries its worth the stop, I enjoyed my day here, history always interests me, but being only 24 sq miles big there isnt a huge amount to see if truth be told. Be prepared to walk uphill. A lot!!