San Marino

Guaita, San Marino
An independent country surrounded by Italy (between Emilia-Romagna and Marche) and the oldest continuous republic in the world, San Marino does not rise above status of mild historic curiosity on any list of interesting destinations. It has a few attractions to offer, although many tourists – predominantly, Russian-speaking, – visit it primarily for shopping. Because of that, it feels too touristy and too commercialized.

Medieval center of San Marino Città is cute, but feels slightly inauthentic for reasons beyond understanding. It would be prettier if balconies and windows had more flowers in them.

A combo ticket costing €10 can get you into half a dozen attractions, museums and castles. We only visited a very interesting “First Tower”, Guaita ♥♥. It is compact, offers great panoramic views over the countryside all the way to the Adriatic Sea, supplies some good information on the history of the castle and the republic. Several presentations by actors dressed in traditional clothes enliven the visit.

We expected more from Basilica di San Marino on account of it being dedicated to the founder saint of the country than it actually offered. Piazza della Libertà ♥, with San Marino’s own version of the Statue of Liberty and Palazzo Pubblico, is another sight to find your way to.

Car parking

There are a dozen parking lots around city center, with plenty or directional road signs. We used P7, not far from one of the Città’s gates. It was practically empty when we parked at 11 am on a Friday in the summer.