A day in one of Europe’s tiniest countries: San Marino ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ

Here is how to spend a day in San Marino, a mountainous micro-state that is surrounded by northern Italy. San Marino is the 5th smallest country in Europe, is situated on Monte Titano and with its stunning views, is well worth a visit! As it is rarely mentioned in travel articles, tourists don’t flock to San Marino, making it one of Europe’s best kept beautiful secrets!

As it is such a small country, it is very easy to do a day trip from Bologna or the surrounding towns. The best way is to hire a car as one you arrive in San Marino you may want to drive around to see different things as public transport is very limited and runs to a few buses, an aerial tram way and helicopters!

Tours also run to San Marino so check out my Handy Travel Apps page and book a tour through one of the apps suggested there.

San Marino is on of the oldest republics in the world and is a surviver from the Italian Renaissance. With the downfall of the city-states that were run by the Pope, San Marino hung on to its independence and is an independent country to this day.

It is one of the only 3 countries in the world to be surrounded by another country and isn’t part of the European Union although its currency is the Euro.

1. Fortress and 3 Towers: La Rocca (1st tower), Cesta Tower (tower 2), and Montale Tower (3rd tower)

This fortress, which is a breath taking sight when you get your first glimpse, was built in the 13th century and set high on the mountain side, is in the perfect location to defend San Marino from enemies back in medieval times. The fortress itself is made up of 3 towers, 2 of which have been used as prisons and all of which have been restored.

Just towers 1 and 2 are open to the public and a ticket for both towers is 6.5 euros or 4.5 euros for 1. Opening hours vary from 08:00 – 20:00 in the summer season and 09:00 – 17:00 in the winter season.

Top Tip: There are a lot of steps and at the top of 1 tower is a ladder. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe!

San Marino
Image taken between tours 2 & 3

2. La Capanna Restaurant and Bar

After all the climbing up and down those steps in the towers and fortress I think it is definitely time for a snack and something to drink, so why not try a restaurant at the top of a mountain?!

La Capanna Restaurant and Bar is just around the corner from the fortress and the views are fantastic! There is plenty of outdoor seating and when the sun is out it is lovely sitting there with a cold drink in your hand and admiring that beautiful view. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Adriatic Sea!

San Marino
Drink with a view

3. Basilica di San Marino

This Catholic Church is San Marino’s main church and was designed and built by Antonio Serra, starting in 1826. The Basilica was built on the site of a 5th century church that was demolished to make way for the Basilica. It is of neo-classic style with Corinthian columns and a Roman bell tower.

Top Tip: Go inside for a quick look as pictures don’t do it justice!


4 & 5 Palazzo Pubblico and Liberty Square

Palazzo Pubblico, also known as Public Palace is situated on Liberty Square. Public Palace is the location for everything official in San Marino such as the Town Hall and the Government building and all official State ceremonies take place here. The building also contains guard towers as the building used to be part of the country’s military defence.

Top Tip: In the summer, changing of the guard happens daily every 30 minutes from 08:30 – 18:30.

Liberty Square is a beautiful little square which is home to Public Palace. There is also a fountain and the on the shady side the square is lined with restaurants and bars. The view looking over the country side is absolutely stunning!

Top Tip: Have a drink, admire the view and relax!

Public Palace
Public Palace
Liberty Square
Views from Liberty Square


Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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