Republic of San Marino

Aug 24th, 2015, 10:13 AM
  #1  
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Republic of San Marino

After wanting to visit the Republic of San Marino since I was nine years old, we finally did last May, 2014, but for only one night. We really liked San Marino and decided one night was not enough. This past July, 2015 we returned and spent three nights in the same Ristorante Hotel Cesare. The hotel is a 4 star property located almost at the top of Mt. Titano just inside the the ZTL. This place is outstanding, as is San Marino, in general. Our room had a large balcony that overlooked the lower city, the illuminated government building, and some beautiful mountains. We would sit out on the balcony at night and just looking at the stunning panorama. It seemed as though we did not want to go to bed because of the spectacular scenery and we would miss something.

As for san Marino, itself, we found it to be one of the cleanest and well kept places in Italy. After traveling in Italy since 1980 and every year since 2005, I can speak with some first hand authority. There are a lot of tourist type shops, but anyone who has been to Venice or the Le Cinque terre can attest to the massive tourist schlock in those venues. The city was not too crowded during the day and we had the place to ourselves to explore at night. We walked the three Torre (towers) and visited the museums in Towers one and two, which were very interesting. The arms museum in Tower two was especially interesting. The scenery from any of the towers are unequaled. Thirty km away you can see the cities along the Adriatic Sea and the inland mountains in the other direction. Simply beautiful.

The restaurants were moderately priced and the whole environment was extremely friendly. Our hotel's restaurant was really first class and their product was also first rate. They give hotel guests a complimentary appetizer consisting of two marinated anchovies or sardines and a 10% discount. My wife rapidly passed them to me when the waiter left our table with a most unsettling expression on her beautiful face.

One day we took a field trip to Maranello to visit the impressive Ferrari Museum. All I can say is...I want one...a candy apple red one. They make only one all wheel drive model...like who is going to drive a Ferrari in the winter!

We do not know when we will return, but without sounding like we work for their tourist board, it is a nice place to visit after you've seen Venice, Florence, and Roma. And, and...you can walk around without wearing your money belt.
rbciao47 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2015, 10:24 AM
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Thanls for a positive trip report on The Repulbic of San Marino which like you I visited and stayed overnight - after all the Italians flocking here for cheap tobacco and booze and other high-taxed by Italy stuff the town shines - and the rest of the Republic is cool too - mountains all around - though cultural elitists will dismiss San Marino as a waste of time perhaps to me it was one of the most interesting places I've seen in Italy - I was a stamp collector when young and that perked my interest.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2015, 10:40 AM
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I have not yet been to San Marino, but it is on my wish list. thanks to your report, it has moved up several notches. Like PQ, I collected stamps in my younger days and the stamps from SM were lovely. Pal, do you remember a set of butterfly stamps from there? Perhaps they were in my father's collection.

Thanks, rbciaou, for an interesting TR.
irishface is offline  
Aug 24th, 2015, 11:03 AM
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Not exactly so many butterfly stamps from everywhere - but they do sell stamps at the post office in the town center and I believe euro coins have San Marino on one side of them.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2015, 12:55 PM
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San Marino is not an Italian region. Statements like "As for san Marino, itself, we found it to be one of the cleanest and well kept places in Italy" is like saying that while on your way to Alaska from Oregon, you found Vancouver Canada to be one of cleanest and well kept places in the US. San Marino is its own sovereign republic, like landlocked Switzerland. San Marino has several treaties/conventions with its only neighbor -- Italy -- but so does Canada. It is more independent of Italy than is Puerto Rico of the US.

Per capita income in San Marino is much higher than most of the rest of Europe -- probably closer to that found in Scandanavian countires. It also spends less on public infrastructure (there are more private cars than residents in San Marino, and most young natives leave to pursue higher education elsewhere, so the state spends little on it).

I've nothing against San Marino, never having been, but to compare only Italy unfavorably to San Marino seems to me rather misleading. You need to wear a moneybelt in Barcelona, London, Paris and Amsterdam.
sandralist is offline  
Aug 24th, 2015, 12:59 PM
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(In case it wasn't clear, I was pointing out that Canada also has treaties and conventions with its only neighbor -- the US -- while retaining its independence. San Marino is not like Quebec. San Marino is a sovereign country.
sandralist is offline  
Aug 24th, 2015, 01:00 PM
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San Marino is its own sovereign republic, like landlocked Switzerland. San Marino>

What I learnt what San Marino existed at the grace of Italy due to some concords eons ago and renewed and that Italy could close the borders anytime they want to prevent tax-free goodds swamping Italy - I'm not sure it's soveriegn in the same way Canada is but it does have U.N. status - not sure but if does then rather sovereign but at the mercy of Italy like Andorra and Monaco at mercy of Spain/France and France.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2015, 02:58 PM
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San Marino claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world,[8] as the continuation of the monastic community founded on 3 September 301, by stonecutter Marinus of Arba. Legend has it that Marinus left Rab, then the Roman colony of Arba, in 257 when the future emperor>

Wiki - sandra is correct, as usual -a soveriegn state - add another country to your travel belt - and the Vatican City too counts. Europe's only theocracy (Vatican).

We have a San Marino Consulate in the Detroit area - one of the largest group of ex-pats from the Republic in the world living around it.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2015, 04:38 PM
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Since there always seems to be a critic, I will reiterate...we liked the place and were very satisfied with both of our experiences in the Republic of San Marino. It was beautiful, well maintained, little or no graffiti, friendly people, interesting amenities, good restaurants, etc.

Those items mentioned above were good enough for us and we departed happy and content to have been there.

Buon viaggio,
rbciao47 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2015, 04:55 PM
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I was also there in July and also really liked it. We spent two nights and did a day trip to San Leo. It worked out really well for us to be there in the late afternoon/evening and morning but be gone from about 11-4 when it was the most crowded with tourists day tripping in from the coast. I thought there was a higher percentage of touristy shops than in Venice or the Cinque Terre but you just have to ignore them and see the town itself - and the view! And the towers/castles are excellent. And if you do want to do some shopping the prices are great. We also stayed inside the walls and were very glad we did.
isabel is offline  
Aug 25th, 2015, 12:06 PM
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the main shops area where Italians flock into buy cheap booze and cigs and stuff is clustered together - it is easy to get above the fray and climb up to those towers isabel talks about and down below the main town is a typical Italian (San Marino of course) landscape of hills and valleys.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 25th, 2015, 12:59 PM
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Most of that beautiful mountain scenery is in Le Marche! You can also walk around here in Le Marche without a money belt. In our condominium, the main door to the building is never locked. It does have a key, but I've used it only once, when I think the wind blew it shut. (I'm not giving you the address.)

I've been to San Marino, and we walked between the three towers, which was a nice walk. However, although I live not far from there, I've never had an urge to go back. I think nearby San Leo is much more impressive visually, especially when viewed from below, but it has no four-star hotels or tourist shops.

The wealth of San Marino is largely based on tax fraud and money laudering. Tax evasion was only made a crime there in 2013.
bvlenci is online now  
Aug 25th, 2015, 02:01 PM
  #13  
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Since traveling in Italy since 1980 and now visiting every year, going to San Marino satisfied a 56 year desire to see the place. I wrote a report about it in 4th grade and was now able to experience the republic. So, now we may not be back there until the urge moves me again.

We also spent a few nights in Padua and Bergamo this past July/August staying in the old quarter in two very nice properties. These two cities are on my return soon list. You can also walk around these cities without a money belt.

Traveling is such a great activity.

Buon viaggio.
rbciao47 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2015, 02:54 PM
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The lack of wealth of the Italian government is largely based on tax fraud and money laudering in the black market. Tax evasion was has yet to be made a crime there or so it seems. San Marino seems a step ahead.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 26th, 2015, 01:30 PM
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I never cease to be amazed at the World Class Fodorite activity of over-analyzing, criticizing, dissecting, x-raying, c.a.t. scanning every place mentioned herein.

We went to RSM, enjoyed it, it was on April 1st, one of the two days a year when a new Head of Govt. takes office. Pomp and Circumstance held the day. Speeches were kept to a minimum, restaurant food was excellent, prices moderate. The OP gave a fine, short, succinct TR. What the hell more is there to say? Zepp....learn to cool it, you might live longer and happier.
tower is offline  
Aug 27th, 2015, 12:37 PM
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Tax evasion is a crime in Italy. Not that many people end up in jail, though. Dolce & Gabbana were convicted of tax evasion several years ago, but the sentence was overturned.
bvlenci is online now  
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