Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Republic of San Marino

The Republic of San Marino is the 3rd smallest country in Europe, after the Vatican and Monaco. Like the Vatican, it is an independent country located inside of Italy. The entire country is 61 sq km (~24 sq miles). It is about 1/3rd the size of Washington, DC. It has a population close to 32,000 and the capital city is Città di San Marino.

Founded in 301 AD, it is the world's oldest republic. The country's constitution was enacted in 1600 making it the world's oldest constitution still in effect. Oddly enough, it had the world's 1st democratically elected communist government from 1945 to 1957, and then again from 2006 to 2008.

San Marino is not a member of the EU but it is a member of the Eurozone. Euro coins issued in San Marino tend to be popular collector's items.

The entire country is hilly. The highest point is Monte Titano. San Marino is best known for its three towers Guaita, Cesta, and Montale, built on Mount Titano.

In 2008, Mount Titano and the historic center were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

On Thursday, I'm headed back to Slovenia to visit this really nice guy I met while on vacation. We're then taking a short road trip to Tuscany (San Gimignano, Siena, and Florence) and San Marino. This will make San Marino the 24th country I will have been to since moving to Europe. I wonder what #25 will be. But one step at a time.

Here's a short Rick Steve's video on San Marino that I found out on YouTube.

©Rick Steves

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