Day Trips from Bologna - Visit San Marino

10 Reasons To Visit The City of San Marino – The Worlds Oldest Republic

Tommo Fun, Photo Inspiration 1 Comment

The City of San Marino is the Capital of the country of San Marino – the 5th smallest country in the world – at just 61KM2 (23.5 Miles2). It is landlocked within Italy, mostly bordering the state of Emilia Romagna. Aside from its history and architecture, the biggest drawcard of this tiny capital city is that it is perched on a mountain with panoramic views of the Italian countryside.

“Ludicrously stunning scenery” is the only way I could get close to describing The City Of San Marino. Our visit was mainly out of curiosity about visiting a new, tiny country but we quickly discovered why you should really visit San Marino…

San Marino Is The Worlds Oldest Constitutional Republic

Fortifications of The City of San Marino

San Marino was founded in September 301 AD by a Stonemason – Saint Marinus. Marinus had been working on the city of walls in Rimini, while also preaching the Christian gospel. At the time, The Roman empire was still Pagan. Fearing persecution, Marinus fled to the nearby Mount Titano, where he built a church and founded San Marino.

It’s fortified position on the mountaintop made it a daunting prospect for any invading army. (I wouldn’t want to take it on)

1. Visit The 3 Towers Of The City Of San Marino

Speaking of fortifications… Walking the top pathway leads you from the town to the 3 towers, with scenic views the whole way.

First Tower: Guaita Tower

The Cesta Tower (2nd). Megsy With Her New Osprey Axis Daypack

The first tower, Guaita, is the oldest. Originally constructed in the 11th century. The second tower, Cesta, was built in the 13th century on the remains of an old Roman fort. It now houses the weaponry museum – closes at 5pm most of the year, but opens until 8pm from 20th June for the summer season. The 3rd tower, Montale, is a much smaller tower which was used as a prison, rather than a fortress.

2. Did We Mention The Stunning Views Yet? Lets do it one more time!

Views towards the north-east of The City of San Marino

Still, the best reason to visit The City Of San Marino is for the incredible Panoramic views.

View Towards The South-West Across The City Of San Marino

3. Stop By The Basillica di San Marino

Basillica di San Marino

The 19th Century Church that houses relics of the patron saint of San Marino.

4. Lunch With A View Of Rimini & The Adriatic

Lunch at Piadineria La Capanna – With Stunning View

Surprisingly few restaurants in San Marino have a fully unobstructed view with outside seating. We reckon Bar Piadineria La Capanna has the best view in town (We can’t promise the best food though). You can also try a piadina, which is a famous Emilia Romagna flatbread with historic roots dating back at least to 1200 BC in the region.

5. Escape The Crowds & See The City of San Marino From A Different Angle

The city of San Marino is the small zone on top of Mount Titano. Head down the hill and you’ll be in Borgo Maggiorie – a town in the country of San Marino. From here you can look back up the mountain towards the fortifications of the capital.

Take the steep path down from San Marino to pass churches and more.

The town of Borgo Maggiorie is almost completely void of tourists but still with great views and traditional architecture.

6. Ride The Cable Car

Don’t fancy walking all the way back up the mountain? You don’t have to.

The cableway rises above the town of Borgo Maggiorie

Walk through Borgo Maggiorie and find the Cableway (8am to 8pm) for a very quick hop back to the top.

Looking back towards Borgo Maggiorie

 

Get Our FREE San Marino &Emilia Romagna Map: Interactive Google Map Overlay For Tourists

We’ve put together a google map overlay with all our top picks of attractions, restaurants, foodie experiences, accommodation, transport locations and more! Save your self a bunch of time by having our huge list of Emilia Romagna & San Marino highlights instantly at your fingertips. Get Our San Marino & Emilia Romagna Map NOW – Click Here Features Bologna, Modena, Parma, San Marino, Rimini and more!

  • Works on any device over 4G or wifi – follow the map as you travel
  • Includes every location mentioned in the article.
  • 100+ highlighted spots to visit
  • Super easy to use on google maps

7. Get Your San Marino Visa

Visit The City Of San Marino Tourist Office To Get Your Visa Stamped

San Marino is an independent country, but you can enter without a visa – so 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.

Have A San Marino Food & Wine Degustation

With San Marino’s tiny land area, a population of 33 thousand, along with 2 million visitors per year… They are not exporting too much wine and produce – they are keeping it for themselves! If you want to try local flavours, go to the source. At Giulietti Km0 restaurant, you may not have the stunning view, but you can enjoy a 3 glass wine degustation of some of San Marino’s best wines (normally all red). Plus, grab one of the sharing platters which feature salami from San Marino and other products from around the Emilia Romagna region.

Wait Till Late And Explore The City Streets With Less Tourists

Those 2 million visitors per year can make San Marino a little crowded during peak times. But during those long summer evenings, after the tourists have started to head home, you can still get some great shots of the city, tourist free, before the sun goes down. Even better, stay overnight and watch the sunset too:

Accommodation In The City Of San Marino

Disclaimer: Booking your accommodation through our links may generate a commission for us. This helps support our blog and allows us to continue providing you free information. Please use our links rather than searching on google.

Splurge Option:

The Grand Hotel San Marino

Classic traditional style – choose the superior rooms, rather than standard, for perfect views of the valley. Enjoy a massage with a view at the wellness centre.

Book Grand Hotel San Marino: Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com | Expedia | See Trip Advisor Reviews

Affordable Option:

Hotel Joli

An affordable hotel with a big bed and a view! Right on Mount Titano. Many of the budget hotels in the area are down the mountain, but Hotel Joli is actually in the city of San Marino – walking distance from attractions.

Book Hotel Joli: Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com | Expedia | See Trip Advisor Reviews

 

See More Accommodation Options:

booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com | Expedia

 

Rimini San Marino Bus & How To Get From Bologna To San Marino

The easiest way to get to San Marino is with the direct bus service that runs from Rimini Train Station. Trains to Rimini arrive from all over Italy. Regular trains from Bologna to San Marino run frequently all day and take about 1 to 1.5 hours.

The Rimini San Marino bus takes just under 1 hour and departs from a bus stop opposite the station.

You must buy your tickets from the tourist office as they are not available on the bus. It’s 5 Euros each way – get your return ticket at the same time.

The Rimini San Marino bus operates all year, though times may be less frequent during winter months. At the time of writing their website only lists the winter timetable. We travelled in June and the last bus back to Rimini was 8.30pm (not 7.15pm). But it’s best to check at the tourist office in Rimini when you buy your ticket.

If you are in Rimini, take some time to visit the old town, especially the old Roman bridge which was constructed in 20AD and still takes road traffic today!

Il Ponte di Tiberio - The Tiberius Bridge - Rimini

Il Ponte di Tiberio – The Tiberius Bridge – Rimini

 

Get Our FREE San Marino &Emilia Romagna Map: Interactive Google Map Overlay For Tourists

We’ve put together a google map overlay with all our top picks of attractions, restaurants, foodie experiences, accommodation, transport locations and more! Save your self a bunch of time by having our huge list of Emilia Romagna & San Marino highlights instantly at your fingertips. Get Our San Marino & Emilia Romagna Map NOW – Click Here Features Bologna, Modena, Parma, San Marino, Rimini and more!

  • Works on any device over 4G or wifi – follow the map as you travel
  • Includes every location mentioned in the article.
  • 100+ highlighted spots to visit
  • Super easy to use on google maps


Thanks to Emilia Romagna Tourism’s #blogville program (in association with iambassador) and the San Marino Tourism Office, who helped us organize our trip to San Marino. As always, our opinions are our own. San Marino was awesome and we highly recommend making the trip there.

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The City Of San Marino - the capital of San Marino, the 5th smallest country and world's oldest republic. Learn why a visit should be on your bucket list. The City Of San Marino - the capital of San Marino, the 5th smallest country and world's oldest republic. Learn why a visit should be on your bucket list. The City Of San Marino - the capital of San Marino, the 5th smallest country and world's oldest republic. Learn why a visit should be on your bucket list.

 

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