With stone towers and walls surrounding its heart and sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2008, the Republic of San Marino holds the claim to being the world’s oldest sovereign state and constitutional government.
UNESCO plaque at the entrance to the capital
My brothers wanted to soak in as much of Europe as possible before heading back home from their one-week visit, so after joining us in Berlin and then Italy, they naturally jumped at the opportunity to see San Marino. The Republic of San Marino is the third smallest European country, landlocked completely by Italy (see the map below), with entirely hilly terrain and its highest point, Mount Titano, around 2,450 feet above sea level.
MAP OF SAN MARINO
TRAVELING TO SAN MARINO
We drove our diesel-powered rental car about 3.5 hours from Eraclea Mare to the City of San Marino, the capital of the Republic of San Marino, and spent a few hours there. Taking an alternate route home, we also managed to have a short visit to Bologna on the same day.
Ian and me on the wall just outside the entrance to the capital
After driving the winding road upwards to the historic centre of San Marino, we paid just a few euros for parking and headed in through the stone archway at the entrance to the city. It took us about 2-3 hours to walk through the town at a leisurely pace and see all three towers up close.
Up and down were the only directional options in hilly San Marino.
We found the best views climbing around on the narrow stairs along the walls throughout the city.
THE THREE TOWERS OF SAN MARINO
The three towers of San Marino, the main sites to see when you visit, are located on the peaks of Mount Titano in the capital.
- Guaita (11th century construction)
- Cesta (13th century construction)
- Montale (14th century construction)
A map in the parking lot shows the location of the three towers.
The first two towers are easily accessible and open to visitors for a small fee, while the third, privately-owned tower is closed to the public.
Above: The Guaita, 1st of the three towers of San Marino (My brothers are up there with their arms up.)
Above: The Cesta, 2nd of the three towers of San Marino
Above: The Montale, 3rd of the three towers of San Marino
Walkway to the Cesta, 2nd of the three towers of San Marino
I see what they were going for here…
The crossing guard at the city’s entrance is a welcoming touch.
I suppose this guy has the best view of all.
View all the photos from our day trip to San Marino in the gallery below.
MORE ABOUT SAN MARINO
You can read more about San Marino on Wikipedia.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I welcome your thoughts and questions in the comments below!
About the Author
- In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.
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