Although it looks like a classic Italian town, charming San Marino is actually an entirely independent republic in the Italian countryside. It also claims to be the oldest surviving republic in Europe, believed to have been founded in 301 AD by Marino, a stonemason fleeing religious persecution.
Since that time, San Marino has developed its own identity, with its own mint and postage stamps. Despite only having a population of about 33,000, San Marino even has its own international sporting teams.
More about San Marino
Set on a hilltop with fantastic views over the surrounding countryside, the small city boasts an enticing network of narrow streets and an attractive Old Town. Perhaps its most impressive highlight is the arrangement of battlements and towers at the peak of Mount Titan offering an impressive view over the rest of the city.
Having retained much of its 15th and 16th century architecture, beautiful San Marino is now a celebrated UNESCO World Heritage site.