6 In Central Italy/ General Info/ Italy

San Marino, Italy | 5th Smallest Country

5th smallest country in the world, sanmarinoitaly, ouritalianjourney.com

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 San Marino

5th smallest country in the world, sanmarinoitaly, ouritalianjourney
Statue of San Marino

San Marino in Italy is the 5th smallest country in the world but it is also the smallest republic in the world too! What makes this town beautiful is its hilly topography as it is part of the Apennine mountain range. Google Location MapThis little country is surrounded by Italy in Southern Europe, on the border between the regions of Emilia Romagna and Marche. It is so close, about 6.2 miles (10 km) from the Adriatic coast and the seaside town of Rimini. 

At only 61 square meters in size, San Marino is independent of its own government and laws even though it is completely surrounded by Italy.  This small country dates back to the fourth century AD. Mount Titano, is the capital city of San Marino. There is a medieval stone wall that encloses the original settlement and is completely closed to traffic. The views are everywhere you look.

5th smallest country in the world, sanmarinoitaly, ouritalianjourney
5th smallest country in the world, sanmarinoitaly, ouritalianjourney.com

San Marino’s Piazza della Liberta

Piazza della Liberta during the summer has a changing of the guard ceremony. Their uniforms are quite unique. There is one single street leading up to Piazza della Libertà that is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops selling duty-free items, one of San Marino’s attractions to visiting Italian tourists. The Public Palace is the seat of San Marino’s supreme institution and the council room can be visited only when the Parliament of the Great and General Council is not in session.

Here are the 5 smallest countries in the world along with their size:

Vatican City – 0.44 km

Monaco – 2 km

Nauru – 21 km

Tuvalu – 26 km

San Marino – 61 km


The Castles

Three fortresses – Castle Guaita, Castle Cesta, and Montale (only a tower) – crown the long ridge of Mount Titano, The views from these towers are spectacular and you can view the Apennines, the coastal town of Rimini, and the sea as far as the Dalmatian coast. The first tower called “Salita alla Rocca” was built in the 11th century and renovated since then. The second tower called “Salita alla Cesta” dates back to the 13th century. It is located on the highest peak of Mount Titano.


Get Your Passport Stamped!

Since it is a country, separate from Italy we took the opportunity to get our passports stamped. We stopped at the tourist office and the woman was quite nice and was interested in our story about obtaining dual citizenship.

5th smallest country in the world, sanmarinoitaly, ouritalianjourney.com

Tips for Visiting San Marino

We used the beach town of Rimini as our home base for this trip. We stayed overnight in Rimini and took a bus up to San Marino. The signs are everywhere to make it very easy to find where to purchase your bus tickets and where to stand for the bus. It was very easy and a great way to see two nice areas – the beach of Rimini, and then, of course, San Marino.  The bus was a €10,00 round trip from Rimini to San Marino and well worth it.

Wear your best walking shoes and be prepared to climb the steps. There is very little flat area in this town, or should I say country! San Marino is beautiful, quaint, and should not be missed. You should allow a full day to visit, especially if you want to explore the castles.

Editor’s Note:  This article was originally published in November 2016 and was updated in December 2019 for accuracy (and additional information)

San Marino, Italy - 5th smallest country in the world, we have tips to help visit, ouritalianjourney.com

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  • Reply
    Nevena Bjelic
    September 1, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Nice! I’m going there in a week!

    • Reply
      September 1, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      So jealous! Wish we were going back right away! Be safe and enjoy. Great time of year to go!

  • Reply
    Yasmin Rivera
    December 6, 2019 at 12:04 am

    We bought our house in Pesaro 4 years ago. I love seeing San Marino when we drive to our favorite coffee shop Staccoli in Cattolica. My daughter lives in Rimini Centro and works in San Marino. She dated a ragazzo who played volleyball in the Small Countries Olympics at San Marino 2 years ago and we saw the closing ceremony. If you are ever near Pesaro let me know. It is known as the biking capital of Italy and ranks #6 as the ? Best Places to live in Italy. Buon viaggio!

    • Reply
      December 6, 2019 at 9:25 am

      How amazing you have a house in Italy. Will be looking ourselves next year. Thank you so much for the post comment and if we are in the area – will certainly let you know. We love meeting new people from the blog.

  • Reply
    Gary Francis
    December 9, 2019 at 2:15 am

    Nice pictures. San Marino is our list for 2020!

  • Reply
    Mona liza
    January 17, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Like its name, “Most Serene Republic of San Marino,” implies, the tiny country is a green oasis—the perfect place to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.

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