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Why You Should Go To The Republic of San Marino

(Image curtesy of the San Marino Tourism Bureau. Image depicts Old Town Center)

During the Enlightenment, aristocrats would go on Grand Tours of Europe. These Grand Tours would allow nobility to discover the hidden gems of Europe. Once the world moves past the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope to have my version of the Grand Tour. One of my stops would be the Republic of San Marino. I had the chance to speak with San Marino Tourism Bureau to learn more about the world's oldest republic.

(Image curtesy of the San Marino Tourism Bureau)

1. Why should someone visit San Marino?

As well as being the oldest Republic and the fifth smallest country in the world, San Marino is a land with countless stories to tell. Its cultural tradition and values of authenticity, freedom and identity have remained unchanged over the centuries; this is why UNESCO listed the old town of San Marino and Borgo Maggiore, along with Monte Titano, as World Heritage List. Visited by 2 million people annually (prepandemic data), San Marino is a must-see tourist destination for different types of travellers. Tourists can admire the beauty and timeless charm of the medieval old town, attend cultural and festival events or enjoy an outdoor holiday immersed in generous and unspoiled nature. San Marino is also a shopping destination with its old town full of stores and the brand new San Marino Outlet Experience, one of the biggest Italian fashion outlet malls in Northern Italy.

(Image curtesy of the San Marino Tourism Bureau)

2.How has the country evolved in the face of Covid 19?

The pandemic has prompted us to create more opportunities for visitors who want to enjoy unforgettable experiences away from crowded places, enjoying nature and the outdoors. This is why we have launched new tourism products for active holidays, supported by a dedicated promotional campaign. On visitsanmarino.comyou can purchase unique experiences such as climbing, archery and motorbike tours, as well as more traditional hiking and ebike tours. Tourism recorded a positive performance over the 2021 summer and we have recently launched our wintertime event the Christmas of Wonders, which is enjoying great success.

(Image curtesy of the San Marino Tourism Bureau)

3. Where are the top sites that anyone should visit?

In the splendid setting of Piazza della Libertà you can admire the Public Palace, seat of the Great and General Council (Parliament), where the traditional Changing of the Guard takes places. The Palace was rebuilt in a neo-Gothic style in 1894 over the remains of the pre-existing medieval “Magna Domus Communis”. At the peak of Mount Titano there are the three towers, the most imposing part of the fortifications surrounding the old town. The First Tower (also called Rocca or Guaita), built in the 11th century is the major and most ancient of the three towers. The Statutes of the 17th century provided for a guardian who had to watch over the whole surrounding territory. After having been the seat of various military institutions, some rooms of this fortress, once hosting the garrisons, were used as prisons from the second half of the 18th century until 1970. The Second Tower (also known as Cesta or Fratta) was erected over the remains of an ancient Roman fortress and was subsequently incorporated into the impressive city walls in the XVI century. Situated on the highest peak of Mount Titano (755 m a.s.l.) it offers breathtaking views over the underlying landscape. Passo delle Streghe (the Witches’ Path) - From the First Tower Guaita, heading in the direction of the Second Tower Cesta, you can cross the enchanting Passo delle Streghe (Witches’ Path), which offers amazing and romantic views over the Adriatic Coast. You can also enjoy a ride with the cableway that connects Borgo Maggiore and San Marino old towns. In less than 2 minutes, you will experience a difference in height of about 200 metres enjoying breathtaking views. Titanus Museum: A multimedia journey to discover San Marino. Emotional videos and high quality images supported by an accurate narration give life to a multimedia experience that gives the public a cognitive immersion in the outstanding episodes of the history of San Marino. The suggestions of the multimedia contents lead the public along a time span from prehistory to the twenty-first century, exploring the historical events that fostered the birth and development of the San Marino community. Stamp and Coin Museum: the collection tells the history of San Marino through philatelic issues and numismatics. The overall area consists of 700 square meters, two exhibition floors and a heritage made up of thousands of pieces to reconstruct a part of the history of the Republic.

(Image curtesy of the San Marino Tourism Bureau)

4. Please describe your national cuisine.

Fresh pasta is one of the most authentically traditional dishes of San Marino: tagliatelle, strozzapreti, cappelletti, ravioli, passatelli are served with meat sauce, sausage, peas, beans and many other ingredients typical of the area. The Republic of San Marino boasts a rich and varied food and wine tradition. The Consortium “Terra di San Marino” was founded by San Marino’s professional associations and local farmers. Among their products there are the superb extra-virgin olive oil, honey, cheese, bread and traditional cakes like the Tre Monti cake. Not to be missed are the excellent wines of the Consorzio Vini Tipici, such as Tessano, Brugneto, Sangiovese, Sterpeto and Caldese. Restaurants offer a rich selection of all kinds, ranging from local dishes like piadina or pasta to a Michelin 1 star restaurant.

(Image curtesy of the San Marino Tourism Bureau)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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