I’ve always wondered what’s in those tiny countries in Europe. They aren’t as popular as your typical European tourist destination such as Italy, Spain, France, Greece, or the UK. Are they worth visiting at all?
The first of the tiny European countries I decided to visit was San Marino. While I was in Rome, Italy, I decided to take a train to Rimini which is the launching pad for tourist wanting to visit this country. If you already didn’t know, San Marino is completely landlocked by Italy.
San Marino also claims to be the oldest republic in the world. It is also the only country in the world that has more cars than people.
How to enter San Marino
To enter San Marino, you need to take the Bonelli 72 bus just outside Burger King right across the Rimini train station. Round trip tickets will cost you 10 Euros or 5 Euros one way. In order to buy the bus ticket, you will need to go to the tourist information centre right beside the train station.
What I saw and did when I explored San Marino
As soon as I arrived in San Marino, I started making my way up towards the famous three castles located in this country. I teamed up with a fellow from New Zealand who was also staying in the same hostel as me in Rimini.
We first checked out the liquor store that was handing out free samples of different alcoholic beverages. The local San Marino liquor turned out to be quite tasty so my buddy purchased a bottle to bring back with him to the hostel.
As we walked further, we saw a police man wearing yellow gloves which was unusual so we obvious took a picture of him.
We also learned that the San Marino guards are super friendly and are more than happy to take pictures with tourists. The New Zealand guy and myself decided to take turns taking pictures with them.
After we took some pictures in the city itself, we made our way towards the three towers of San Marino.
2 of the 3 San Marino Towers
Why 2 of the 3 San Marino Towers? How come we aren’t going to all three? Well, it’s because for some reason, there doesn’t seem to be an entrance to all three towers. As a result, you can only visit two out of the three.
Tickets to enter both towers cost 6.50 Euros.
We first entered the first tower and explored the ground level. They have tons of actors pretending to be people living their daily lives back in medieval times. I’d have to say, they were doing a pretty good job.
After exploring the ground floor, it was time to go to the top of tower 1! In order to do that, we have to climb ladders into the higher floors. The stairs were quite crowded so long queues would form before you can reach the top.
After finally reaching the top, we were rewarded with an epic view of San Marino and tower 2! We made sure to take tons of pictures because it was really beautiful at the top of tower 1.
Tower 2 was a little different from tower 1. It was more of a museum for weapons and armours. It was quite fascinating looking at the different types of equipment they used for battle over the years.
And of course, at the top of tower 2, we were once again rewarded with an awesome view of San Marino and tower 1.
After exploring tower 2, we ended the day by getting a bite of pasta at one of the restaurants in San Marino. It was pretty decent but I think the Italians still make better spaghetti.
I was very surprised at how awesome San Marino was. Most likely, it was because I had no expectation and it turned out to be quite a good place to do a day trip from Rimini. If you get the chance, do visit this tiny landlocked country if you are ever in Italy. It’s a good place to do a day trip and perhaps even a one night stay.