17 San Marino sights worth seeing
The proverb “A small gold piece is a small price to pay” may well be applied to San Marino, the oldest sovereign state in the world, with an area of only 61 square kilometers. The Republic of San Marino, or as it is poetically called, the Serene Republic of San Marino, is an independent state located in the center of Italy, near the Apennine Mountains, overlooking the Dalmatian coast.
San Marino is the third largest state in Europe after the Vatican and Monaco, but in this tiny country you’ll find everything from forests, ancient fortresses and medieval markets to modern shopping centers and Olympic stadiums. Let’s find out what to see in San Marino, this small but full of wonders country!
Guaita and Cesta Towers
Cesta Tower | Photo: Christoffer Sundby / Flickr.
The two fortress towers, Guaita and Cesta, located atop Mount Titano, are the most famous of all San Marino landmarks. Not just famous, but iconic, because Guaita and Cesta are two of the three towers depicted on the official coat of arms of the country. Guaita, which appeared first, dates back to the 13th century.
You have the opportunity not only to see these fortifications from the outside, but also to go inside. In the Chesta Tower, by the way, there is a museum of ancient weapons. From the tops of the towers one can enjoy stunning views, stretching to the Dalmatian coast on one side and to the nearby Apennines on the other. On top of Mount Titano, near Guaita and Chesta, you will find food and drink stalls as well as souvenir shops.
Address: Seconda Torre, San Marino.
The third famous tower, standing on top of Mount Titano and called Torre del Montale, can be reached by walking along the cliff a little further from Chesta and Guaita. The Tower of Montale, unfortunately, is closed to the public, but a walk along the path that winds around the ridge of Mount Titano to see this majestic structure is still worthwhile. Along the way you will be accompanied by breathtaking views of San Marino, and you are sure to come across some wonderful places to rest with a picnic.
Address: Terza Torre, San Marino.
At the top of Mount Titano.
In addition to the main trail that leads to the tower, there are other hiking trails on Mount Titano that will take you through picturesque and lush forests that provide a great alternative to the crowded city center below.
Along the way, you’ll come across old stone benches that allow you to take a little break as you walk. Because the ridge of the mountain is 750 meters above sea level, the air here is fresh and invigorating. Be prepared for a cooler ride at the top than at the bottom, and don’t forget to pack a jacket to make the hike unforgettable.
Address: Monte Titano, San Marino.
San Marino museums
Torture Museum. | Photo: wikimedia.
San Marino is a small country, but that does not mean that nothing happens here. The cultural life, for example, in these parts is quite rich, and anyone who wants to combine his vacation with visiting exhibitions, will not be disappointed.
San Marino seems to specialize in quaint museums. In addition to the National Museum, there are a number of narrowly focused museums worth visiting during the trip. One of them is the Museum of Torture, which displays various torture devices used throughout the centuries.
A bit creepy, but a very interesting place! If you’re in the mood for something lighter, you can head to the Wax Museum, which has a large collection of wax replicas of famous historical figures from different eras. There is even a Museum of Coins and Stamps for those who want to know more about the history of the currency and postage in San Marino.
Address: Museum of Medieval Criminology and Torture, San Marino.
City of Faetano
Church of St. Paul the Apostle. | Photo: wikimedia.
The town of Faetano is one of the nine communes of San Marino. Before the fifteenth century, when it became part of San Marino, Faetano was part of the neighboring Italian Rimini. It is a quiet neighborhood with a population of just over 1,000 people.
Tourists come here to see the church of St. Paul the Apostle as well as the local quaint town hall. Visitors can spend a whole day in Faetano just strolling through its small streets and enjoying the local tranquil atmosphere, as well as sampling local food and wines from time to time.
Address: Faetano, San Marino.
City of Montegardino
The town of Montegardino | Photo: Daniele Marzocchi / Flickr.
Another of San Marino’s nine communes, Montegardino is known for being essentially a university town: the only university in the country is based here. Montegardino is often described as the most beautiful of all the towns in San Marino.
It has the relaxed and intellectual atmosphere of university towns around the world. You can also enjoy visiting the Montegiardino cafes and tasting the local food and drinks, including the special flat sandwiches called piadins, which are also popular in the neighboring Italian provinces.
Address: Montegiardino, San Marino.
City of Borgo Maggiore
Borgo Maggiore town.| Photo: ermakov / Flickr.
Borgo-Maggiore was once a quiet village, but over time it has grown into a modern city. Today it is one of the largest residential areas of San Marino. Borgo Maggiore is known primarily for its street markets, which are held every Thursday from early morning to 2 pm.
It is said that trading here dates back to the 13th century, so if you come here, know that you are shopping in a place with a rich history.
You used to sell cattle in these markets, but nowadays you’re more likely to find fresh local produce and household items, as well as arts and crafts from around the region. Borgo Maggiore is connected to the city of San Marino, the capital of the country, by a funicular railway, which will allow you to enjoy beautiful views during the ascent.
The address is Borgo Maggiore, San Marino.
The city of Serravalle
Serravalle Castle | Photo: wikimedia.
Another of San Marino’s commune towns, Serravalle is the largest municipality in the country. This town, lying at the foot of the Apennine Mountains, emerged during the Middle Ages and was originally a small village called “Elm Village”.
The main attractions of Serravalle are the castle of the same name, which is depicted on the coat of arms of the city, as well as the Church of St. Andrew, built in the XIX century. If you are more interested in modern architecture, then pay attention to the Olympic Stadium. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the Olympics. It is just a national stadium used mainly for soccer matches.
Address: Serravalle, San Marino.
Come to Piazza della Liberta (Freedom Square) to experience one of San Marino’s most interesting traditions, the changing of the guard ceremony at the Government Palace.
During the summer months, the guards, dressed in green uniforms and headdresses with red pompoms, replace each other every hour during daylight hours.
After enjoying this fascinating spectacle, take a walk down the only street leading from Liberty Square. Along this street you will find many restaurants, cafes and charming stores that sell local handicrafts, including exquisite ceramics.
Address: Piazza della Libertà, Piazza della Libertà, San Marino.
Entrance point to San Marino. | Photo: wikimedia.
The town of Dogana is in the north of the country, close to the border with Rimini, and is therefore used as the main entry and exit point for those who wish to visit San Marino. The name Dogana literally translates as “customs”, although you will not see any border checkpoints here. Buses with tourists going to San Marino usually stop at several shopping centers located in Dogana. There you can buy duty-free goods and souvenirs, including local arts and crafts.
The address is Dogana, San Marino.
Be sure to walk to Palazzo Pergami Belluzzi, home to the National Museum of San Marino, which displays an eclectic collection of Neolithic works, Roman artifacts, and even Egyptian and Byzantine relics.
In addition, this museum displays a variety of works of art dating back to the 17th century, as well as early examples of the currency of San Marino.
In total, the National Museum has over 5,000 beautifully preserved rarities that will introduce you to the history of San Marino and the entire region. Over the years it has been supported by many of Italy’s leading figures in society, from politicians to artists and celebrities, and many of the pieces on display are donations.
Address: Museo di Stato di San Marino, Piazzetta del Titano, San Marino.
San Marino Restaurants
The cuisine of San Marino is, as one would expect, heavily influenced by the traditions of neighboring Italy. Here the same tastes are appreciated and the food is prepared from the same ingredients. The main accent in this small country is made on pasta dishes, seafood, fresh local vegetables, and, of course, wine, which is consumed here in great quantities.
There are, however, some dishes that are unique to this country. For example, Faggioli con le cotiche, a kind of bean and bacon soup perfect for the mild winter months, or Tre Monti cake, a favorite dessert of the San Marino people. Many Italians come to San Marino for two products – wine and local truffles, which are a real delicacy. The city of San Marino is said to have some of the best restaurants in the region.
The address is Ristorante Spingarda, Contrada dei Magazzeni, San Marino.
Palazzo Pubblico. | Photo: Matteo Paciotti / Flickr.
Palazzo Pubblico, i.e. the Public Palace, is easily recognized for its Gothic style and richly decorated facade. Palazzo Pubblico is the official residence of the government of San Marino: all the main government events and ceremonies take place here.
The building is made of stone taken from nearby Mount Titano and dates back to the 1800s. When you get close enough, you’ll notice the crenellated walls and the square clock tower that towers over the main building. Overall, the structure strongly resembles Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
Address: Palazzo Pubblico della Repubblica di San Marino, Contrada del Pianello, San Marino.
Basilica of San Marino
San Marino Basilica. | Photo: Giorgio Minguzzi / Flickr.
It was built on the ruins of a Roman church that had stood on the site since the 4th century. The basilica is primarily known for housing the relics of St. Marin, the patron saint of San Marino. Inside you will see a statue of the saint, seven altars, richly decorated and intricately designed, and exquisite paintings painted by past masters.
Address: Basilica di San Marino – Pieve, Piazzale Domus Plebis, San Marino.
Maranello Rosso Museum (Ferrari Collection)
The Maranello Rosso Museum (Ferrari Collection).
The Ferrari Museum, at the foot of Mount Titano, displays a collection of cars inextricably linked to the names of Enzo Ferrari and Carlo Abart. Here you will see Formula 1 sports cars and cars that belonged to famous people, including the first Ferrari Spyder, which was the property of Marilyn Monroe.
Among the 25 Ferrari cars from 1951 to the present, the most famous one is the 250 GTO Red, which won three world championships. In addition, in this museum you will see rare, unpublished photos and souvenirs and various items directly connected with the history of Formula 1 and with the sporting achievements of Carlo Abart.
Address: Maranello Rosso, Str. Rovereta, 52, 47891, San Marino.
It may seem strange to find a fully restored and furnished farmhouse serving as a museum in a tiny principality that “clings” to the top of a cliff.
But San Marino is very proud of its long agricultural heritage, which means that the appearance of such a museum here is only natural. The main purpose of the Agricultural Museum is to preserve and show visitors some of the traditions and customs of rural life.
To that end, an old house built in the mid-1700s has been restored and furnished to recreate the daily life of farming families in the villages around Mount Titano. Along with farm tools such as sickles and hoes, there are household utensils such as copper pots, coal-heated irons, a loom, a baby cradle, and old rustic furniture.
Address: Consorzio Terra di San Marino – Museo della Civiltà Contadina, Strada di Montecchio, San Marino.
Festiva a li
Jazz festival in the city of Borgo Maggiore.
If you are lucky enough to be in San Marino in July, you will have the opportunity to visit quite interesting events. This is when the famous Borgo Maggiore Jazz Festival takes place, as well as the Adriatic Music Festival.
If you want something a little fancier, visit the Medieval Days festival, a big celebration with old costumes, folk games, arts and crafts and even campfire cooked food. San Marino is proud of its history, and therefore such medieval festivals are very popular among the inhabitants of the country.
Sights of San Marino
Capuchin Church Mount Titano Museum and Art Gallery San Francisco Montale Gallery and Historical Train Emigrant Museum Church San Pietro Statue of Liberty in San Marino Basilica del Santo
This site compiles San Marino attractions – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular guidebooks and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in San Marino, where to go and where to find popular and interesting places in San Marino.
Church of the Capuchins
The Church of the Capuchins in the capital of San Marino is an amazing ancient shrine built on the site of the ruined Church of San Quirino, and the most popular tourist attraction in the city of San Marino and the entire country.
The Church of the Capuchins is located on Via dei Capuccini, one of the main streets of the city, in the central part of the capital. It is a unique masterpiece of 16th-century architecture, with a well-preserved façade, a lovely courtyard and a small portico.Its main value is the painting “The Deposition of the Cross” by Taddeo Zuccaro, above the altar. There is also a striking inner courtyard where you can view the beautiful statue of Francis of Assisi.
Mount Titano is the highest point in the Republic of San Marino. It has an elevation of 739 m above sea level, is built of limestone and is located in the Apennines. Its three-headed peak is crowned by three ancient towers – Guaita, Cesta and Montale. These towers are the symbol of freedom and democracy of the Republic of San Marino. They are depicted on the flag and emblem of the country.
An old legend says that the Christian stonemason Marino, who escaped from the persecution of Roman pagan emperor Diocletian, founded a new Christian settlement of San Marino on the impregnable mountain of Monte Titano in 301 AD.
Since 2008 the historic center of San Marino and Mount Titano have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. San Marino has preserved the beautiful appearance of the medieval city today due to the fact that it is located at the very top of Mount Titano. The urban restructuring that occurred with the industrial age has barely touched it.
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San Francisco Museum & Art Gallery
The San Francesco Museum and Art Gallery is an art complex that offers visitors to view the works of 15th and 16th century masters. It is also part of the ancient architectural complex founded in 1361, the monastery and church of St. Francesco. The museum was opened on May 15, 1966.
The San Francesco Museum and Art Gallery is located in the courtyard of the Convent of San Francesco, near the main entrance to the city, the ancient Porta di San Francesco, in the center of San Marino. It consists of a sacred art department and an art gallery, displaying the most significant examples of the rich artistic heritage of the monastery and other Franciscan churches: precious frescoes, furniture, clothing and furnishings from the 14th to 18th centuries. It also has two small adjoining rooms dedicated to the painter Emilio Ambron, where there are paintings and sculptures donated by the author.
Coordinates : 43.93560700,12.44679800
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Montale Gallery and Historical Train
The Montale Gallery and Historical Train is a monument to the narrow gauge railroad that linked the Italian city of Rimini and San Marino from June 12, 1932 to June 26, 1944. At the time, the length of the road was 32 kilometers, the train covered this route in one hour and seven minutes.
Montale Gallery and Historical Train are located to the north of the city of San Marino, 19 kilometers from the Italian border. To date, only 800 meters long part of the railroad, which was restored in 2012, is available to the public. Here you can see the blue and white electric train “AB-03”, which was restored after 68 years and today it is located in front of the entrance to the Montale Gallery.
The Emigrant Museum is a museum of the history of emigration in San Marino, dedicated to the lives and activities of emigrants from San Marino. The museum was opened to commemorate the events of the early twentieth century, when a wave of emigration swept the country.
The Emigrant Museum is located in the north of the city of San Marino, near the municipality of Borgo Maggiore, in the center of the Republic of San Marino. It is housed in several rooms of the former sixteenth-century monastery of Santa Clare, in collaboration with the Emigrant Study Center, since 1997. Its exhibition presents many photographs of emigrants, documentaries, letters and postcards, historical documents of the early twentieth century, passports, certificates, checks and bankbooks and posters.
Church of San Pietro
The Church of San Pietro is a small church located in San Marino, to the right of the Basilica del Santo. The building is very young, built in the early 19th century. At the end of 1914, a crypt was built under the church, into which was placed the urn with the relics of St. Peter, after whom the church is named.
The belfry of the church is accessed by an elegant carved staircase. In the architectural tradition of San Marino, the apse is also carved in stone, and in it one can see two rather small openings, which constitute the humble “bedchambers” of St. Marino and St. Leo. Looking at these niches today, it’s hard to imagine that one could sleep in them. Perhaps that’s why locals attribute the “bedchambers” miraculous properties. The marble altar of the church is dominated by a statue of St Peter, the work of the sculptor Enrico Saroldi.
Statue of Liberty in San Marino
The Statue of Liberty in San Marino is a large, beautiful statue that is a sculpture of a woman in antique military costume with a spear. The woman’s head is adorned with a crown with three towers that symbolize the city of San Marino and the restoration of freedom.
The Statue of Liberty is located in Freedom Square, in front of the Palace of Government, in the northwestern part of the city of San Marino, in the central part of the country. This amazing sculpture is carved from white Carrara marble. It was given to the city by the German Countess Otilia Heirot Wagener in 1876 as a symbol of freedom. It was designed by sculptor Stefano Galletti. The Statue of Liberty of San Marino is depicted on a 2 euro cent coin.
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Basilica del Santo
The Basilica del Santo (aka the Church of St. Marino) has already become the trademark of the Republic of San Marino. This beautiful building was designed by the architect Antonio Serra in 1838 on the foundations of an old church dating back to the 4th or 5th century A.D.
The new basilica building has a neoclassical style and is decorated with numerous bas-reliefs. The interior decoration of the temple is no less splendid. The marble sculpture by the famous Tadolini on the central altar of the church immediately catches the eye. Beneath the altar itself rest the relics of St. Marinus himself, whose skull, housed in a silver casket, rests on a separate marble pedestal.
The normal opening hours of the basilica are until 5 pm, with an hour longer in the summer.
The most popular attractions in San Marino with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places in San Marino on our website.
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