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San Marino

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Hotel Rosa City Of San Marino
Hotel Rosa City Of San Marino - dream vacation

Via lapicida Marini, 23City Of San Marino

Hotel Joli San Marino
Hotel Joli San Marino - dream vacation

38 Federico d\'Urbino AvenueCity Of San Marino

Grand Hotel Primavera
Grand Hotel Primavera - dream vacation

Via Luigi Cibrario 22-24Borgo Maggiore

Grand Hotel San Marino
Grand Hotel San Marino - dream vacation

Viale Antonio Onofri 31City Of San Marino

Hotel Cesare City Of San Marino
Hotel Cesare City Of San Marino - dream vacation

Via Salita alla Rocca 7City Of San Marino

Hotel Titano
Hotel Titano - dream vacation

Contrada Del Collegio 31City Of San Marino

Hotel Sanmarino iDesign
Hotel Sanmarino iDesign - dream vacation

Via del Serrone 124City Of San Marino

San Marino, completely surrounded by Italy, is one of the world's smallest countries, and claims to be the world's oldest republic. The country bears the name of Saint Marinus, a Christian stonemason who is said to have founded the country in 301 AD.

Most cultural attractions are in the capital city, which is also named San Marino. At the top of a mountain, the City of San Marino is full of old buildings, restaurants, and stores catering to tourists, as well as several small museums, and has beautiful views of the nearby towns and surrounding countryside.

Understand

The Most Serene Republic of San Marino (Italian: Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino) is the world's oldest republic and Europe's third smallest state. It is the sole survivor of the patchwork of independent states that used to make up the Italian peninsula before the unification of Italy. It lies 657 m (2,156 ft) above sea level with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and Adriatic coast, only 10 km (6.2 mi) from Rimini. Legend has it that the founder of San Marino, a stonemason, arrived from the island of Rab in Dalmatia, and climbed Mount Titano to found a small community of Christians, persecuted for their faith by the Emperor Diocletian. San Marino gave itself a constitution in 1600, the oldest written constitution still in effect, and the only republican constitution written in Latin that still has the force of law. During the tumultuous period starting with the French Revolution, San Marino managed to preserve its independence through several strokes of luck. First, a Sammarinese politician befriended Corsican general Napoleon Bonaparte during his Italian campaign, but wisely declined his offers for more territory. Later, the small republic gave refuge to other Republicans throughout Italy, including Garibaldi, which made him disposed to respect Sammarinese wishes to stay independent. San Marino also gave honorary citizenship to Abraham Lincoln, which inspired the Great Emancipator to laud San Marino's old and stable republican institutions and point to them as an example for the US and the world to follow.

San Marino is made up of a few towns dotted around the countryside. The capital of San Marino, the City of San Marino (Città di San Marino), is situated high up on a mountain top. The capital is surrounded by a wall and three distinct towers overlook the rest of the country. "San Marino: Historic Centre and Mount Titano" became part of the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008.

The towns surrounding the capital are more industrial and generally not as attractive as the main city. San Marino is 20 times bigger than Monaco and half the size of Liechtenstein.

San Marino's foreign policy is aligned with that of Italy, which surrounds it. Social and political trends in the republic also track closely with those of its larger neighbour. To give just one example, San Marino was governed by a local fascist party from 1923, and just three days after Mussolini's fall in 1943, the Sammarinese fascists also lost power. Nonetheless, San Marino stayed officially neutral in both World Wars, but there were Sammarinese volunteers in World War I on the Italian side, and the government of San Marino had to explicitly clarify that it had not declared war on Britain in 1940. Later on, Sammarinese neutrality was ignored by the British, who bombed suspected German military installations, and the Germans, who briefly occupied the country before being defeated by the British.

What's perhaps unique about this small country is that it is perhaps the only diarchy in the world. Every six months, the Grand and General Council elects two individuals (Captains Regent) to be the heads of the state. This is a practice that comes from the Roman Republic and it is still in effect to this day.

Get in

Although San Marino is not officially part of the Schengen area, there are no border controls when travelling between Italy and San Marino, so it can for most practical purposes be considered part of the Schengen area. However, foreigners staying for more than 20 days in San Marino must have a permit from the government.

By plane

San Marino has no airports. The nearest major airport is the 1 Federico Fellini International Airport (RMI IATA) at Rimini. To reach San Marino from the airport, you will either have to drive or take the bus that departs from the Rimini train station to San Marino. There are other airports at Ancona, Bologna and Forlì.

By train

San Marino has no railway stations. The nearest major railway station is at Rimini. San Marino is one of only two mainland European countries without rail service or lines, but unlike Andorra it did have a line in the past. Unfortunately, said line did not survive World War II, although many disused bridges, tunnels and stations are still well visible, and in some cases have been refurbished and converted to parks, public footpaths or traffic routes. Next to the terminal station of the City of San Marino, an 800 m (2,600 ft) long electrified stretch has been reactivated for tourist and promotional reasons, and the government of San Marino has announced plans for the restoration of the line at least until Borgo Maggiore.

By car

You should have no problems driving into San Marino. Border controls do not exist.

The City of San Marino has limited parking, so why not leave your car in nearby Borgo Maggiore and take the cable car up to the city? There is plenty of parking near the cable car station.

By bus

2 San Marino Bus Station, Piazzale Marino Calcigini (by parking lot P1A directly under/west of Via Piana). A bus runs from Rimini to San Marino daily about once an hour, with stops along the way in Dogana, SerravalleDomagnano, and Borgo Maggiore. A return ticket costs around €10. This bus can be found just outside the Rimini train station on the opposite side of the street from the train station entrance. Note that if you show up just a few minutes before departure it may be full and you may be told to wait until the next bus, one hour later. It is perhaps then advisable to show up a little bit earlier to ensure enough seats remain on the bus. Tickets can be bought on the bus or at the Tourist Information Center. 

Get around

Once you're inside the walled city, it's small enough to simply walk around. There are only a few streets on which cars are able to drive (and only if they are small cars). Be aware that the City of San Marino is quite vertical, making it potentially difficult for those with mobility issues to climb the switchback cobblestone streets. However, there are elevators scattered throughout town that allow easier movement up and down the city.

There is a 1.5 km (0.93 mi) cable railway (funivia) connecting the city of San Marino to Borgo Maggiore. €2.80 for a one-way ticket, €4.50 round-trip.

Outside of the capital, walking is not so easy. San Marino is the only country in the world with more vehicles than people, and it shows—sidewalks are inconsistent at best, especially when going between towns. However, there is a shaded stone path, Costa dell'Arnella, between the City of San Marino and Borgo Maggiore. It starts at the western end of Contrada Omerelli and ends a short distance from the Borgo Maggiore cable car station. Because the City of San Marino is so high up, the path is quite steep.

The bus from Rimini is somewhat useful for travel between towns, and San Marino also has its own bus system.

Talk

The people in San Marino speak a very clear Italian.

English is learned at school in San Marino and Russian is spoken in many shops due to the many Russian tourists.

See

San Marino’s main attractions are the three towers, which feature on the national flag. Only the 1 Guaita Tower and the 2 Cesta Tower are open to visitors. They are small castles at the top of Mount Titano, offering excellent views over San Marino and Italy as well as the Adriatic Sea. The third and smallest of the towers, 3 Montale Tower, is inaccessible and was once used as a prison.

Cesta is the largest of the towers and inside, there is the Museum of Archaic Arms showcasing arms and armour from the Middle Ages to the 1800s. You can purchase the “Yellow Card” for €3 which lets you enter one castle, or the “Red Card” which lets you enter both and is €4.50. Between the two towers is a path which follows the city walls along the side of a cliff. The towers offer good photo opportunities. Other attractions include:

  • 4 Basilica di San Marino, Piazzale Domus Plebis. A neoclassical style Catholic church dedicated to the founder and patron saint of San Marino, Saint Marinus. It is the main church of San Marino. Rebuilt several times, the current incarnation is from the 19th century. (updated Feb 2020)
  • 5 Piazza della Libertà. This small square offers expansive views and is flanked on both sides by two government buildings, including the Palazzo Pubblico, the town hall. Inside the town hall, see the council chambers for its frescos. The buildings and statue (Statua della Libertà) in the centre of the square are lit up at night, which combined with the limited tourists during that time, makes for a serene sight. (updated Apr 2017)
  • 6 State Museum (Museo di Stato), Piazzetta del Titano, 1, ? +378 0549883835, ? museodistato@omniway.sm. Daily 09:00-17:00. Museum of art, architecture, and archaeology. €4.50. (updated Jun 2020)
  • 7 St. Francis' Museum (Museo San Francesco), Via Basilicius, ? +378 0549885132. Daily 09:00-17:00. Art collection located in a centuries-old cloister. €4.50. (updated Jun 2020)
  • 8 Torture Museum (Museo della Tortura), Contrada San Francesco n° 2, ? +378 0549991215. 10:00–20:00 daily during the summer; reduced hours in the winter. Small, kitschy museum catering to tourists (updated May 2016)
  • 9 Wax Museum (Museo delle Cere), via Lapicidi Marini, 17 - 47890, ? +378 0549992940, ? info@museodellecerersm.com. Oct–Mar: daily 09:00–12:30 and 14:00-17:30; Apr–Jun and Sep: 09:00–18:30; Jul–Aug: 09:00–20:00. (updated May 2016)

Otherwise, walk around! The narrow cobbled streets are full of surprises and you can go up and down the city to explore. You can climb the city walls and walk along it at places. There are virtually no cars and the streets have a very medieval feel. Especially in the evening when the daytime tourists have left, wandering the city becomes more charming and relaxed.

Outside of the capital, nearby Borgo Maggiore has a historic centre. You can also see the San Marino lake in Faetano where fish can be caught.

Do

Get your passports stamped at the tourist information centre. This is an excellent souvenir as they stick a visa tax stamp and then an official ink stamp over the top, €5.

  • 1 Tourist Office, Contrada Omagnano, 20. (updated Dec 2016)

The Parco naturale del Monte Titano has several hiking trails. To find them, go to the Cesta tower and walk through the gateway to the right of the museum entrance.

Biking is also popular and at “ebikexperience” you can rent an ebike.

  • 2 San Marino Adventures, Parco di Montecerreto, ? +39 3357344140. 10:00-19:30, days vary by season. Activities including suspended trails, rock climbing, and ziplines. 

Buy

Money

San Marino uses the euro, like several other European countries. One euro is divided into 100 cents. The official symbol for the euro is €, and its ISO code is EUR. There is no official symbol for the cent.

All banknotes and coins of this common currency are legal tender within all the countries, except that low-denomination coins (one and two cent) are phased out in some of them. The banknotes look the same across countries, while coins have a standard common design on the reverse, expressing the value, and a national country-specific design on the obverse. The obverse is also used for different designs of commemorative coins. The design of the obverse does not affect the use of the coin.

Like other states which have the euro as their currency, San Marino has its own patterns on the back of the euro coins. You can try to obtain these coins by going around buying things and collecting the coins that way, but a quicker solution is to buy the set in a souvenir shop. Pay attention, because some of these sets lack the €1 and €2 coins.

Souvenir and clothing shops are everywhere in the City of San Marino. A lot of the souvenir shops sell weapons, from swords to B-B guns.

Prices for items such as disposable cameras and batteries are cheaper in San Marino than they are in Italy. This is partly because in San Marino you don't have to pay the 20% IVA (VAT) that you have to pay in Italy.

Eat

Italian dishes, like pasta, pizza, gelato (Italian ice-cream), and whatever you eat in Italy. Restaurants are easy to find, and some offer tables with great views.

  • 1 La Fratta, Via Salita alla Rocca, 14 (next to the parking lot n.6), ? +39 0549 991594. 08:30-23:00 (closed W). Restaurant serving Italian food. 
  • 2 Righi, Piazza Libertà, 10 (right in the Piazza Libertà), ? +378 0549 991196, ? info@ristoranterighi.com. Tu-Sa 12:30-14:30, 19:30-21:30. The one and only Michelin star (2020) restaurant in San Marino serves Sammarinese cuisine. The building looks directly at the Piazza Libertà. Upstairs, is the upscale Michelin star restaurant, Righi, decorated with a large silver plaque above the fireplace mantle as a statement piece in the dining room. Downstairs, is the more laidback Osteria La Taverna serving simpler cuisine. Righi set menu starting €60, Osteria pasta €11. (updated Feb 2020)
  • 3 La Terrazza, Contrada del Collegio, 31, ? +378 0549 991007. Daily 12:00-14:30, 19:00-22:00. A restaurant that is part of Hotel Titano which overlooks the slopes of the city, valleys, and countryside surrounding the City of San Marino. Views of the central Piazza della Libertà are also available to the other side of the dining room. Eat their homemade pasta. Pasta €13. 

Supermarkets in San Marino are few and far-between, although the following can help in this area:

  • Conad, Azzurro Shopping Center, V M Moretti 23, Serravalle
  • Sma Supermercati. Via del Passetto 113, Fiorentino 

Drink

  • The local beers, mostly by Titanbräu and Birrificio, are very tasty.
  • Spirits are also very commonly found, especially limoncello, a lemon liquor.
  • Try the locally produced wine.
  • The coffee, like in its Italian neighbour, is superb.

Sleep

Although San Marino has a few hotels, the seaside resort of Rimini has a lot more and is probably a cheaper option.

Budget

  • 1 Hostel San Marino, Via 28 Luglio, 224, Borgo Maggiore (when entering Borgo Maggiore on the main highway, the hostel is a yellow building on your left. If arriving on the bus from Rimini, ask the driver to let you off at the Tavolucci stop.), ? +39 0549 922515, ? info@hostel-sanmarino.com. Very close to a grocery store, a restaurant, and a bus stop. A short €1.50 bus ride from the city. €20-25 for a bunk, €65-110 for a private room. 

Mid-range

  • 2 Grand Hotel San Marino, Viale Antonio Onofri, 31, ? +378 0549 992400, ? info@grandhotel.sm. The Grand Hotel San Marino rises on the peak of Monte Titano, close to the Rocche and the Old Town Center. (updated Dec 2016)
  • 3 Hotel Titano, Contrada del Collegio, 31 (in the centre of the town), ? +378 0549 991007. The rooms are small but comfortably furnished and it is connected to a very nice restaurant. The downside is that unless you are an early riser, the nearby church bells will ring every 15 minutes to remind you of the time starting from early in the morning. 

Learn

There is only one university in the country, the University of the Republic of San Marino (Università degli Studi della Repubblica di San Marino). It offers courses in engineering, design, and other technical disciplines. Unless you are fluent in Italian, learning opportunities in the country are unlikely to interest visitors.

  • 1 Università degli Studi di San Marino (University of the Republic of San Marino).  

Work

Finding a job in San Marino is difficult. Without any knowledge of Italian, your prospects of finding a job are remarkably slim.

San Marino is not a member of the European Union, so the government has no obligation to allow nationals of EU member states to work and live in the country.

Stay safe

San Marino is a safe country. Like in any other place that attracts many tourists, you should watch out for pickpockets.

Stay healthy

This is a very healthy place. If you become ill, procedures are the same as the European Union, although serious conditions will likely see you transferred to Rimini.

Tap water is drinkable.

Respect

Despite sharp political differences, some of the various respect tips found in the Italy article apply here.

Though Italian is an official language of the country, do not act as if San Marino is a part of Italy and do not confuse the Sammarinese as Italians. This is likely to cause offence.

Be respectful when taking photos with the guards. A smile will do, but hand gestures/funny faces will not be received well.

The Sammarinese tend to take politics of their nation very seriously. You're unlikely to cause offence by asking about the country's political situation.

Connect

Free WiFi is available in parts of the city.

Cope

Diplomatic missions

  • Holy See (The) (Vatican Apostolic Nunciature in San Marino), P.le Domus Plebis, ? +378 0549 992448. 
  • Italy, Avenue A. Onofri 117, ? +378 0549 991271. 
  • Portugal, Battisti St, nº 3. 
  • Romania, Via Valle di Marco 4, ? +378 0549 995400 , +378 0549 995 576, ? adolfo.morganti@libero.it. Honorary Consulate General of Romania in San Marino (updated Feb 2020)
  • Other countries may not have embassies or consulates in San Marino, but in Rome to represent both Italy and San Marino. Look at the Embassies section of the Rome guide if you can't see your country listed above, as you may wish to contact your embassy there.

Go next

Italy is the way in, Italy is the way out. You can further explore the Montefeltro region in the south, or visit the sunny coast of Rimini in the north.


Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

The crime rate is low. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.

Public transportation

Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Emergency services

Dial 113 for emergency services and 118 for medical emergency or an ambulance.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Southern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Southern Europe, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.


Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

A serious violation of the law may lead to a jail sentence. The sentence will be served in local prisons.

An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Money

The currency is the euro (EUR). All major credit cards are accepted. Traveller’s cheques, preferably in U.S. dollars, are also widely accepted.

When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU countries’ sites, visit the web page of the European Commission on cash controls.

Climate

This destination is not prone to natural disasters.

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