Introduction

The Most Serene Republic of San Marino is the third smallest state in the country of Europe ranking after Monaco and the Vatican. San Marino is one of the most sought after destinations in Europe and welcomes 2.2 million visitors every year. This country claims to be the world's oldest republic, which was said to be founded in 301 AD by a man named Marinus who was a stonemason. The country's policy is aligned with Italy.

San Marino is one of the tourists' most favorite day-trip destinations, which is why its tourism has been booming in the past years. The natural views in the country are most spectacular during the winter.

The capital of San Marino is San Marino City. San Marino's cultures are very closely related to those of its neighboring countries. The towns surrounding the city are not as interesting and attractive as the capital. These towns are located around the mountainsides. San Marino has nine municipalities. Besides the capital, the other minor municipalities are Acquaviva, Borgo Maggiore, Chiesanuova, Domagnano, Faetano, Fiorentino, Montegiardino and Serravalle.

People

The population of San Marino was estimated to be 27,336 in 2001, while it was less than 25,000 during the earlier years. The migration rate is high inside the country, which is 11.62 for every 1,000 people. Most people of San Marino are distinctively Italian in appearance, culture and language. The dominant religion is Roman Catholicism, and most of the citizens are proud of their political and religious heritage.

There are three main types of people living in San Marino. The first group is comprised of the affluent immigrants. These are the people who live in the suburban areas ranging in age from their mid-30s to 60s. They are highly educated people who earn a big enough income to be able to live a good life. A large number of these people are homeowners. The frugal families, those families who have relatively lower income and live in the suburbs, make up the second type of people. These people are married couples aged 30 to 50 who have children of their own and earn an average income. The third type of people are the multilingual suburbanities who speak foreign languages.

Geography

San Marino is located on the Apennines Mountain, while the largest portion of the country falls on the sides of the peak of Mt. Titano. At the bottoms of the mountains are plains are dedicated for agriculture where most of the country's foods are harvested. The country experiences a Mediterranean climate for most of the year, which means that the summers and winters can be pleasantly cool especially for visitors. San Marino is entirely surrounded by Italy.

History

San Marino is said to be the only survivor among the independent states of Italy prior to the downfall of the Western Roman Empire. According to history, the country was founded by a stonecutter Marinus of Rab who fled to Dalmatia in order to avoid religious persecution. He was later recognized as Saint Marino, thus explaining the country's name. If the country was indeed founded on the dates asserted, San Marino is the oldest existing national state in all of Europe.

During Mussolini's rule in Italy, San Marino followed a Fascist type of government. During World War II, it claimed neutrality yet was still bombed in 1944. This caused heavy damages to the country, yet its resources were used to provide shelter and food for 100,000 refugees during the war.

Famous Attractions

San Marino has many famous attractions that capture the interest of many. Because of the Italian culture that it adopts, Roman Catholicism is most dominantly seen in many of its churches. The Basilica del Santo is the most important church in the country, and it is also the most magnificent. It was built in the 19th century and retains some of its original structures such as the bell tower.

The Palazzo Publico is also worth a visit from tourists. It was built in 1884, and took ten years to complete. The architectural interior is interesting and some of the most impressive tapestry works can be seen here.

The State Museum, which was established in the mid-19th century, contains several artistic collections that illustrate the country's history. Some of the collections include significant evidences of San Marino's existence since the sixth century.

Nightlife

Dining is one of the most famous hobbies of the people of San Marino. Restaurants are open until late at night or until the last diner has departed. Musical entertainment is always available. There are nightclubs and bars ideal for the stunning settings of the country. The night is ideal for spending time with family and friends.

If your language skills cannot cope with the conversations of several hundred people outside, you can always spend time savoring the beauty of the country. However, there is no better way to spend the night than to meet new people, especially locals, who would love to meet tourists visiting the country.

Culture

San Marino has a uniform culture, most of which are distinctly and dominantly Italian. The country boasts of beautiful sculptures, paintings and other art-related possessions. The traditional art forms of the country are ceramics, stone carvings and coin minting. The people of San Marino are artistic and traditional.

San Marino is a proud country with proud people living in it. They enjoy being viewed and treated with respect. Hand gestures and funny faces are not very well received, while smiles are greatly appreciated. People of San Marino are peace lovers who strongly adhere to their ethnic roots.

Cuisine

The foods that San Marino enjoy are strongly Italian, although there are those that are distinctively from San Marino. Although most of their dishes are Italian inspired, the country has its own unique cuisines. One of the most popular dishes is the Torta de Monti, which is a layered chocolate cake. The country's menus are based on the typical Mediterranean diet. Local dishes include the fagioli con le cotiche, a Christmas dish of bacon and bean soup; pasta e cece, a noodle soup with rosemary and garlic; and nidi di rondine, a pasta dish with ham, cheese, beef, tomato sauce and roasted rabbit.

Wine is an important part of every San Marino meal. In fact, some of the most delicious wines are found in this country, such as the Tessano, a famous red wine, Roncale, Biancale and Brugneto.