With an area of just over 40 square miles, San Marino is Europe’s third smallest country, after Vatican City and Monaco.
Rising from the republic’s rolling hills, is Mount Titano, where the country’s founder, Saint Marinus, sought refuge in the 3rd Century. Over the centuries, three towers were built to ward off invaders; today these towers watch over a country overflowing with history, culture and beauty.
Just beyond the towers lies the republic’s ancient capital, San Marino City. The heart and soul of this city is Liberty Square, home to the Statue of Liberty and the Palazzo Pubblico. Wherever you turn you’ll see tributes to the republic’s founder, no more so than in San Marino Basilica, where the bones of the saint now rest beneath the altar.
Like the republic’s founder, many have sought refuge on this mountain, including the Italian revolutionary hero, Garibaldi. Today, San Marino is a welcoming escape for lovers of art and history, and a tax-free haven for shoppers.
The true stars of San Marino are its towers. Dating back to the 11th century, Guaita Tower, is the oldest and the largest fortress of the three. Follow the scenic pathway to the highest point of Mount Titano to the battlements of Cesta Tower, while on the farthest peak rises Montale.
What this country lacks in size, it more than makes up for with that rarest of qualities, serenity. After all, its official name is, The Most Serene Republic of San Marino.