Collectors of small countries can add San Marino, the world’s smallest republic, 5th smallest country and 3rd smallest in Europe, after Vatican City and Monaco. Surrounded by Italy on the northeastern side of the Apennines, this “Most Serene Republic” claims to be the oldest sovereign state (301 CE). Its 33,562 inhabitants have a standard of living comparable to Denmark, no national debt, a budget surplus and more vehicles than people. Abraham Lincoln was an honorary citizen! San Marino is hilly, with capital city San Marino atop Monte Titano, site also of its three famous towers. UNESCO-listed San Marino’s ancient stone architecture, ceramics and duty-free shopping draw many visitors.
Expand your horizons… San Marino, only 6100 hectares (15,073 acres), borders on Emilia-Romagna and Marche. It is surrounded by Italy on all sides and is about 10 km (6 miles) west of the Adriatic coast at Rimini. Combine San Marino easily with Ravenna, a wellspring of ancient Christian life, or with Renaissance Bologna and Ferrara, all in Emilia-Romagna; or with Urbino, where Raphael spent his youth, or tasting great wines, in Marche.
Note: All driving tours feature English-speaking drivers and are private unless otherwise mentioned. Tours are priced based on pick-up point and number of participants. All sightseeing tours are accompanied by expert local guides.