Thinking about traveling to San Marino? San Marino is a micronation completely surrounded by Italy that proudly bears the title of the oldest sovereign state in the world, dating from the 4th century AD. Its population is around 34,000 and the official language is Italian. Despite being only 61 square kilometers in size, the country bursts with architectural and natural beauty. Here are some attractions in San Marino that shouldn’t miss from any traveler’s itinerary.
Attractions in San Marino
Mount Titano fortresses
The oldest fortress perched on Mount Titano’s ridge is Rocca Guaita, built in the 11th century. It served as a prison and a military fortification over centuries and now it is a beautiful tourist attraction with some jaw-dropping panoramic views to the surrounding landscape. The climb to the hilltop is difficult but the view is totally worth the effort.
Rocca Guaita is connected to another fortress, Rocca Cesta, by a paved path called Witches’ Passage. Rocca Cesta offers the highest point for admiring the fairytale scenery of San Marino and also has a museum of ancient weapons.
Piazza della Liberta
Piazza della Liberta is the main square of the San Marino’s capital city. The city lies on Mount Titano’s slopes and is almost entirely encircled by medieval stone walls. Only a single path leads to Piazza della Liberta, which is lined with restaurants, cafes, craft shops, and duty-free stores.
The square is dominated by ancient and medieval architecture and serves as an observation deck overlooking the undulating relief of the country. The highlight of Piazza is Palazzo Pubblico, a neo-Gothic fortress-looking tower built in the 19th century that houses the Sammarinese government.
Basilica di San Marino
The basilica was built in the 19th century in Neo-classical style, replacing the former Romanesque church dedicated to St. Marinus. The main attractions are the paintings on the altars and the sculpture of St. Marinus designed by Tadolini. There is also a box with the relics of the former church.
Museo di Stato
If you are a history buff, you will have a great time visiting the National Museum located in Palazzo Pergami Belluzzi. The museum displays Neolithic archeological collections, Roman artefacts and antique San Marino coins. Aside from Italian arts, you will see Egyptian relics and Byzantine icons and paintings. Many of the museum’s items were donated over years by Italian intellectuals and politicians as a gesture of admiration for the small and proud republic.
Magnificent views from the cable car
While its main purpose is transporting people from the foot of Mount Titano to the capital city on its peak, San Marino’s cable car is also a great scenic experience. As you move up the slopes of the mountain, you will get breath-taking views of the rolling hills, forests and medieval towns. On a clear day, you will be able to see the Adriatic coastline.
The museum houses 100 wax figurines representing historical personalities arranged in scenes. For example, you can see Jacqueline Kennedy visiting Pope John XXIII, Adolf Hitler meeting Benito Mussolini, Galileo holding his telescope or Da Vinci getting his painting brush ready for a new masterpiece. Also, there is an exhibition of torture instruments used throughout Middle Ages.