While I was on the way from Siena to Bologna in 2019, I decided to make a detour and travel to San Marino via Rimini. I had heard of this small country before, but never visited. Its history is very interesting, as Giuseppe Garibaldi hid from his enemies in San Marino, and as a gift allowed it to remain independent from Italy. However, it is completely surrounded by Italy and has similar food and wine to the nearby Emilia-Romagna region.
In such a small place on a mountain, there is a lot to see for a couple of days. The sights include cable car up the mountain, to the beautiful village hall and many churches. Also, the food and wine, especially the Sangiovese, are delicious.
- State Museum of San Marino
- Public Palace of the Republic of San Marino
- Guaita Tower and fortress
- Basilica del Santo
- Gate of Saint Francis
- Porta della Fratta
- Porta della Rupe
- Museum San Marino Srl aka The Torture Museum
- Liberty Square
- Giardino dei Liburni
- Monument to Girolamo Gozi
- Modern Art Gallery
- Ara dei Volontari building
- Cava dei Balestrieri
- Monumento a Bartolomeo Borghesi
- Piazzale Girolamo Genga scenic point
- Borgo Gallery (Mountain Exit)
- Cable Car San Marino – City
Before you go
- San Marino is located within Italy but is not part of the European Union
- Giuseppe Garibaldi hid from his enemies in San Marino, and as a gift allowed it to remain independent
- You don’t need to show your passport going from Italy to San Marino, but you should have it with you
- An official passport stamp can be purchased from the Tourism Office
- San Marino is very hilly as it is situated on Mount Titano. Be prepared to walk up and down stairs; there are some lifts available
- The wine industry is small but worth trying
- Electric plugs are the same as the rest of Europe
- People from San Marino are called Sammarinese
- San Marino does not have it’s own airport but there are several nearby including Rimini.
- From Rimini, there is a bus with Bonelli that takes about an hour. The terminus is at Piazzale Marino Calcigni
- I stayed at the beautiful Hotel Cesare
- It is located in the upper part of the city, still very central
- The restaurant was very good and also had a nice view
- Room was comfortable and clean
Although San Marino is not in the EU, the official currency is the Euro. As of July 2023, one British pound is equal to 1.15 Euros. San Marino has its own coins
I recommend to check the currency conversion just before you leave as this fluctuates
The food of San Marino is similar to Italian food. One of the local specialties was a pasta called , served in chicken broth like a soup. It is simple and delicious. In addition to the soup, I also enjoyed charcuterie, cheese and bread at Antica Trattoria Jole Locanda.
Slightly out of the way but worth a visit was La Maison de la Patisserie. It is a neighbourhood bakery, which I found on GoogleMaps. In fact, I enjoyed their macarons and pastries a lot so it was worth the extra walk!
For gelato, I can recommend La Cremeria del Titano. Especially on a sunny day, it was perfect to enjoy while walking around the city.
La Cantinetta dello Stradone wine bar was a great discovery to try some of the local wines! Everyone was very friendly and let me try a little of five different wines from San Marino. Additionally, the food menu was also delicious. I had a piadina, which is a rustic flatbread sandwich with meat, cheese and vegetables.
San Marino Wine
As with nearby Tuscany, one of the most common grapes is Sangiovese. Of the five wines I tried at the La Cantinetta tasting, four were red wines. First, the Tessano di San Marino was a full and fruity wine. Second, Brugneto Riserva di San Marino which was also dark and intensely flavoured. And third, Brugneto di San Marino, the non-reserve version which I found to almost just as good. And finally the Sangiovese Superiore. The wines all come from the Cantina San Marino consortium. In addition, the Cantina San Marino also offers a sparkling rose wine, which was nice but I preferred the red wines!
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, it is small and there is good signage to find places of interest
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Yes, almost everyone spoke English
Q: Can I travel solo?
A: Yes, it is safe and easy to find your way around
Q: How easy is it to send postcards?
A: It was very easy to find postcards and to buy stamps from the post office. See Sending Postcards from Abroad for details on cost and the time it took to reach the USA.
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