San Marino is a small republic situated on the slopes of Mount Titano, on the Adriatic side of central Italy between the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions and surrounded on all sides by Italy.
Castle atop Mount Titano.
Mount Titano, part of the Appennine range, dominates the countries landscape. Three defensive fortresses perch on Titano’s slopes.
The main town lies 657 m above sea level with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and Adriatic coast, and is situated only 10km from Rimini, where the nearest airport is located.
Of Earth’s 196 independent countries, San Marino is the fifth smallest and – arguably – the most curious.
How it exists at all is something of an enigma. A sole survivor of Italy’s once powerful city-state network, this landlocked micro nation clung on long after the more powerful kingdoms of Genoa and Venice folded. And still it endures, secure in its status as the world’s oldest surviving sovereign state and its oldest republic (since AD 301).
Tourism dominates the economy of the 61 square kilometre (23.6 square miles) republic, which plays host to more than three million visitors every year.
Postage stamps and coins – keenly sought by collectors – are important sources of revenue.