This proud and beautifully-set city in the heart of the Italian landscape is, in fact, its own microstate. That said, you won’t find any border control, change in language or even change in currency. This might seem puzzling at first, but at every possibility of unification, this state has managed to escape. For example, when Napoleon came to Italy, San Marino’s leader succeeded in making him a friend. He thus managed to convince him to leave San Marino out of his plans. Similarly, the state of San Marino came into favor of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the hero of Italian unification, by harboring persecuted supporters of the cause before it came into effect. As such, Garibaldi granted the state continued independence.
San Marino is incidentally also the oldest sovereign state and the oldest constitutional republic in existence. In fitting with this, it still follows the constitution-like documents established in the 16th Century! It actually originates much earlier than this, however. Its namesake, Marinus, was a modern-day Croatian who came to Italy to help rebuild Rimini in the 3rd Century BC. He settled here, founding a monastic state named Monte Titano shortly after.
The country follows many of the same festivities and traditions as Italy, given that it’s a predominantly Catholic state. That said, it also has its own feast days. The main one of these is the Festa di San Marino on the 3rd September. Another great attraction for many people is the tax-free shopping that you can partake in within this country. For nature lovers, this is also a beautiful place to visit as it lies within a countryside known for its green, rolling hills.
Though it is a small state, San Marino also has a few of its own gastronomical specialties. For example. their faggioli con le cotiche is a traditional bean and bacon soup, where the torta tre monti is a layered hazelnut and chocolate cake. After your dinner, you can try their truffle-infused liquor, tilus!
San Marino is easy to access, given the lack of border controls and the fact that it lies surrounded by Italian land. As such, you can easily find train and bus connections, or alternatively use a rental car to arrive in the state.