Updated: Feb 7
San Marino is one of the world's smallest countries and is the world's oldest republic that still exists. It was started in 2 September in AD 301. It is surrounded by Italy and set in a beautiful mountainous backdrop of Mount Titano. It is an excellent day trip and can be covered within a few hours. It is as rich in history as in beauty and a must see for anyone in the Emilia Romagna region.
I was staying in Rimini, so took the bus from across the street from the train station which took approx 45 mins. I was able to buy tickets for $10 round trip from a convenience shop next to the stop which is located near the Burger King. You can find the timetable here: https://www.bonellibus.it/data/linee/orari/rimini_sanmarino_invernale.pdf The 2nd last stop is the bottom of the cable car if you wanted to ride that up or wait until the next stop and you are near the top in the Old Town.
I took a photo of the sign in San Marino so you can reference the return schedule.
When we arrived, I was starving and fell into the tourist trap and went into the first cafe at the of of the lift above the bus stop. The food was cheap and did the trick, but a few steps more and we would have been able to indulge in some fabulous dining options just through the gates.
Ps. If you are looking to add a new stamp to your passport, you can get one done for 2.50 euro at the tourist information office. However no passport is needed to enter San Marino. However they do offer tax free shopping (that means no 22% IVA (VAT) with a passport and valid credit card, so you may want to bring yours along.
San Marino is perfectly preserved and has the ability to instantly transport you into medieval times from entering through the gates and waving hello to the guard. The parliament of San Marino has 60 seats, the same number of seats since its inception as a city-state. The Old Town has a wide array of gift shops ranging from leather goods, luxury Italian fashion labels, to handmade soaps and perfumes. There was also a large number of knife and gun shops. There is also an official Rolex dealer called the Clocks of Pianello located in the Piazza della Liberta, which offers a great opportunity to save on the timeless watchmaker.
After all of the moderate uphill walking, we stopped for a coffee at the Hotel Cesare for a coffee set against large windows with a beautiful backdrop.
We visited the Guaita Tower which allowed visitors to climb all the way to the top. Although the last bit was a little scary as you had to get your footing just right to use the ladder. At the top there were also little pieces missing from the flooring, which was a bit unnerving, but althemore fun.
Check out my guide to Rimini for more in the region!