San Marino: The Smallest, Picturesque Republic In Europe

The ancient San Marino, the smallest Republic in Europe is perched atop a hill above the Adriatic Sea, set in a fairy tale setting of lush greenery and medieval architecture. It’s a picturesque, ancient European Republic-town situated in central Italy, close to the port-resort of Rimini on the Adriatic Coast of Italy.

It is just 15 km/9.3 miles from the Romagna Riviera and is on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains.

This tiny Republic of is located 700 meters (2,296 feet) above sea level on Mount Titano with gorgeous views of the countryside and the Adriatic Coast. The local farmers grow olives and grapes upon the mountainous landscape, and they graze cattle, sheep and goats.

The small towns and villages still retain their medieval nature, and the historical center of the city has a relaxed medieval ambiance.

Rocca della Guaita (or Fortress of Guaita), San Marino - It is one of three towers built on Monte Titano overlooking the city and a must-see tourist attraction. Its long history and stunning views from the top make this place worth your visit.Rocca della Guaita or Fortress of Guaita, one of three towers on Monte Titano

The capital is guarded by a wall and three towers that overlook the surrounding country. This fairy tale place has become a part of the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008.

This enclave is an extraordinary example of the spirit of independence and intense international activity. It enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm, sunny summers and mild to cool winters.

A Little Bit Of History

San Marino had been inhabited since the prehistoric times but the evidence of existence dates back to the Middle Ages. The traditional story about this place states that the Republic was founded in 301 AD by Marinus of Rab, a Christian stonemason, who fled from the island of Arbe to escape from the hands of Diocletian, the anti-Christian Roman Emperor.

Rocca della Guaita (Fortress of Guaita), one of three towers in San Marino - This fortress tower is one of the landmarks of the city and a must-see tourist attraction. The magnificent views are worth the climb to the top of the hill where the fortress is situated.Rocca della Guaita (Fortress of Guaita), one of three towers in San Marino

Marinus hid on the peak of Mount Titano and he found a community of people who followed Christian beliefs. The land was called “Land of San Marino” in memory of the stone cutter, and now it is called “Republic of San Marino.”

The government structure of the Republic was composed of a self-governed assembly known as the Arengo, which was formed by the heads of each family.

The positions of Captains Regent were established to be the joint heads of state in 1243. Its relatively inaccessible location and poverty has helped the Republic to maintain its independence with very few interruptions.

Piazza della Liberta (or Liberty Square), San Marino - It is the city square where the Statue of Liberty stands. The statue represents a symbol of freedom and is one of the landmarks of the city.

Piazza della Libertà, San Marino

Until 1463 the city consisted only of Mount Titano, but later the towns of Serravalle, Fiorentino, Montegiardino and Faetano were added to it.

It had been occupied by foreign militaries twice, in 1503 and in 1739.

The Feast of the Foundation of the Republic is the main celebration here, and some of the other festivals and events are the Medieval Days, Ethnologic Festival and the World Motorcycle Championships.

Shopping is interesting in this unusual place as everything is open for bargaining. It is famous for its souvenirs, jewels, ceramics and artisan products.

Where is San Marino?

  • 15.5 miles/ 25 km from Rimini, Italy
  • 77.6 miles/ 125 km from Ancona, Italy
  • 83.8 miles/ 135 km from Bologna, Italy
  • 121.1 miles/ 195 km from Florence, Italy
  • 177.7 miles/ 286 km from Venice, Italy
  • 198.2 miles/ 319 km from Rome, Italy
  • 16.7 miles/ 27 km from Federico Fellini International Airport, Italy
  • 68.3 miles/ 110 km from Ancona Falconara Airport, Italy
  • 144.1 miles/ 232 km from Florence Airport, Peretola, Italy
  • 179.5 miles/ 289 km from Venice Marco Polo Airport, Italy
  • 188.8 miles/ 304 km from Treviso-Sant’Angelo Airport, Italy

Things to See

  • The Towers (The Guaita Rocca, Cesta Castle and Montale)
  • The Basilica of the Saint
  • The Church of San Francesco
  • National Museum
  • Wax Museum
  • Changing of Guards


  • Rimini Beaches
  • Marano Beach


  • Hiking
  • Village Tours

San Marino is a place to be explored, known and lived.

The dream trip amid museums, ancient palaces and forts, takes you to a fairy tale world.

We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!