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Subscribe to - Travel Articles Travel Notes: Travel Articles: Europe: San Marino - The Postcard Republic

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San Marino is perhaps one of the few countries who will never get to play in the elite World Cup tournament, but the small republic gets thousands of visitors a day, during the summer.

Although camel trains and indigenous people will not be found on the road to San Marino this photo-article tells you more about the world's smallest republic.

San Marino The Postcard Republic

The impressive walls of the fortress on the hill is looked at from the Adriatic coast like an off-colour crown in a clear-glass case.

San Marin, The Postcard Republic, copyright Michel Guntern -
The Postcard Republic - Michel, Travel Notes

No hill tribes populate the 61 sq. km. territory between the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Marche-Montfelto.

The language of the court is of course Italian, and you will not need a passport to travel there from Italy.

San Marino -- copyright Michel Guntern, Travel Notes.
San Marino - � Michel, Travel Notes

In less than forty-five minutes you will be able to forget the sandy strip of Rimini with its endless colour of beach-umbrellas, sun-loungers, and bronzed bodies paradng the latest trend in swimwear.

If you loose yourself in the Republicca di San Marino tourist literature, your mind will transport itself back to an age medieval, where horses were used for more than racing, and men lived by the sword. Past generations of the hill repbulic were also quick to defend their walls and liberty with crossbows when needed.

To bring this history alive, traditional crossbow tournaments are now staged in memory of the founding fathers; every third day in September.

Legend has it that a stone-cutter, named Marinus, left his native island of Arbe in Dalmatia to establish a small community of Christians anxious to escape the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian.

Stamps of San Marino, copyright, Michel Guntern -- Travel Notes.
Stamps of San Marino - Michel, Travel Notes

Unfortunately, there is no escape from the hoards of tourists who follow each other to the Postcard Republic. The famous stamps of San Marino may not be as beautifully crafted as they were half a century ago, but collectors still treasure them and the country continued to mint its own coins when the Italian Lira was used everywhere, but the republic's own small change was not accepted in Italy proper.

Today, the currency of trade is the €uro.

There are no longer any border formalities at Dogana, so the only green channel that you pass through is the countryside.

The agricultural income generated from such a tiny territory can best be described as modest, yet the San Marinese boast one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe; earned almost entirely from tourism.

Japanese Tourist in San Marino, copyright Michel Guntern -- Travel Notes.
Japanese Tourist in San Marino.

Although the tourist office would like to promote San Marino as a holiday destination, most of the visitors to the historic centre only give the place a day. There are camping grounds in the hills below the castle, and a couple of hotels in the capital for the people who think that perhaps it is the playground of Rimini that only warrants a day.

The San Marino F1 Grand Prix, was actually held in Imola.

By Michel.

Related Links

San Marino Travel Notes:
More about the Republic of San Marino, along with a few practical links to help you further.

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San Marino Video:
A short clip of changing the guard in San Marino.

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