Interesting Places in San Marino: things to do and sights to see
San Marino is a cozy oasis of freedom in the middle of Italy, "a mountain that has become a republic". What can you visit in San Marino? This small area (just over 30 km²) is home to many interesting places and attractions! A visit to this independent republic will be interesting to everyone who is travelling around Italian lands.
It is believed that the San Marino enclave is the oldest independent republic in the world (4th century). It is completely surrounded by Italy. Sights of San Marino include towers, temples and monasteries, museums and even a university. The country is divided into nine castle cities. They are also called communes or fortresses.
Photo source: thepaphosguide.com.
Attractions of San Marino
Monte Titano and the historic center of San Marino
It is the place where the main interesting places of San Marino are concentrated. In addition, it is the only UNESCO World Heritage site of this state. It is located in the capital of the republic, the city of San Marino. Monte Titano – the main attraction of San Marino – was named after the myth about the fact that once Zeus buried his enemy, a mighty titan under this mountain.
Photo source: mapio.net, author FabioCanonf14.
The new history of Monte Titano began in 301: at that time the freedom-loving stonemason Marinus escaped from the island of Rab, because he was persecuted for the Christian faith. He founded a settlement-monastery here. Subsequently, San Marino became the first free republic, which managed to confirm its independence in the Middle Ages and preserved it both in the New Time and in modern times. The Basilica del Sante situated in the historic center of San Marino was built on the site where the founder of the city and the republic was buried. Now it is the main temple of the republic, dedicated to Saint Marinus (Marino).
Photo source: journeyaroundtheglobe.com/Nahid Sultana.
The ancient defensive fortress towers are also considered to be the ancient center of the city of San Marino, the modern capital of the republic. On Monte Titano, there are three towers of San Marino, the most famous of which is Guaita. The other two towers are Ceste and Montale. In the past prisoners were held in them, and the Montale tower was a place for the observation. Now there is the Museum of ancient weapons in the tower of Ceste.
Guaita. Photo source: sanmarinoclub.com.
Other Sanctuaries of San Marino are also under the protection of UNESCO. For example, the monastery of San Francesco and the monastery of Santa Chiara. You should also pay attention to the powerful gate and the monastery church of St. Francis. And there is the Museum of Emigration in Santa Chiara.
Church of St. Francis. Photo source: mydayworth.org.
In addition, on the Freedom Square there is the Palace of Government "Palazzo Pubblico" (19th century). Cultural events take place at the Monte Titano Theater. In the center you can find many other attractions – for example, the statue of St. Marino or historical memorials in the building of the post office.
Palace of the Government. Photo source: theoutlook.com.ua.
If you see a sign with the inscription Via Eugippo, then this is the street of Eugippo, along which you can get to the Cava dei Balestrieri of Crossbowmen. An ancient quarry is carved right in the rock. The National Federation of Crossbow Sports periodically organizes competitions in shooting from the crossbow here.
Photo source: sanmarinonotizie.com, author Goffredo Taddei.
The viewing platform, from which you can take a trip on a cable car, is located not far from the quarry. You can get to Borgo Maggiore, Monte Titano, etc by air. The fare is about five euros for the round-trip. The funicular opens at 7:50. From July to September 5, it works for the longest period of time – until 1 in the morning. In May – June, as well as from 6 to 30 September – until 20:00. In April – until 19:30 p.m., in March and October – until 19:00 p.m, and in the period from November to February – only until 18:30 p.m.
Photo source: sanmarinonotizie.com.
"Welcome to the ancient land of freedom"
This motto of the Republic of San Marino is also a tourist attraction of a small country. It can be seen for the first time on the border of Italy and San Marino. You just need to get to Monte Titano through the main entrance in the town of Dogana (it is already on the territory of San Marino). By the way, on the border of Italy and San Marino the unordinary Aviation Museum is located.
Photo source: Elena Burova's magazine "Travel stories".
The fortress (Malatesta) is also located on the territory of the largest city-commune of the Republic of San Marino – Serravalle. The Church of St. Andrew (1824) is worth to visit. In Serravalle there is also a stadium, where the San Marino football team holds international matches.
Photo source: junglekey.it.
University of the Republic of San Marino
Most of the buildings of the university are located in the commune town of Montegiardino, founded by the Lombards. It is an international educational institution, where lectures are conducted in five languages and all degrees are awarded.
Photo source: montegiardino.info.
The city-commune of Borgo Maggiore was formerly called Mercatale. As before, the commune forms the main center of trade in San Marino. From the observation platform "Cantone" of San Marino you can get on the cable car directly to Borgo Maggiore.
Photo source: volvoab.com.
Museums of San Marino
If you want to visit the museums of San Marino, you should keep in mind the fact that the working schedule differs in the tourist season (June-September) and at the usual time (October-May). In the season, museums are open from morning till evening (many even from 8:00 to 20:00), the rest of the time, usually only from 9:00/10:00 to 17:00. The ticket price is 3-15 euros. Discounts are often given to children. Museums work almost every day, except for large Catholic holidays.
The State Museum of San Marino
The State Museum is located on Piazza del Titano in the Pergami Beluzzi Palace (the city of San Marino). Here you will find archaeological exhibits and discoveries, art of the Republic of San Marino, a numismatic collection and gifts of benefactors.
Photo source: djedmedu.wordpress.com
Gallery of Contemporary Art in San Marino
The modern gallery in San Marino was opened in 1956. Here both classic and young authors are exhibited. Today, the national collection of modern art of San Marino unites more than 750 exhibits.
Photo source: pinterest.com.
"The Treasure of Domagnano"
The town of Domagnano is the place where, in 1892, the famous treasure of Domagnano was discovered. It turned out to be jewelry of the 5th-6th century, worn by some of the princesses of San Marino. The most famous of the found jewelry is the golden eagle. The materials about the history of the treasure Domagnano can be found in the city museum of the same name.
Photo source: sanmarinosite.com.
Museum of Torture Instruments in San Marino
It is one of the most creepy museums in the republic, which presents dark pages of the history of Europe. It is located in the center of San Marino, next to the gates of Saint Francis (Contrada San Francesco, 2). Children, as well as people with a weak nervous system, probably should not go here. Another "torture" exposition is in the Wax Figures Museum on Via Lapicidi Marini.
Photo source: tripfreakz.com.
The Pinacoteca of San Francesco
If you liked the Franciscan temples and monasteries, then you should definitely visit the pinacoteca on Via Basilicius in San Marino. It contains a collection of paintings and sculptures (14th century), as well as religious artifacts, created in the 14-19th centuries for the needs of the Order of the Franciscans.
Photo source: independent-travellers.com.
Car Museum in Serravalle
The museum was founded in 1989 by Fabrizio Violati, an entrepreneur from Rome. The collection of Maranello Rosso, which is exhibited in the museum, consists of two expositions, Ferrari and Abarth. Here you can see more than 250 "Ferrari" and order a unique test drive. And also get acquainted with 38 Scorpion sports cars created by the motorcycle racer and designer Carlo Abarth.
Photo source: ceccatopartners.com.
Also on the territory of the republic you can visit the Museum of Natural History (Via Valdes De Carli in San Marino), the Museum of Reptiles and the Aquarium (Via Paolo III). The Museum of Modern Weapons is located in the historic center of San Marino at Contrada della Pieve and works only from June 15 to September 15. If you want to learn more about the Italian sense of humor, take a look at the Curiosity Museum at Salita alla Rocca.
Holidays and interesting events in San Marino
- February 5 – Day of liberation from the occupation of Alberon. Feast of Saint Agatha (one of the patrons of San Marino).
- April 1 and October 1 – The ceremony of investing captain regents (elected governors of the republic).
- September 3 – Saint Marino Day. Day of the Republic.
- Three days at the end of July. Festival "Days of the Middle Ages".
- Great Catholic holidays. Christmas, Baptism, Easter, the Triumph of the Body and Blood of Christ, the Ascension, All Saints' Day, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar.
Also, the New Year is the day-off (December 31 / January 1), the anniversary of Arengo (March 25), Labor Day (May 1), the anniversary of the fall of fascism (July 28) and the Day of Prayer for the Dead (November 2).
Where to stay in San Marino
On the territory of the republic there are many hotels and other locations for guests. And on the way to San Marino you can stay in the city of Rimini – a large seaside resort town. Also an interesting option – border hotels. For example, in the settlements of Cerasolo or Verucchio in Italy.
How to get to San Marino
You can get to San Marino by bus or train from Rimini in less than an hour. It is a large port city on the Adriatic coast. Federico Fellini International Airport is located 8 km from Rimini, in Miramar.