I spent two nights in the tiny Republic of San Marino (32,500 inhabitants, 61 square kilometres), on top of its fortress up the hill. It was early February 2015. I spent two days waiting for the fog to go away. It did not. When the weather is bright and clear, you are supposed to see as far as the Croatian coast, on the other shore of the Adriatic Sea. I was even not able to see… Italy! San Marino attracts 2 millions tourists a year, February being obviously not the busiest month. Or maybe the other tourist was hidden in the fog?
Nevertheless, the atmosphere was kind of mystic and mysterious, and I liked it a lot. It was an adventure to meander through the narrow streets and to walk cautiously on the slippery grounds. But well worth it, with the numerous statues decorating the city and the impressive walls surrounding the fortress as a reward. For sure an atmosphere the hordes of summer tourists coming via the direct bus from Rimini cannot experience. Lucky me!
The museums were uncrowded, so were the cafés. Not to mention the restaurant of my hotel and its delightful and filling Northern Italian dishes. Yes, San Marino is in Italy. It is independent, but it is surrounded by Italy. Despite its status of microstate, San Marino manages to find eleven players able to compete (with only one win in 127 official games so far, 1-0 vs Liechtenstein) against the continent’s best football teams and to find a singer for the yearly Eurovision song contest.
Do not hesitate to share your Sammarinese memories below, as a comment…