Travel guides for San Marino: the locations and the history of this small republic
Area: 56.20 Km2
Maximum altitude: 750 mt a.s.l.
>A bit of history
The history of the Republic of San Marino is an ancient one that dates back as far as 301 AD, the year of its foundation. A history of a people that has always given the greatest importance to the values of freedom and democracy, determining political, social and historic decisions worthy of note.
San Marino remained neutral throughout the Second World War and, in spite of this, honouring its proverbial hospitality, sheltered more than 100.000 refugees. Going back in time we find that it was also praised by the great Abraham Lincoln, who visited it in 1861 defining it as “.. one of the most honourable states in history…” Also Garibaldi, on fleeing the Austrians and Rome, took refuge on Mount Titan in 1849. In the course of the centuries, a number of events occurred which threatened the freedom and independence of the State, but all were fought with intelligence and great diplomacy managing to guarantee the Republic the autonomy which it has so passionately defended for 1,712 years.
>What to visit
The historic centre of San Marino is undoubtedly the place with the greater number of architectural and cultural testimonies of the past. Worth a visit are the Palazzo del Governo (Government House), the Museo delle Armi Antiche (Museum of Ancient weapons), the Basilica del Santo, the Church of St. Francis with its picture gallery, the Church of the Capuchins and then a host of “minor” museums, but none the less interesting like the museums of modern weapons, of vintage cars, the wax museum and that of curios. Every year San Marino hosts a number of theme or monographic exhibitions of international fame in various locations of the historic centre: from the Centro Congressi Kursaal (conference centre) to the Palazzo Pubblico (public building), to the First Tower of the State Museum.
>Feasts and Folklore
The Medieval tradition is very strongly felt by the people of San Marino to the extent that evetu year in te summer it holds the Giornate Medievali, the Medieval Days, historic re-enactment in costume that involve a large part of the population, and the famous Federazione Balestrieri Sammarinesi, the federation of crossbowmen, for the pleasure of the tourists and hosts of visitors that come to the small Republic. During the year there are feasts, festivals, concerts and exhibitions and sports events that offer a broad range of occasions for a visit to this place and its many entertainment opportunities.
San Marino has always been considered an ideal place for shopping. Here the prices for some categories of goods are slightly lower than in Italy. You can buy computers and technology, perfuse and cosmetics, petrol, cigarettes and liqueur, musical instruments and designer clothes in the various outlets and shopping centres of the republic.