Where a small country can be great: the Republic of San Marino
Any Italy lover will agree. The land of the boot is always a good idea! As a holiday country, Italy has everything you need: a wonderful climate, beautiful beaches, views of the best pizzas, beautiful nature and an endless range of cultural sights. So, what about going back to Italy? A little variation in holiday destinations and discovering a new country also appeals. In the oldest sovereign state in the world, San Marino, you can experience the best of Italy and at the same time broaden your horizons. Once the day trippers have left, you'll see the beauty of the narrow streets and sunset in this tax-free microstate. Did you think there wasn't a destination that could surpass your beloved Italy? Think again!
Italia in miniatura
San Marino is one of the smallest countries in the world. To be precise, with its 61km², it is the fifth smallest country in the world. Small, but there is plenty to discover. The country is dominated by the Apennijnen and has a beautiful rugged nature. The highest point of the country, Monte Titano, lies at 749 meters above sea level. Here you will also find the most famous landmark: the two towers Rocca Guaita and Torre Cesta. The fortress with a total of three towers (of which Montale is not open to the public), is a must for those who want to see the beautiful view over San Marino.
Other attractions are the colourful changing of the guard in Piazza della Libertà, where you can visit Palazzo Pubblico (the town hall), the Basillica di San Marino and the various museums. My personal highlight in San Marino?
With a gelato in my hand getting lost in the small winding streets of the medieval fortified town of San Marino. Buy tax-free local products to make everyone at the lodge believe that I am a star chef and of course get the official stamp of San Marino to take back in the passport.
"Only a handful of people spend the night in or near San Marino city. That makes the experience of staying in this country extra special."
Hasta la pasta
The Republic of San Marino is surrounded by the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Marche. This is good news for those who want to combine culture, shopping and good food with a relaxing day on the Italian coast.
Rimini, with almost 15 km of sandy beach, can easily be reached by car or special shuttle bus from San Marino and is only half an hour's drive away. For young holidaymakers, Rimini is the nightlife city par excellence. You will find cozy pubs, restaurants and clubs where you can dance late into the night. When the sun rises, you can order the best Italian coffee almost for free in Rimini.
For delicious piadina sandwiches you quickly return to San Marino. This way you can enjoy it all day again.
Castle on the cliff
Instead of heading inland towards the coast, San Leo is the place to be for a memorable walk. From a distance you can already see the castle. Built on a cliff, the castle of San Leo has the reputation of being the most inaccessible castle in Italy. Still, for most people the walk there is easy to do. There's also a shuttle bus, so you don't have to let it stop you when you're not feeling well. San Leo is less touristy than San Marino and has a very different atmosphere. The village square looks a bit like a film set and the eventful history is still felt here.
Spending the night in San Marino: a special experience
Only a handful of people spend the night in or near San Marino city. That makes the experience of staying in this country extra special. When you arrive at the lodge after the traditional faggioli con le cotiche (soup with beans and bacon) and torta tre monti, the favorite dessert of the inhabitants of San Marino, you will feel for a moment alone in the world. The friendly camping Centro Vacanze San Marino feels like coming home. Your desert lodge or desert lodge XL, has a very spacious terrace with lots of privacy where you can relax with a good glass of wine. Sigrid, the Dutch receptionist, will help you with any questions you may have. That sleeps nice and quiet. Or is it because of the lovely soft four-poster bed and the sounds of nature in the background?Book your vacation