The tiny state of San Marino claims to be the smallest and oldest republic in the world.
It also had the world’s first democratically elected Communist government, no national debt and has more vehicles than people.
The title the smallest it just holds on to dubiously as Nauru whose landmass is considerably smaller has a sea jurisdiction which takes it far beyond San Marino in total area. As for the oldest republic, well the state has held onto its independence since 301 when fomed by St Marinus, who fleeing the persecution of Diocletian, weventually made his way there founded a monstery and San Marino was born. It held onto its indeopendence during the uniting of Italy as it had sheltered Garibaldi, one of the foundiers of modern italy while he was a fugitive.
My previous attempt to visit San marino was foiled by heavy rain and I visited Bologna again and stayed my kind host Giulia and her flatmates again before trying for a second time. Having failed to find a host in San Marino, I was like Monaco visiting it as an outsder and tourist. Was it worth worth visiting for me?
Well the weather was extremely foggy that visibility was really poor. If you want to see some of the prettey scenery that San Marino offers, particularly the veiws from the towers then visit in Summer. My view was clouded by fog, and some people find that romantic it depends on what you come for. San Marino though reminds me of Eze, which has much more agreeable weather and climate though and probbaly better scenery (afterall I ony saw the fog!). Like Eze and Szentendre, here are lots of tourist shops and restaurants and like neighbouring Italy, the Italian dishes are far better than the best I have found in the UK
The two towers (there are three) open to the public are main attractions, as well as a cable car I didn’t take and dont think it was running at the time. San Marino is worth a peek if one is in Bologna or Rimini.