Founded in the 14th Century by St Marinus, the tiny country of San Marino is truly a hidden European gem. The country is an independent republic enclosed within Italy and is 10 kilometres from the Adriatic Sea right near the centre of Italy. This means that it can also only be gotten to via Italian roads.

 So, this could be a lovely little detour if you find yourself enjoying Rome or any other Italian city. But just in case you can’t think of any other reason to go a place famous for having more cars than people, we have put a together a few facts to help you choose.  

Getting There

As we mentioned, you can only get to San Marino through Italy. The quickest way is to fly down to Bologna and take the train, which will cost you around Rp 300,000. This will get you to the city in an hour, but you can also take a shuttle bus for a little extra money and time. Either way, you’ll be very comfortable with Wi-Fi and the amazing scenery.

 Easy Access

Although this tiny Italian neighbour is not a member of the European Union, you won’t have trouble getting into San Marino with a Schengen Area Visa. In fact, you’ll have more trouble trying to find the border as most only know they have entered the country when they see signs from the administrative districts telling them so.

 Fairy Tale Castles

One of the biggest attractions are the breathtaking cliff top castles. San Marino has some of the most visually stunning examples you will see. Taken straight out of a Disney film, these fairy tale sites are filled with romantic ruins and narrow cobbled streets. They also offer traditional shopping experiences. 

 Windy Capital

The city of San Marino is an impressive centrepiece and is high on many people’s list of things to see in the tiny republic. Located 750 metres below sea level, the climate allows cool winds to blow through the city giving it lovely cool temperatures. Also within the city is the San Marino Historic Centre, which, along with the local Monte Titano, became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.

A Famous Fortress or Two

Atop Monte Titano are three fortresses, which can be gotten to via a sky lift or, if you’re feeling brave, a staircase. The oldest of the three is Guaita, which was originally a prison for a brief time. The second, named Cesta, is now a museum dedicated to the saint who gave his name to the country. The third is not open to the public at this time. Anyone who ventures up the peak will be granted stunning views of the smallest republic and one of the smallest countries in the world.  

 Photo credits: Pixabay, Pexels

Tags: Travel, Europe, Italy, Train, Castle, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, San Marino, Short Journey, Mount, Fortress