San Marino, a country within a country… A landlocked micro nation within Italy, it is the 5th smallest country in the world and the world’s oldest surviving sovereign state. It is also is one of the most beautiful and majestic places I have ever been to.
The only way to get to the city of San Marino (Città di San Marino) capital of San Marino, is by bus or car. We took the train from Rome to Rimini and bus from Rimini to San Marino. The bus takes 1 hour and costs 10 Euro RT. The bus stop is outside the train station to the right, in front of the Burger King. You will see a sign for ‘San Marino’ to buy your tickets you go inside the tour office to the left of the train station.
For most up to date information for the buses visit: How to reach San Marino
You can see the magnificence of the city as you begin your journey there . Built at the top of Mount Titan (Monte Titano) the three tower fortress can be seen from miles away.
The closer you get, the more magnificent the views get both above and below you. The bus zig-zags back and forth up the mountain all the way to the top. When you get to the top (as far as the coaches can go) there is a tram waiting to take you up to the centro historico. To get there it costs 3 Euros. There is a parking lot outside of the walls here if you are driving as you can’t drive into the fortress. We were staying overnight so once the tram arrived at the walls we grabbed our luggage and walked the steep cobblestone streets up to the top where our accommodation was, right below the first tower.
There are many restaurants and cafes with beautiful views of the valleys below, after dropping our luggage off it was time to enjoy them and explore this charming place. We found a café at the end of the main shopping street to relax and take in some of these views.
After a quick aperitivo it was time to see some of the sights. We were given a card from our accommodation that gives you discounts to attractions around the town center. We bought a ticket to all 3 towers for ~8 Euros and started walking the walls of the fortress. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking..
An UNESCO World Heritage site and the city itself dating back to the 4th century, the cobblestone streets, towers, and buildings are so well preserved. The towers date back to the 11-13th centuries and walking amongst them is like taking a walk back to medieval times. Sitting at the top of the highest tower and gazing down at all the beautiful land below I couldn’t help but picture life as it would have been all of those centuries ago…
After hours of exploring and wandering the walls of the city it was time to check out a restaurant recommended to us by many of the locals as a great spot for sunset views and local cuisine. Upon walking back we were met by a cheerful man offering free wine tasting of some of the local wines, who can say no that!? Limoncello, reds, whites, dessert wines, the local wines were all delicious! The first thing I noticed about the city other than the views is that the locals are all so friendly and helpful even if they don’t speak much English. This always adds positivity to the experience when traveling in foreign lands.
Wine tasting complete and it was off to find dinner. The restaurant recommended to us was Nido Del Flaco in the upper part of the old town center.
The perfect place for dinner and incredible sunset views. Offering panoramic views from the Adriatic Coast to the surrounding hills of the other regions of San Marino. You may want to make reservations in advance for a table next to the window for sunset, we were lucky to get one just in time. Our meal was lovely and to top it off with those views, very impressive!
The next morning we arose before dawn and ran up to the top of the first tower to be there for sunrise. This is a must see, the sun rising above the Adriatic and shedding light upon the fortress walls. With no one else around it literally felt as if we were walking into a fairytale. This enchanting city will literally take your breath away and is a must visit!