San Marino © fdecomite
Completely surrounded by Italy and located in the Apennine Mountains, it's not surprising most people don't know where the Most Serene Republic of San Marino is. The third smallest state in Europe, after the Vatican City and Monaco, San Marino is the world's oldest republic, having been founded in AD 301 by a Christian stonemason fleeing religious persecution.
Perched on the slopes of Monte Titano, the City of San Marino is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and walking through its alleyways and narrow streets will reward visitors with some unique discoveries. Travellers can explore the medieval city's interesting history and culture in the historic centre, or visit the Three Towers of San Marino, situated on the three peaks of Monte Titano with views of the lush countryside. Other attractions include the Gothic Palazzo Pubblico and colourful fortress guards at Piazza della Libertà; the sacred art at the St Francis Museum and compelling stories of the Museum of Emigration; and the Basilica di San Marino. Nearby villages, such as Serraville and Valdragone, make pleasant day trips as well.
San Marino boasts a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm, sunny summers, providing the perfect environment to explore all this magical country has to offer. San Marino is safe with very little crime, but visitors should be aware of petty theft and pickpockets, and although there are no major health risks associated with travelling to San Marino, visitors should have comprehensive medical insurance. San Marino has no airport of its own, but travellers can fly into Rimini, just six miles (10km) away.
Sample some of the country's Limoncello and fine wine, or relax with a cup of coffee and a slice of La Torta Di Tre Monti (Cake of the Three Mountains) and watch the world go by in this beautiful, verdant mountain country.