Most people know that the Holy See, (jurisdiction over the Vatican) is considered a stand alone country within Italy.
But what they don’t realize is that about just over halfway up the boot on the right side is another independent country within Italy, called San Marino.
I’ve been living in Italy for 14 months and traveling Europe for the past year & for some reason I didn’t find out about San Marino until about 2 weeks before 4th of July weekend. “SAY WHAAA?”
San Marino is considered a micro state and is the smallest independent state in Europe after the Holy See and Monaco. At an area of only 24 square miles and population of about 33,000 it sits high up on the hill looking down to Italy from above.
So what would the 4 day trip be for fourth of July weekend?
A road trip that’s what!
With 2 influencers. 1 was that my colleague Patrick and his wife headed over to Lake Bled in Slovenia after a work trip in Northern Italy, and another guy in my office told me about white water rafting in Slovenia, that his wife was an instructor, how they were camping out, and that it was definitely worth a trip.
To get to Slovenia from Naples its a 10 hour drive and wouldn’t you know if you head over just a little to the right you can get to San Marino in 5 hours. Which is exactly what we decided to do, driving over on Thursday night, we were able to spend the evening there and then wake up for breakfast and walk around for a couple of hours before heading on our way.
You don’t need more than a half of a day to see the town, its not very big and there’s only a couple of side alley’s which all connect eventually.
We woke early because we wanted to get on the road just before lunch so that way we could drive the next 5 hours and set up camp before dark.
San Marino is not lacking in funds. With tourism, industry, and services, San Marino maintains good economic status and has no national debt.
Stopping at a few of the tourist shops for postcards and a magnet.
Located high up on the hill, you can look out at all of the Italian rolling hills surrounding the country.
San Marino is governed by the Constitution of San Marino, a series of six books written in Latin in the late 16th century, that dictate the country’s political system, among other matters. The country is considered to have the earliest written governing documents (constitution) still in effect. –Wikipedia
HOW TO GET THAT STAMP IN THE PASSPORT
It’ll cost you 5 euro, but if you follow the signs for the touristico office, you can go in and get your passport stamped. In fact you can do that most places if you didn’t fly or drive over the boarder. I know people who have paid for stamps throughout Asia when we pulled into ports on our ship.
Then we decided to walk all of the streets in the town and set off. For some reason they were really big on selling knives, guns, bows and arrows? That was kind of weird, but when I tried to take a picture with one, I got kicked out of the shop.
School trip, walking around, everyone has to hold hands.
Aww, 2 best friends, sharing secrets as they go along.
The main road of shops in the town, I used booking.com to find a hotel and it happened to be on this road. Not very expensive, breakfast and parking included, a really nice place to stay.
A castle at the tippy top of the hill that leads to San Marino. Castello della Guaita is the name.
And this guy is over here playing dinosaurs just outside the gate. What a lucky boy!
We didn’t have time for the tour, so I just poked my head in for a pic and then we turned around and headed down the ramparts back to the town. This entire walk took about 15 minutes.
More views of the castle from the ramparts as we walked down the back side.
Local art! Some of my favorite. So I went ahead and found a new piece and Sherrie found a couple too. I’ll have to call Roberto, my frame guy, soon because I’m getting quite a collection ready for him.
The views are wonderful from all the way up here. It was a really nice hike to get our morning started.
Lunch? Unfortunately we had to hit the road but I brought tons of snacks so we didn’t go hungry.
Now, we are headed back to the car. We’ve got to hit the road, there was a slight chance of rain.
Goodbye San Marino, I’m glad we were able to stop in for the evening 🙂
This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.
I love Italy, would love to go here also ;)
Definitely worth a visit, It's an amazingly beautiful place!