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San Marino - The world's smallest country

San Marino - The world's smallest country

Old Jun 15th, 2013, 07:07 AM
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San Marino - The world's smallest country

We drove from Urbino along winding, climbing narrow roads for about an hour trying not to get lost. In the distance we could see what resembled the "Prudential Rock" - this was San Marino. We finally arrived - Bienvenuto!!

The car then climbed and climbed some more until we reached the top - or so we thought. A busy place with tourists and a policeman in a bright yellow shprt holding up traffic so the pedestrians could cross the road and enter the gate. We parked and joined the crowd.

The narrow streets were lined with expensive shops and little restaurants. We walked up the alleyways, always climbing until we reached the top - and the view - oh the view! I now know the feeling when one scales Mt Everest and looks out from the top of the world!

Although we did not look at mountain tops - the vista was equally as impressive. Miles and miles of green valleys, hills, villages - all the way to the Adriatic Sea. They say on a clear day one can see Croatia - I'm not sure about that, but it is possible if you dream a bit.

I stood there, unable to take my eyes off the magnificent view!! We then walked up to the basilica and the 1st of the 3 castles. Time restrictions prevented us from walking to the others, but we didn't feel as if we missed anything.

On the way down we passed a shop where I bought a pocketbook - maybe overpriced, but a memento of San Marino - the country on a cliff.

Spending an hour or 2 there was surely worth the drive.
The road back to Rimini was direct and quick. An awesome stop at San Marino!!
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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My stop over in San Marino was a highlight of my collective European travels - yes terrible overrun with tourists at times and day trippers coming to buy cheaper booze and tobacco but if you get above the fray - like to the three dcastles wow what a panorama - lovely pastoral hilly terrain.

San Marino - one of the yes most awesome countries - the world's oldest Republic - is awesome and totally unique.
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 11:00 AM
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Sorry to have missed this. We made a large circle based upon non-stop flights to/from Milan (Turin, to Spoleto, to Bologna, Lake Como) and had a train change that might have taken us to San Marino but our time frame couldn't fit it in.

So many places so little time! Thanks again, Lolo12.
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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As far as I know, the world's smallest country is the Vatican.
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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We stayed overnite in San Marino in a hotel with those magnificent views. A totally different
experience at nite after all the day trippers are gone.
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 01:48 PM
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San Marino is not actually the smallest country--that would be SMOM, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, located on a hill above Rome. There's a keyhole in a wall that gives a superb view of the city.
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Old Nov 26th, 2014, 11:28 AM
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I've wanted to visit San Marino since I was 10 years old and did a report on it in 4th grade. So this past May, after traveling in Italy since 1980, we finally went their and spent one night at the Hotel Restaurant Cesare, which was very nice. It was early May and the town was empty as we had it all to ourselves. It was wonderful and we liked it so much we are returning this coming summer to stay 3 nights.

As we were leaving town for Ariccia we saw the signs for the Ferrari Museum and this served to solidify our desire to return. San Marino met all of my long-held interests and satisfied a childhood dream.

Buon viaggio,
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Old Nov 26th, 2014, 12:07 PM
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San Marino or Vatican are not soveriegn countries but exist at the whim of the Italian government - San Marino is a Principality, which like Liechtenstein I believe is not a separate country but controlled by the Swiss mainly and Austrians.

If they are in the UN then maybe they are - I'll have to check.

Gibraltar and Monaco are not sovereign countries not is Andorra or Berwick-on-Tweed in the UK.

Maybe I'm wrong but it's just semantics.
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Old Nov 26th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Marino

I'm wrong - San Marino is the world's oldest sovereign country!

The largest San Marino dispora in the U.S. is in the Detroit area I believe - we have a San Marino Consulate here!
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Old Nov 26th, 2014, 12:21 PM
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Liechstenstein, Monaco and Andorra are sovereign countries.
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Old Nov 26th, 2014, 01:04 PM
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Glad to see this as I'm planning on going to San Marino next summer. Sounds pretty over run with tourists but also beautiful and interesting.

rbciao47 - I'm interested to know what you think there is to do there for three days? I can't find all that much info on it.

Did any of you get to any of the neighboring towns, such as San Leo? I was thinking of two nights with a day trip to San Leo. Do you think that would be enough?
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Old Nov 26th, 2014, 01:34 PM
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I'm interested to know what you think there is to do there for three days>

Buy postage stamps - a big business in the local post office in the main s
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Old Nov 26th, 2014, 02:49 PM
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There's also Swat, the head of which is the Wali.
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Old Nov 26th, 2014, 04:31 PM
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Day 1: We probably won't arrive until the afternoon, so that day will be gone.
Day 2: The Ferrari Museum in Maranello in the morning, explore the upper castello/armory, and maybe walk the towers.
Day: Not sure...maybe just kick back and do nothing or go to the Adriatic.

We've been traveling in Italy since 1980 and since I retired in 2005 we spend a month there every year. So, maybe the third day we do not too much of anything or we only spend two days there.

Buon viaggio,
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Old Nov 27th, 2014, 01:19 PM
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The Order of Malta is definitely not a sovereign country.

San Marino is totally surrounded by Le Marche, and there are lots of other equally scenic spots nearby, which are not sinking under the weight of hordes of tourists.

San Leo, near San Marino, has a much better view of the countryside than San Marino does. Its position on the top of a cliff makes quite an impression from below. It's in Emilia Romagna, although until recently it was part of Le Marche.
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Old Nov 28th, 2014, 07:09 AM
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I want to go to both San Leo and San Marino - I'll do one as a day trip from the other. I was thinking San Marino would be the better base since it's a bit larger and also since it would be a good idea to be there in the early morning/evening without the tourist crowds. Does this make sense or would San Leo be the better base? We're also planning on Urbino. Originally I was thinking 4 nights Urbino and do both San Leo and San Marino as day trips from there but that seems like a lot of needless driving so probably 2 nights and 2 nights? Make sense or am I missing something?
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