Don't Overlook San Marino - Trip Report

May 8th, 2009, 08:21 AM
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Don't Overlook San Marino - Trip Report

In all the talk of Italy on Fodor's i rarely see anything on San Marino and rarely see anyone planning to go there or asking about it.

Too bad IMO as San Marino is not a mesmerizingly gorgeous place - really being the quintessenial Italian hill town in many way - but is also a novelty and one of Europe's most overrun tourist meccas - mainly for Italians and the multi-national brigade of folks staying on nearby Adriatic beaches around nearly Rimini.

Offhand you would think that if this is one of the most tourist dominated places around that it could not be gorgeous - but that indeed is the case as you can easily get around the mobs of tourist that stick to the souvenir-shop dominated city central if you climb up to the crag-top fortresses that once guarded the Principality

and the tourists don't ruin the sweeping views over the bucolic hills that surround the town on all sides.

Anyway this starts my Trip Report (pronounced "Trip Repoor") to San Marino - and i'd love to hear the experiences of others in the Principality of San Marino.
Palenque is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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I did it as a day trip from Rimini by public bus a few years ago. Lovely place. It was early April so not overwhelmed by tourists. We walked along the walls, up and down and all over the place. Managed to avoid the tacky shops in the main street. Gorgeous views. Next time I would move down the road to San Leo which comes even more recommended.
gertie3751 is offline  
May 10th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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Palenque....right again. We drove from Perugia to Ancona a few years ago on a May 1st...and I had read that RSM has two investiture days for a new Head of State...May 1 and October 1...good way to get rid of a guy you don't we parked in the high rise garages and took an elevator to the top deck of town...only to bump into the actual ceremonies with bands playing, people cheering, and the military in full view (I believe their army has fifty soldiers)...even listened to the "inaugural" speech in Italian, afterwhich we did the same as you suggest...leaving the center of uproar, and touring the fortreses...commanding views, 360-degrees.

Found a place for lunch, also with views...and left for Ancona in late afternoon (we had a 10 pm ferry to catch for Croatia).
All well worth the was a beautiful drive up from Perugia through forests and hills, across valleys and streams.

Stu T.
tower is offline  
May 10th, 2009, 08:03 AM
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Was glad to see this posting. I am the "unofficial" tour director for a group of friends. We will be renting an apartment in Tuscany. Since we have been to Italy/Tuscany several times, just last week, I was looking for something new and unique to visit ~ and came across Rimini and San Marino. We will have several cars.

If you can answer (or other posters) would appreciate:

How are the roads from, say Florence, to San Marino?
About how long is the drive from, again, Florence?
Easy to get from San Marino to Rimini (and how much time)?
First week of October, would beach in Rimini be pleasant?
Any restaurants that have wonderful food with also a wonderful view?
Anybody ever rented a sailboat with captain for short trip along the coast? If so, any idea where locate a boat?
is Rimini the nicest beach town?

Philip is offline  
May 21st, 2009, 11:26 AM
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Philip - i think you would do better to make a separate post on this and i'm sure you'll get lots of sage advice.

I can only answer a few - it's very easy to get to San Marino from Rimini - though in tourist season there can be quite a backup on the main road heading there. - There is a huge parking lot at the entrance to San Marino the town and a (shaky looking to me) aerial cable way that takes folks up into the main town from the parking area.

rimini to me was rather blah - though there is a vest-pocket old town center it is basically modern flats along a very nice beach - water quality did not look good when i was there with some red (or yellow?) tide.

Again post separately to get great advice from those more in the know about your questions.

I took the train to Rimini then bus to San Marino.
Palenque is offline  
May 21st, 2009, 12:31 PM
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We stayed in Bologna and visited San Marino - a day trip, Bologna - Rimini by train, then train to San Marino. The bus schedule

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valtor is offline  
May 21st, 2009, 12:32 PM
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Glad to see your post. I had a short post about San Marino a few years ago. We overnighted there and that is something I highly recommend. Like other heavily touristed places, it takes on a completely different character at night when the hordes depart. There is certainly enough to do for a day or two and as you note, the views are fabulous. We also found that prices were lower than in Italy. San Marino, together with Japan have the two longest longevity rates in the world. I wonder if it because one is always on hills or stairs? Our stay there was a pretty good workout.
basingstoke2 is online now  
May 21st, 2009, 02:17 PM
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We, too, stayed overnite and found it a delightful experience. A totally different place after the hordes leave. (Whooops.... I see I just said the same as Basingstoke. Is that plagerism? -
Still get pleasure from looking at photos of the views.
Gwendolynn is online now  
May 21st, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Is this where Enchanted April was filmed? Or maybe it was Portofino.
grandmere is offline  
May 21st, 2009, 03:40 PM
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Gwen - I wouldn't call it plagerism, I would call it good taste. (picture a smiley emoticon here).
basingstoke2 is online now  
May 22nd, 2009, 08:24 AM
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If you are going to plagerize then plagerize an excellent source, like basingstoke!

and i agree with basingstoke - try to stay overnight as i also did - after the tourist hoards - and in summer it's hoards and hoards of day-trippers from the nearby beach resorts who come here not only to sightsee but to buy tobacco and other goods at lower tax rates - the many shops in the town centre are testament to that aspect of day tripping here - as well as postage stamp kiosks - yes a postage-stamp principality.

but after all that has quieted down a very serene atmosphere takes over - with the rippling Appenine mountains (?) in the distance.
Palenque is offline  
May 29th, 2009, 07:47 AM
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Our stay there was a pretty good workout.>

yup San Marino, the quintessential Italian hill town is a vertical experience - always going up or down - yup a good workout - esp to climb up to the forts high above town.
Palenque is offline  

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