Figuring out how to get to San Marino was easy. I could already see San Marino from a distance several kilometers away before nearing its border. Jutting out dramatically out from its surrounding landscape, it’s very hard to miss this tiny republic that sits on top of Mount Titano, bordered by Italy’s Emilia Romagna region.
And by the looks of it, I was already satisfied with my decision to make the short journey from Rimini, Italy, to explore this small country. Its physicality (protruding out of the surrounding lowlands) is almost a metaphor for this tiny republic’s autonomy and resilience for hundreds of years.
One of the world’s oldest republics and founded in 301 by a Christian stonemason called Marinus, San Marino is a stunning 360-degree panoramic display of stone architecture amidst lush undulating hills, views of the Adriatic Coast, medieval walls running from fortress to fortress, and a labyrinth of cobblestone lanes.
Its capital is also called San Marino and it is situated on top of Mount Titano with three military towers which look more like mini castles of their own, dating back to the 11th century. Its first tower called Guaita/Rocca is a guarding military fortress which once protected San Marino’s first residents in the 11-12th centuries. The second tower, Cesta /Fratta, hosted a guardian as well as a battalion of crossbowmen, and today, it houses the Museum of Ancient Weapons with over 2,000 pieces of rustic military equipment. The third tower, Palatia Montalis /Montale, was an isolated guarding post in the 13th century up until the 1320s where it still remains an isolated tower on the south eastern end of Mount Titano – San Marino’s foundation.
From catching the changing of the guards, to exploring its old historic center, and climbing its towers and walls, San Marino can be explored and enjoyed in half a day’s leisurely stroll while soaking up spectacular panorama around you.
After three hours, I was done exploring its petite old town for corner to corner, with enough time to pop into the tourist office for a novelty passport stamp from San Marino.
Here are photos from the Republic of San Marino.
How to get to San Marino
San Marino is a short 30-minute bus ride from Rimini, Italy. You grab the convenient Rimini-San Marino bus (well signed) from Rimini Central Train Station. A round-trip ticket costs €9 and you can buy it right from the bus stand.
You can view dozens more photos from San Marino in my image bank. I was exploring Emilia Romagna, Italy, as part of the award-winning BlogVille campaign in collaboration with iambassador. My daytrip to San Marino was supported under this campaign.