When traveling throughout Italy, there are many places you can visit that will give you a different experience. From shopping in Milan, having wine in Tuscany, or even enjoying the beach in Cinque Terre.
Well, here is another thing to add to your list. There are two separate countries in Italy. One is Vatican City (Holy See) and, the other is San Marino.
San Marino is a microstate, landlocked by Italy. The city is one of the world's oldest republics and a historic gem, with its narrow cobblestone streets and a walled-off medieval town.
The thing I like most about San Marino is its seclusion. It's an adventure to get to, but once there, it brings up the feeling of a step back in time.
I traveled by train from Milan via Bologna. The final stop was Rimini Stazione. From the station, there are two ways into San Marino. (three if you rent a car) Hire a taxi ahead of time or at the station, and it will set you back roughly, €30 to €40. The other option os the shuttle Rimini San Marino, at €5.00 Tickets are available at a cigar shop across the street, nestled between a cafe and the Burger King. There is a sign on the window as well. By the way, they only take cash.
The bus stop is roughly 100 meters away, and the sign will say, San Marino. Once you leave the city of Rimini, you begin to see the open road and vast countryside. The views are second to none. The entire trip is just over an hour.
There's a lot to do in the city. Unfortunately, due to circumstances outside my control, I got no experience any of it. When I planned this trip, I added in a night in San Marino on the way to Rome.
I was supposed to arrive at 2:35 pm, which would give me enough time to visit the tourist office for my stamp (look it up) and visit a few sights. Due to delays, I got to San Marino at 6:30 pm, and for a cold night in February, most places close at 6:00 pm except for a few restaurants and bars.
I decided to make the most of the night. Dinner was the tastiest pasta penne ever, followed by a pasta alfredo, washed down with a bottle of local wine. I then wandered until I found a bar for a few drinks.
The next morning I had to move fast, I had to do a bit of sightseeing and have breakfast, all before my 8:00 am bus ride to Rimini. The trip did not turn out how I expected, but it was great nonetheless. I see myself returning soon!
Notable Attractions in San Marino include:
Falesia Second Tower
Basilica of San Marino - Pieve
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