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Amongst the 196 independent countries, San Marino is the fifth smallest micronation  in the world. This tiny nation, which may be a minnows in FIFA World Cup , is not only one of the oldest democracies on earth but also registers  the planet’s highest GDP per capita, and highest  per capita  vehicles with 1.2 vehicles per person.

With a population of over 34,000 people and an area of 61 square kilometres, San Marino is the only nation on Earth to register more vehicles than its population.

1263 vehicles are registered per 1000 persons in San Marino. The pea-sized country is a tax haven. Separated from the European Union, it doesn’t enforce the 22% value-added tax that Italy imposes. Rather, the taxation on cars in San Marino ranges from 3.5% to 7%, depending on the car. Thus, the official number of registered cars doesn’t reflect how many are actually parked within the 23 square miles of San Marino because people from all over Italy and Europe regularly flock to this micronation to make big purchases, like vehicles, and take them across the border to their own countries.

San Marino officially called the Most Serene Republic of San Marino (quite literally) is a tiny country located in Southern Europe and cocooned by Italy. In fact, San Marino sits on a cliff surrounded by breathtaking views of Italy.

Even the smallest state in the USA , the District  of Columbia has a land area of 61 square miles and registers  a whooping population figure of 6,59,000. It also is the densest American state. Goa is the smallest state in India with an area of 3702 square kilometres and its population is around 1.6 million.

San Marino clings to Mount Titano, in the heart of the Italian peninsula and its liberty and independence has been recognised over centuries by Popes, potentates and even the emperor Napoleon. In 2008 Mount Titano, the historic centres of San Marino and Borgo Maggiore were designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Monte Titano,  is the site for the town center of San Marino that has existed since A.D. 301. UNESCO recognizes this area for its many preserved towers and other architecture. Walk the path of medieval stone walls connecting the Three Fortresses that protected the settlement during the early days of Italy’s feuding city-states.

Inside the walls is a car-free area of narrow streets and monuments. Tourists can browse through myriad shops for unique items including hand-painted ceramics and collectible stamps and coins.

Note many houses of worship. St. Francis Church and Museum, built in 1376, features beautiful frescoes and paintings. Step inside the Basilica of Saint Marinus to view seven altars decorated with paintings and precious stones. St. Peter Oratory holds the remains of St. Marinus and St. Leo in beds carved into rock.

The city’s museums reflect its sometimes-violent past. Visit the State Museum in Palazzo Pergami to learn about local history and the Waxworks Museum with 100 historical characters. See scores of pain-inflicting instruments in the Torture Museum. The Museum of Ancient Weapons is in Cesta Tower, or the Second Tower, of the three fortresses. The Curiosity Museum gathers a collection of oddities for amusement and education.

Beyond San Marino’s city walls is countryside with rolling hills and outstanding views. Rent a bicycle or camper, trek on hiking trails or do some rock climbing. Play bingo or go bowling.

Enjoy San Marino’s gastronomy. Farmers provide olives, honey, fresh meat and dairy products. Travellers should try brugneto, tessano, biancale and roncale wines. Eat fresh pasta and finish the  meal with a Titano cake and  moscato wine.

The Republic of San Marino is a very popular  tourist destination nestled within Italy and easily accessible via key airports such as Rome and Bologna. San Marino is located in Northern Italy and is an independent country founded more than 1700 years ago and offers tourists cultural sites, natural areas, retail and wholesome cuisine.

San Marino is a destination for different types of travellers where Tourists can enjoy the classical Italian tourism tour, attend cultural and festival events in summer time and it caters to the wedding tourism industry as well. San Marino is also a shopping destination with its old town full of stores and the brand-new San Marino Outlet Experience, one of the biggest Italian fashion outlet malls in Northern Italy, opening soon .

How to reach SAN MARINO:

There are no border formalities. Anyone visiting Italy with a valid visa can enter San Marino by road. Located in central Italy, San Marino is easily reached through its road links to Italy. The nearest airports are located at Federico Fellini International Airport at Rimini, 27 kilometres away from San Marino and Guglielmo Marconi International Airport, Bologna, 132 kilometres  away from San Marino.

Get A San Marino Visa-

San Marino is an independent country, but you can enter without a visa, as  long as you are legally in the Schengen Europe zone. So, if you want to get a visa stamp to prove you have been to the 5th smallest country in the world, you need to head to the City Of San Marino Tourist Office. It’s near the top of the cableway.

This small nation is also  one of Europe’s fastest growing countries in terms of  tourism growth and according to World Bank  data about 2 million people visited San Marino in 2019.

This tiny nation  is jam-packed with natural beauty, making it a great getaway for people who live in metropolitan areas, especially in nearby European countries.



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