After fiddling with this blog for the last couple years, it’s pretty well documented that I want to see every country in the world. Some people want a big house, a lot of cars, a nice watch, designer clothes. I wouldn’t mind some of that, but those are all depreciating assets, and in the end, most people don’t care what kind of car you drive or if your hand bag was made in France. You can always strike up a conversation about travel. Whether it’s where you’ve been, or where you’re going, there is always a common chord in people who like to know or hear about travel. Now I know most people don’t have the same luxury, for lack of a better term, that I have when it comes to traveling so freely. I must admit I travel a bit more than the average person would even in my position perhaps, but when it comes to travel I firmly believe in the “you only live once” philosophy. I’m not sure where I got this urge to constantly travel, but if every person has some kind of addiction hidden in their DNA, I’m glad I found mine, and I’m glad this is it.

That being said, how many people, outside of people who love geography and seasoned travelers, have ever heard of San Marino? I’m guessing not many, which is made it that much cooler that we were actually going to go there, and see what the third smallest country in the world had to offer!

a view of Tower #1 and most of San Marino

Now, there are a handful of micro countries in the world, with most of them being in Europe. Up to this point, we have visited most of them (Vatican City, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein). With Andorra, Monaco and Malta still to conquer, I was going to take any opportunity to see San Marino that I could, especially since it’s not the easiest place to get to. Here’s a quick rundown of how we got to this tiny place. We flew into Milan, which was about a 90 minute flight from Amsterdam. We then had to take a 45 minute bus to downtown Milan to the main train terminal, where we then had to hop on a 3.5 hour train to Rimini. We then had to wait around 45 minutes, to then hop on a bus for another 45 minutes to get dropped of in the center of San Marino. Then after walking aimlessly for about 15 minutes and finding our hotel, we were settled. Up to this point I think both of us would’ve said it wasn’t worth it, but in the end we both ate our words.

The only proof San Marino exists when you arrive in Rimini

San Marino, as I said, is the third smallest country in the world, behind Holy See (Vatican City) and Monaco. It actually has one of the oldest running governments in the world, and people from there do not consider themselves Italian, but rather Sanmarinese! You could honestly drive right by the country without ever knowing it, other than the fact that the old town is situated up on top of a hill, which is one of the higher peaks in the area, so that’s a bit hard to miss. Anyway, we checked in and realized that we might have been one of the few guests at the hotel that night since it was off-season. We strolled down the street, and found which we think was probably the only busy restaurant in town that night, and it was good, or at least we thought it was since we had been traveling all day. We walked the streets a bit, but closed shop early so we could conquer the country/city the next day before we took off.

Dinner spot….it’s cold, everyone is inside

So we get up, grab something small, and hit the…country. The old town area is great with the cobblestone roads, secrets in every alleyway, and the views over the countryside all the way out to the Adriatic Sea were breathtaking. As far as landmarks, there aren’t a whole lot in this little place, but the two towers which look over the whole place were pretty impressive, especially since they were built on top of this rock and anchored into the earth….mind you this was over 300 years ago!

We’re in San Marino…and Annemarie is smiling 😉

I’m really just going to let the pictures do the talking since the views and the architecture were the most interesting things while we were here. And of course the remainder of the pictures are in the album. We spent about 15 hours in this country, and saw everything it had to offer, but nothing that most people would remember, besides the towers and the views. We liked it of course, but there really is no reason to go back, unless they get a train station right in the country, which won’t happen, and even then I can’t see it happening either. It’s a country that 99% of people I talk to will never visit, let alone hear of, but glad to say that we saw it and that we’ve been there….and of course got the magnet and tourist passport stamp for proof!

Smallest tourist info place I’ve ever seen

Ciao!

View from up top

The public transport from the new town below to the old town above