San Marino

San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino (Italian: Repubblica di San Marino), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino (Italian: Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino) is one of the smallest states in the world. It is located in Southern Europe, surrounded on all sides by the territory of Italy. Within its current borders, San Marino is the oldest state in Europe. The state claims to be the oldest sovereign state in the world.

San Marino is not part of either NATO or the EU, but has open borders with the latter, is in a customs union with it, and is part of the Eurozone with the right to issue euros and mint their own variants of coins.


Territories and tourist destinations

Urban centers

City of San Marino - The capital city of the state, perched on the characteristic three peaks and fortified, dominates the whole territory.
Acquaviva - It takes its name from a spring of water that springs from the slopes of Monte Cerreto. The town develops on the site of the ancient Cerreto
Borgo Maggiore - Built in the 12th century with the name of Mercatale as an important center for fairs and markets. Seat of the Philatelic and Numismatic Museum, it has a historic center of good interest.
Chiesanuova — The original inhabited area of the castle of Busignano asked for annexation to the San Marino state in 1320; it is located on the last border with Montefeltro.
Domagnano - It was an Ostrogothic settlement in the 6th century; the site provided goldsmith finds from that period which can be admired in the museums of San Marino and Nuremberg.
Faetano - He belonged to the Malatestas of Rimini. It was annexed in 1463 after a victorious war against the lords of Rimini.
Florentine - Possession of the counts of Carpegna, then of the Malatesta, it became San Marino after the victory against the Malatesta in 1463.
Montegiardino — Acquired with arms from the Republic in 1463, taking it from the Malatesta of Rimini.
Serravalle — With Faetano, Fiorentino and Montegiardino it became San Marino in 1463 when the papal league against the Malatestas was victorious.


Other destinations

Dogana — The locality is not a castle, but is part of the territory of Serravalle. However, it is the most important commercial and industrial center of the Republic.



Getting here

By plane
The nearest airport is Rimini Airport (IATA: RMI). Rimini is only served by a few airlines. It may be cheaper to fly to Bologna Airport (IATA: BLQ) Bologna and from there drive to San Marino by rental car (takes about 1.5 hours).

By train
San Marino has no rail connection. The nearest train station is also in Rimini. Since there is another village in Italy called San Marino, which can also be reached by public transport, caution is advised when booking a train and/or bus trip to San Marino.

By bus
The closest connection to the long-distance bus service is the station forecourt in Rimini, which is served by the long-distance bus companies Trenitalia and Flixbus, among others. from Florence, from here the regional bus line 17 (Bonelli) runs daily every 75 minutes to San Marino. A ride costs €5.00, to Borgo Maggiore €4.50. Tickets are available from the Rimini Tourist Information Office, from the Tabaccheria at the bus stop and from the bus driver.

Departures from Rimini 6:55 (summer only from early June to mid-September), 8:10, 9:25, 10:40, 11:55, 13:10, 14:25, 15:40, 16:55, 18 :10, 19:25, 20:40 (summer only), 21:55 (July-August only), 23:10 (July-August only). On Sundays from mid-September to the beginning of June, the trips at 1:10 p.m. and 7:25 p.m. are cancelled.

Departures from San Marino 6:45 (summer only early June to mid-September), 8:00, 9:15, 10:30, 11:45, 13:00, 14:15, 15:30, 16:45, 18:00, 19:15, 20:30 (summer only), 21:45 (July-August only), 23:00 (July-August only). On Sundays from mid-September to the beginning of June, the trips at 1:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. are cancelled.

In the street
Arriving by car is completely problem-free. From Rimini, the four-lane road 72 leads to Borgo Maggiore. There are no border controls, but domestic passenger and/or customs controls are still possible. Small winding roads lead to San Marino from all directions. The general speed limit is 50 km/h for all vehicles within built-up areas and 90 km/h outside of built-up areas for vehicles up to 3.5 t gross vehicle weight, 70 km/h for cars with trailers and for mobile homes heavier than 3.5 tons permissible total weight is 80 km/h, there are no motorways in San Marino. The alcohol per mille limit is 0.5 per mille and 0.0 per mille for drivers who have not held their driving license for three years and for professional drivers. Light during the day applies to all vehicles outside of built-up areas and to motorbikes (motorcycles, scooters and mopeds) in built-up areas. Using hands-free equipment to make phone calls while driving is permitted. Cars are required to carry a warning triangle and a first-aid kit, as well as wearing a high-visibility vest when getting out of the car in the event of an accident. Motorcyclists are generally required to wear it while driving.


Getting around

From Borgo Maggiore a 1.5 km long cable car runs up to San Marino (town). One trip costs €2.80, return €4.50. The old towns are small enough to be explored on foot. There are few roads that cars can travel on (and only if they are small cars). Large car parks are located near the World Heritage area.


What see

1 Basilica of San Marino (City of San Marino). Completed in 1838, it is the symbolic cathedral of the nation, also represented on the reverse of San Marino 10 cent coins. Here you can find the relics of the patron saint of San Marino.
2 Public Palace. This is the seat of the San Marino government and is recognizable by the presence of the large clock tower. Reaching the building is not difficult, it is located in the main square of San Marino, overlooking a wonderful panoramic terrace that offers beautiful views at sunset, especially in summer. Inside the palace, when there are no ceremonies in progress, you can see the Chamber of the Grand Council and the General Council and the throne of the Captains Regent of San Marino. In front of the building you can also meet the famous Rocca guards who guard the entrance to the building.
3 Torture Museum, Contrada San Francesco, 2, ☎ +378 0549 991215. Mon-Sun 10am-8pm. Winter: reduced hours.
San Marino is particularly known for its three towers, which are also represented in the coat of arms of the flag. These are easily accessible as they are identified by various road signs
4 First Tower (Torre Guaita). €4.50. 8am-5pm, seasonally variable. It is the oldest and largest of the various towers.
5 Second Tower (La Cesta Tower). Of significant interest is the walk within the walls before the actual access to the structure
6 Third Tower (Montale Tower). It is the only one of the towers that is not accessible, but offers a wonderful panorama to the visitors;



Via Carolingia — European itinerary that crosses the places traveled by the court of Charlemagne between the eighth and ninth centuries to go from Aachen to Rome, where Pope Leo III crowned the Carolingian sovereign emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on Christmas night in the 19th century .


What to do

San Marino Experience (Borgo Maggiore, in front of the cable car). It is possible to book a guided walking tour of the historic center on paved paths with an authorized tourist guide or venture outside the walls for a trek with a hiking guide or even more, go further with pedal assisted mountain bikes and discover all the castles of the Republic .
Cable car ride (Borgo Maggiore downstream, City of San Marino upstream). Taking a ride on the historic and iconic San Marino cable car will allow you to enjoy a wonderful view of the panorama of Monte Titano. It is the means of transport most used by tourists or locals to reach the center of the historic city of San Marino easily and in a reasonable time.

Currency and purchases
The national currency is the euro (€, EUR). It is one of the 25 European countries that use this common currency: many belonging to the European Union in particular the eurozone, together with the 6 non-EU members who however have no say in the affairs of the eurozone. Collectively, these 25 countries have a population of over 330 million.

One euro is divided into 100 cents. According to European legislation, the € symbol is always placed after the quantity (for example €15). All banknotes have exactly the same bill and all are legal tender in all eurozone countries.

Banknotes — All banknotes have exactly the same design.
Coins — All eurozone countries have coins issued with a national design on one side and a common design on the reverse. The coins can be used in any Eurozone country, regardless of the design used (ie a 1 Euro coin from Finland can be used in Portugal).

Commemorative 2 euro coins — These come in two variants: the common form and the commemorative mint. In this case they differ from the normal 2 euro coins only in their "national" part and circulate freely as legal tender. Each country can produce a certain amount as part of its normal coin production and sometimes "at European level" 2 euro coins are produced to commemorate special events (for example, the anniversary of major treaties).

Other commemorative coins — The much rarer variant is related to commemorative coins of other amounts (for example 10 euros or more) which have very particular designs and often contain non-negligible quantities of gold, silver or platinum. Although at a purely legal level their value is nominal, the value of the material used is usually much higher, therefore it will be very unlikely to see them in circulation.

Although not part of the European Union, the Republic of San Marino uses the Euro as its current currency by virtue of a bilateral agreement with the Italian Republic; the Republic issues its own coins in Euros, which due to the modest quantity are not easy to find (especially since only one or two denominations are issued each year for circulation) and are mostly coins intended for collectors. A local currency, the Sammarinese Scudo (1 Scudo = 75 Euros) also has legal value in the Republic of San Marino, which however is issued in gold for collecting purposes only. Consumer prices are similar to those in Italy, with slight differences, for example, in tobaccos which benefit from lower excise duties



The state is very safe in every respect.


Health situation

By virtue of the bilateral Convention on Social Security between Italy and the Republic of San Marino, Italian citizens can take advantage of local healthcare assistance in case of need. The costs of a possible emergency transfer of the patient to another Italian city, if not covered by private insurance in this regard, are borne by the patient.
Respect customs
It would be best not to confuse San Marino as part of Italy, as that might be offensive to locals.


How to keep in touch

The postal system is closely connected with the Italian one, so much so that all the castles have an Italian zip code (except that of Serravalle, which has two); since 2015, for tax reasons, Amazon has not delivered goods to the Republic.

The operators TIM San Marino, Telefonia Mobile San Marino and San Marino Telecom were present, with related network coverage, while it is possible to receive, especially close to the border, the signals of the Italian telephone operators (which makes it possible not to trigger roaming for them and maintains Roaming Like at Home with certainty for customers in participating states).

In the Republic the services are offered in ADSL, Telenet in dial-up and Prima in wi-Fi and HSDPA.

Stay informed
For obvious geographical reasons, Italian television channels are admissible, especially close to the border, in addition to being legally subscribed to Sky, with the relative right to view the contents on the move; to check before departure if the OTT services that can be subscribed to in Italy work, in particular Amazon Prime Video.

For local information you can watch SMTV San Marino or listen to Radio San Marino or RSM Classic; there are also two private radio stations and several newspapers.



The history of San Marino dates back to the 4th century; Myths and legends are mainly transmitted from the beginning, but these are still considered authentic in San Marino.



Around the year 300, according to later tradition, Marinus, a Dalmatian stonemason from the island of Rab, came to work as a construction worker in Rimini, which was then booming. Even before the last persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire began under Emperor Diocletian in 303, the Christian Marinus allegedly withdrew to the nearby Mount Titano. After the beginning of the persecution of Christians, it is said that other persecuted people joined him, and so the first Christian community was formed on the mountain. The official founding date is September 3, 301. When the situation calmed down in 311 with the Nicomedia Edict of Tolerance, according to legend, Marinus was appointed deacon by the Bishop of Rimini, Gaudentius, and received it from a Roman woman who had converted to Christianity Patrician who tradition gives the anachronistic name of Donna Felicissima, given to Titano. After the death of its namesake in the autumn of 366, the Republic of San Marino is said to have been founded, citing his legendary last words: "Relinquo vos liberos ab utroque homine" (English: "I leave you free of both people").

Among historians, this story is considered a later invention. The first evidence of the existence of a Christian community on Mount Titano comes from Eugippius, who in his Vita Sancti Severini, completed around the year 511, also reports of a monk on that very mountain. Later documents, such as the Feretran Judgment of 885, attest to an organized and proud public life. According to the verdict, neighboring bishops were unable to assert claims to San Marinese land.

In the early centuries, the small community's obscurity was its best defense against its enemies. Despite this, the construction of fortifications began in the 10th century. Confirmation of this can be found in a document of King Berengar II from the year 951 and a bull of Pope Honorius II from 1126. In 1371 Cardinal Anglico wrote that the city "is situated on a very high rock, on the top of which three huge castles (Torri ) tower". Over time, these three castles were further expanded and the water supply self-sufficient, with huge cisterns being carved into the rock to store rainwater. Below the government palace you can still find cisterns that were created between 1472 and 1478.


Rise of the republic

The Ghibellines and Guelphs, who actually lived peacefully together in San Marino, were first incited against each other by the discord between the church and the emperor in Italy in the mid-13th century, which led to the Ghibellines, who were loyal to the emperor, banning the Guelphs. The fact that the larger part of the population was Ghibelline was probably also due to the fact that in the previous centuries San Marino had to defend itself again and again against the neighboring bishops who tried to collect taxes or to conquer the area. The conflict culminated in the excommunication of the San Marinese in 1247 by Pope Innocent IV. Two years later they were absolved in Perugia, but peace did not return among the citizens of San Marino and over the next 100 years three followed further excommunications.

The second half of the 13th century was a difficult time for San Marino. The Guelph Republic of Rimini, under the tyranny of the Malatesta family, tried to take San Marino, which only an alliance of San Marino with the Ghibelline Guido of Montefeltro and later his son Federico could prevent. But the fighting lasted until 1299. In the aftermath there were further efforts to subdue San Marino. In 1291 the canon Teodorico wanted to subject the San Marinese to the Pope and make him liable for taxes. This could only be averted with a judgment by the then famous legal scholar Palamede from Rimini, who was charged with settling the dispute. Five years later, the city bailiffs of the Bishop of Montefeltro tried to claim the area for themselves. Here, too, the judgment of Palamede helped, which was again declared final at the request of the San Marinese at Pope Boniface VIII. The Pope finally recognized the full sovereignty and independence of San Marino. In the years that followed, the neighboring states repeatedly tried to conquer San Marino - each time without success. When in 1303 some ambassadors of the Feretran (Montefeltrian) Church were captured after invading San Marinese territory, the conflict flared up again. The fighting continued until 1320, when San Marino, thanks to its excellently trained army, was able to force Bishop Uberto (or Liberto) to make peace. Enemies of San Marino eventually realized that the territory could not be taken militarily and tried diplomacy. The republic was offered ecclesiastical forgiveness, tax exemption for property outside its territory and other rights such as commercial law. In return, they demanded that some Urbino refugees who had been taken in by San Marino be extradited. However, San Marino refused, which resulted in further hostilities, especially with the Malatesta family, until the end of the 14th century. But when that same family under Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta fell out of favor with both the Pope and the King of Naples 100 years later, the San Marinese seized the opportunity, concluded an alliance with the Church on September 21, 1461 and went to war up again. In 1463 the war ended in favor of the San Marinese and Pope Pius II awarded the Republic the three Castelli Fiorentino, Montegiardino and Serravalle. In the same year, the Castello Faetano also voluntarily joined the small republic. This was the last war and the last territorial expansion of San Marino.

In 1503, Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI, invaded the republic and imposed a dictatorship. It did not last long, however, as Borgia's army was crushed during a simultaneous uprising in the Duchy of Urbino - in which San Marinese also took part.


Descent and new pride

On October 8, 1600, a newly drafted constitution came into force, the main features of which can still be found in today's constitution. At that time, too, the San Marinese had to defend themselves again and again against conquerors. In 1602 a treaty of protection was signed with the church, which finally came into force in 1631. Despite this success, San Marino did not fare well during this period: famous people emigrated, noble families died out and the cultural level sank in the following decades.

Only when the country was conquered again was the national pride of the San Marinese revived. On October 17, 1739, Cardinal Giulio Alberoni, then papal legate of Romagna, invaded the Republic. The San Marinese turned again to the Pope, who sent Cardinal Enrico Enriquez to San Marino to get an idea of the situation there. Based on his reports, the pope ordered the withdrawal from San Marino, and so the republic was free again on February 5, 1740.

When Napoleon gradually gained supremacy over the entire Italian peninsula from 1796 and various republics formed, the San Marinese immediately concluded trade agreements with them to express their bond with Napoleon. By his own admission, he was an admirer of the small state who had never been subject to anyone else, so during the Italian campaign his troops were ordered not to cross the borders of the Republic of San Marino. In a spirit of victory, he offered to reward the San Marinese with two cannons, several loads of grain and a territorial extension to the sea for their historical inflexibility. The self-assuredly reserved San Marinese missed the historic opportunity to expand their land - knowing full well that it would lead to ongoing disputes with their neighbors. They also sent back the cannons. Only the cargo of grain was accepted as a peaceful gift from Napoleon.

After France's defeat, the Congress of Vienna in 1815 decided that the pre-Napoleonic order should be restored in Italy. Not only did the Spanish Bourbons regain the south of the peninsula and the Habsburgs the north, but San Marino also remained free.


Italian unification

While freedom movements formed in all parts of Italy during the Risorgimento phase, the free Republic of San Marino offered refugees asylum. After the suppression of the revolutions of 1848/49, Giuseppe Garibaldi fled to San Marino and in 1861 also received San Marinese citizenship.

After plebiscites in Sicily and northern Italy, in which both areas had overwhelmingly voted in favor of joining the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, and after the Papal States had already been taken by Piedmontese troops down to what is now the Lazio region, on March 17, 1861 finally proclaimed the new kingdom of Italy. San Marino, always a free republic, never wanted to be part of another state and therefore remained independent. The later honorary citizen Abraham Lincoln wrote to the Capitani Reggenti: "Although your territory is small: your state is one of the most honored in history". As early as March 22, 1862, the Republic concluded far-reaching treaties with the Kingdom, which stipulated that San Marino and the Kingdom of Italy were equal partners. This convention was renewed on March 27, 1872.

In 1865, San Marino – as the first sovereign European state still in existence today – abolished the death penalty. The last known use of the death penalty in San Marino was in 1468.


The period leading up to the end of World War II

Until 1906, the 60 members of Parliament were appointed for life and filled independently. Political elections were introduced with the Arengo of 1906. During World War I, San Marino initially remained neutral, but signed a treaty proposed by Italy on May 24, 1915, under which it pledged not to support any action that might harm Italy in the war. San Marino was not allowed to take in Italian deserters. In return, it was promised that Italian authorities would not be allowed to confiscate material goods from San Marinese citizens for war purposes; Italian citizens did not enjoy this protection. In the middle of 1915, at the suggestion of the student Giuliano Gozi, a group of young people (the figures vary between 10 and 15 young men) went to war. Furthermore, the Comitato pro fratelli combattenti (Committee for the Fighting Brothers) was set up, an organization to provide humanitarian aid to war refugees. When this set up a field hospital, Austria-Hungary declared war on San Marino. During World War I, two citizens of San Marino (Carlo Simoncini and Sady Serafini) died. A European curiosity also goes back to the declaration of war in 1915: from that moment on, San Marino was officially at war with the German Reich, but never made peace, so that the state of war continued and therefore also existed in 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War.

On April 1, 1923, the first two fascist Capitani Reggenti took office, the fascist party (Partito Fascista Sammarinese) achieved an absolute majority in the elections on April 4, 1923. However, despite its proximity to the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the republic later did not provide any soldiers for the Italian army, and since the fascist government of San Marino was committed to neutrality, the republic remained officially neutral during the Second World War. In 1941/42, opposition forces managed to enter parliament again for the first time, which gave impetus to the anti-fascist resistance. The San Marinese Fascist Party finally dissolved on July 28, 1943 - three days after Mussolini's fall. In the years that followed, San Marino took in up to 100,000 refugees. Despite neutrality and the marking of national territory with huge white crosses, British bombers dropped several hundred bombs over San Marino on June 26, 1944, killing 60 people and injuring hundreds. The British government later admitted that this attack was unjustified. In September 1944 there was renewed fighting around San Marino as German and Allied troops fought for the area. Finally, on September 19, the British 8th Army was able to take over the area. The Allies stayed in San Marino until November 1944, among other things to help with the repatriation of the many refugees.


Post war period

Since both the constitution and legislation remained untouched during the fascist government, there were few fundamental political changes in the republic after the end of World War II.

One of them concerned the introduction of women's suffrage. Active women's suffrage was introduced with the law of December 23, 1958. However, women had to wait until the 1964 elections before they were allowed to vote for the first time: the law of April 29, 1959 stipulated that women's right to vote should not come into effect until January 1, 1960. The decision of April 29, 1959 was confirmed by Parliament on July 7. Passive women's suffrage did not become law until September 10, 1973.

It is little known that from 1947 to 1957 (Rovereta clashes) and again from 1978 to 1986 the republic was ruled by a left popular front including the communists. As a result, the extremely anti-communist Spanish Franco government in the 1950s refused entry to Spain to all tourists and business travelers who had a San Marino stamp in their passport. In the late 1980s, the CP of San Marino renamed itself the Progressive Democratic Party.

Since the late 1950s, tourism has played an increasingly important role in San Marino. In 2005 over 2 million tourists visited the state with its 30,000 inhabitants. Tax revenues increased, so that since 1975 all medical care can be offered free of charge. Today, tourism directly or indirectly brings in 60 percent of government revenue. Most tourists come for day trips from nearby Adriatic tourist centers such as Rimini and Pesaro. The republic – also a member of the United Nations since 1992 – is debt-free.

In a referendum in September 2021, the people of San Marino voted to legalize abortion. Until then, the republic was one of the last countries in Europe (along with Andorra) in which voluntary termination of pregnancy was a punishable offense.



The country is often mistakenly considered a city-state, but it does not conform to the characteristics of such a state. San Marino is located at 43°56' North and 12°27' East. The national territory is approximately in the shape of an irregular pentagon; it is 61.19 square kilometers in size. San Marino is completely enclosed by the national territory of Italy. The border with Italy is 39 kilometers long. The country borders the two Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna in the north-east and the Marche in the south-west.


Physical geography

Geology and geomorphology

The Republic of San Marino is located northeast of the Apennine Peninsula on the eastern slope of the Etruscan Apennines. The central area of the country is almost completely traversed in a north-south direction by the limestone ridge of Monte Titano, which drops steeply to the east and is about seven kilometers long. At a height of 739 meters, it is the highest peak in the republic. The deepest point is the Torrente Ausa at 55 meters. The area is mostly hilly.

Two major rivers have their source in the national territory: the Ausa and the Fiumicello. The rivers San Marino and Marano also flow through the country.



San Marino has a humid subtropical climate (effective climate classification: Cfa), which is somewhat cooler here than on the nearby coast due to the altitude. In summer the temperatures are between 20 °C and 32 °C, in winter between -2 °C and 10 °C. In warm summers, temperatures also rise to 35 °C. In winter, the temperature occasionally drops below −5 °C. Then it can snow on Monte Titano. Rain falls evenly throughout the year, totaling about 550 millimeters per year.



The steep slopes of Monte Titano and the hilly landscape around the massif are relatively densely forested and bear the typical Mediterranean vegetation. It includes deciduous deciduous forest with maple and elm as well as evergreen groves with holm oak and pine; Laurel, myrtle and lavender bushes as well as strawberry and olive trees grow in the evergreen bush forest, the Macchie.



The animal world of the country primarily includes species that are considered to be descendants of humans and as such can also be found in the vicinity of human settlements. These include foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs and martens. Other species such as deer and weasels prefer the more dense forest areas as their habitat. The bird fauna is rich in species. Falcons breed in rock niches or on tall trees, and songbirds include the nightingale, oriole, goldfinch, serin and linnet.




Today, 83.1% San Marinese citizens and 12% Italian citizens live in San Marino.

San Marino has 33,598 inhabitants (as of May 31, 2021). Of these, 4,056 live in the capital San Marino. The largest settlement is Serravalle with 11,055 inhabitants. 6,968 people live in Borgo Maggiore, 3,543 in Domagnano, 2,544 in Fiorentino, 2,113 in Acquaviva, 1,180 in Faetano, 1,135 in Chiesanuova and 1,004 in Montegiardino. The proportion of women in San Marino is 50.9%.

In addition, there are almost 12,800 citizens who live abroad, especially in Italy, the USA, France and Argentina (as of December 2012).

The population density is 536 inhabitants/km². The birth rate was 10.6 per 1000 people in the period 2000-2004, the death rate was 6.8 per 1000 people, so that the population of San Marino is still growing today. Life expectancy at birth in 2016 was 80.7 years for men and 86.1 years for women. The average life expectancy is 83.3 years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), San Marino is the country with the highest life expectancy for men.



The national language is Italian. Due to the strong tourist orientation of the state, almost every resident speaks a foreign language fluently, mostly English, German or French. The Romagnol dialect, which is partly influenced by that of the neighboring Italian region of Marche, is particularly common among older generations.



Roman Catholic Christianity is the dominant religion in San Marino, but not the state religion. The national territory belongs to the territory of the Catholic Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro, which is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Ravenna-Cervia. 92.3% of the population are Catholics, 4.7% belong to other religious communities and 3.0% to no religion.




The political system of San Marino is that of a parliamentary representative democracy. It was enshrined in the 1600s Constitution, the oldest republican constitution still in force in the world.


Legislative branch

Legislative power is exercised by the Consiglio Grande e Generale, whose 60 members are elected for five years by the voting population (18 years and older) (see elections in San Marino). He also approves the state budget and appoints the heads of state, the Capitani Reggenti.

After the elections in June 2001, a coalition of Christian Democrats (PDCS) and Socialists (PSS) governed the country. In 2005, the Socialists and the ex-Communist Democrats (PD) merged to form the Party of Socialists and Democrats (PSD). The new communists (RCS) and the Zona Franca left-wing party, which belongs to the peace movement, agreed on an electoral alliance; in the parliamentary elections on June 4, 2006, they joined as United Left ( Sinistra Unita ). A centre-left coalition of the PSD, the People's Alliance (AP) and the United Left has governed since August 2006. In November 2007, the Center Democrats (DdC), which had split off from the PDCS, joined the coalition. This lost the parliamentary majority when the AP left, so that early elections were held on November 9, 2008. For these, a newly designed electoral law applied with a blocking clause increased to up to 3.5% and an allocation of at least 35 of 60 seats to the party or party coalition with the most votes. As a result of these changes, the parties ran in two coalitions, the right-wing Pact for San Marino (Patto per San Marino) and the left-wing Alliance for Reforms and Freedom (Riforme e Libertà). The Patto per San Marino won the general election with 54.22% of the vote and ruled until the December 2012 snap general election. The newly formed Bene Comune coalition, which included the Christian Democratic PDCS, the liberal AP and the Social Democratic PSD, won with 50.7 % had an absolute majority and formed the government until the end of 2016. Since 2015 there have been investigations into the Conto Mazzini. Many leading politicians were implicated in this bribery and money laundering scandal. In June 2017, 20 of the 21 accused, including 5 former heads of state and 8 ex-ministers, were sentenced to up to 9 years in prison. When the Bene Commune coalition broke up due to internal differences at the end of 2016, new elections were held in November 2016. No coalition was able to achieve an absolute majority. The San Marino prima di Tutto coalition missed an absolute majority with 41.7%, and so there was a runoff election between it and the second-placed center-left coalition on December 4, 2016, which won with 57, 8% of the votes won.



Judicial power emanates from the Consiglio dei XII, Council of 12. Elected by the Consiglio Grande e Generale for one legislative period, it is an administrative body and the highest judicial authority in the Republic. Two government commissioners (Sindaci di Governo) represent the state in court and in financial and property disputes. The different levels of the criminal justice system are governed by the 'Commissioner of Justice' and the 'Appeals Judge'; The civil judiciary is administered by the Justice Commissioner, the Appeals Judge and, in the third instance, by the "Council of 12". The "first degree judge" has jurisdiction over administrative matters, followed by the appellate judge and the "Council of 12".



San Marino always has two heads of state, these are the Capitani Reggenti ("governing captains", sometimes also called "governing captains"), who are in office for six months. They are elected by Parliament and their inauguration is on April 1st and October 1st of each year. This regulation goes back to a law from the year 1200, which was introduced to ensure that the people at the head of the state were not endowed with too much power for too long and also to enable mutual control.

The foreign minister of San Marino is also the head of government. Since January 7, 2020, this has been Luca Beccari, officially State Secretary for Foreign and Political Affairs and for Justice.

The division of power thus works in a similar way to the consuls of the Roman Republic more than 2000 years ago or the Federal Council, the Swiss directorate government with its principle of collegiality.

The ancient institution of the Arengo, originally the assembly of all heads of families, transferred its powers to the Consiglio Grande e Generale ("Great and General Council") in March 1906. Today, all those eligible to vote are known as Arengo and are convened twice a year on the Sunday following the inauguration of the Capitani Reggenti. The citizens of San Marino have the opportunity to submit proposals and requests of general interest to the Consiglio Grande.

Executive power rests with the Congresso di Stato 'State Congress'. The government that has been in office since December 27, 2016 is provided by the electoral alliance It consists of seven ministers (Segretari di Stato), who were appointed for five years by the Consiglio Grande e Generale. The Sinistra Socialista Democratica (SSD) has three ministers, Repubblica Futura (RF) and CIVICO (C10) two ministers each.


Administrative division

The capital San Marino is located on Monte Titano.

The national territory of San Marino is divided into nine castelli 'communes', corresponding to the ancient parishes. Each castello has a municipal council (giunta) elected by the residents, presided over by a capitano elected for five years.

San Marino is the capital of the small republic. World-famous monuments such as the government palace (Palazzo Pubblico) and the three castles, diverse museums and a unique panorama make this city a tourist center with two million visitors a year. You can buy almost anything in the small town's more than 1000 shops. On May 31, 2021, 4,056 people lived here.

The name of the Castello Acquaviva comes from an important spring located at the foot of Montecerreto, a mountain covered with pine forest. According to legend, the grotto is located here, which served as the first place of refuge for Saint Marino. This district is home to one of the world's best motocross tracks and down the valley on the banks of the San Marino stream is the important industrial center of Gualdicciolo. On May 31, 2021, 2,113 people lived in Acquaviva.

The village of Borgo Maggiore, to the north at the foot of Mount Titano, was formerly called Mercatale (market town) and is still one of the most important markets in San Marino. A cable car takes you from here directly to Monte Titano in the city of San Marino. On May 31, 2021, 6,968 people lived here. Borgo Maggiore is the second largest town in San Marino.

The Castello Chiesanuova (New Church) in the southwest of the republic voluntarily joined San Marino together with its territory in 1320. Until the 16th century the area was called Busignano. The economy of this small community of 1,135 inhabitants (May 31, 2021) is heavily agricultural. As Castello, Chiesanuova also bears the name Penna Rossa (red feather) and has a red feather in its coat of arms.

Domagnano is a small village inhabited since Roman times. From here you can photograph Monte Titano and the sea. 3,543 people lived in Domagnano on May 31, 2021. As a castle, it also bears the name Montelupo (wolf mountain) and has a white wolf in front of a green mountain in its coat of arms.

The municipality of Faetano and its territory joined the republic in 1463. With 1,180 inhabitants (May 31, 2021), Faetano is one of the smaller Castelli, but offers a lot of greenery and a large lake.

The three municipalities of Fiorentino, located in the south of the Republic with 2,544 inhabitants (May 31, 2021), Montegiardino, the smallest municipality with 1,004 inhabitants, and Serravalle, the largest Castello with 11,055 inhabitants, were all conquered in 1463. In Serravalle is the country's largest city, Dogana, the gateway to Italy.


State budget

In 2009, the state budget included expenditure equivalent to US$652.9 million, compared with income equivalent to US$690.6 million. This results in a budget surplus of 3.6% of GDP.

San Marino has no national debt.

In 2011 (due to the financial crisis and the halving of deposits from San Marinese banks) a record deficit of 20 million euros was generated.

In 2006, the healthcare system's share of government spending was 7.2% of GDP.


Foreign policy

The Republic of San Marino currently maintains diplomatic and consular relations with over ninety countries. The Republic's diplomatic representations abroad usually have the rank of consulates or consulates-general (e.g. the honorary consulate in Munich).

San Marino is a member of numerous international organizations including the UN, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Court of Justice, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Tourism Organization and even the International Whaling Commission.

The republic also maintains official relations with the European Union - although it is not a member state of the EU - and participates in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. San Marino has been a contracting party to the European Patent Convention since July 1, 2009, so that European patents can also be valid in San Marino.

Relations between San Marino and Germany are free of problems. The German embassy in Italy is also accredited in San Marino. Consular relations are managed by the German Consulate General in Milan. The San Marinese ambassador to Germany is Gian Nicola Balestra, who has his official seat in Brussels. San Marino attains particular political significance for Germany through the benevolent support it grants to German candidates in connection with elections to various bodies in the United Nations.


Fiscal policy

Until the European Monetary Union, the currency was the San Marinese lira, which, like the Vatican lira, was a nominally independent currency, but was actually linked to the Italian lira at a fixed exchange rate; all three currencies circulated equally in all three states. San Marino began minting its own coins again in 1972 after a 34-year hiatus. Gold coins were also minted later, but these were only valid on San Marinese territory. The euro has been in force in San Marino since January 1, 2002. San Marino issues its own euro coins with a country-specific back.

San Marino was officially considered a tax haven until January 2010. In 2000, the OECD classified the country as a tax haven, as defined in the 1998 OECD report. As part of the intensified international fight against tax evasion, San Marino was classified as a tax haven by the OECD at the G-20 summit meeting on April 2, 2009 in London has not implemented. After the country reached the minimum number of twelve bilateral tax treaties required by the OECD in January 2010, it was classified by the OECD as having largely implemented international tax standards. Since December 23, 2011, the German-San Marinese agreement on support in tax and criminal tax matters through the exchange of information (TIEA) has been in force. There is still no bilateral tax agreement with the United States and Italy, among others. San Marino continues to serve as an important hub for the evasion of income and value added tax by Italian individuals and companies. From January to mid-August 2010, the Italian financial police uncovered around 800 cases. In the 330 cases that were finally examined, income totaling 850 million euros that was hidden from the Italian tax authorities and 240 million euros in unpaid VAT were uncovered. In October 2009, the Italian tax authority Agenzia delle Entrate put the number of Italian citizens who have their tax residence in a country classified by Italy as a tax haven at 29,158 people. With 8490 people, San Marino has the highest proportion. Meanwhile, Italians have withdrawn 5.7 billion euros from San Marinese banks, which is half of those banks' deposits.

On December 8, 2015, an agreement to combat tax evasion was signed between the European Union and San Marino. This agreement aims to put an end to reciprocal banking secrecy between San Marino and the EU. Starting in 2017, the Member States of the European Union and San Marino will mutually provide data on bank customers on the other party's own territory. Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, believes that by signing this agreement, San Marino has shown that it is ready and interested in fighting tax evasion.

Italy makes compensation payments for the fact that the Republic does not exploit its independence too much in terms of economic and financial policy and does not use its sovereignty to the detriment of Italy. The nine banks operating in the country and the Central Bank of the Republic of San Marino are mainly focused on domestic business. International transactions are processed through Italian banks.


Defense policy

Since the territory of San Marino is completely surrounded by Italian territory, defense in case of war is guaranteed by Italy. However, to symbolize independence, the state maintains a small army.


Civil society

The trade unions are organized in the umbrella organization Centrale Sindacale Unitaria.



The culture of San Marino is shaped by its history and the will to freedom of the San Marinese. Medieval Days are held every year and the inauguration of the Capitani Reggenti is a big ceremony every six months. The Guardia del Consiglio Grande e Generale (Guard of the Great and General Council) plays an important role in this. Founded after the liberation from the rule of Cardinal Giulio Alberoni in 1740, these volunteer San Marinese in historical uniforms are still responsible for the protection of the heads of state and the parliament and, together with all important secular and spiritual citizens of San Marino, organize the celebrations for the introduction of the new government captains. The national anthem, which was written in 1894 by Federico Consolo, a San Marinese violinist and composer, sounds without words and is therefore simply called Inno Nazionale della Repubblica (Italian for national anthem). On the national holiday on September 3rd, there is a folk festival atmosphere and traditions are in the foreground. The San Marinese crossbowmen's corps "I balestrieri", which has existed since 1295, organizes demonstrations.



The heyday of San Marinese music was in the 17th century when, for example, Francesco Maria Marini da Pesaro composed his Concerti Spirituali, a collection of 27 concertos, here.



The numerous museums include the State Museum (Museo di Stato) in the Pergami Belluzzi Palace with thousands of exhibits on the history of San Marino: finds from historical excavations, historical documents, coins and paintings. The so-called "Second Tower" houses a museum for historical weapons (Museo delle Armi Antiche) with more than 1500 exhibits on the history of weapons, primarily from the 15th to 17th centuries.

Among the private museums is one of the largest Ferrari museums with 25 original vehicles, engines, yearbooks and studies. It is also home to the largest public collection of Abarth vehicles, with over 30 examples.

A museum also presents modern weapons from the First and Second World Wars, and a wax museum depicts scenes from the history of the republic. There is also a torture museum and the Museo dell'Emigrante della Repubblica di San Marino.



Worth seeing are the Church of San Francesco and the Basilica of San Marino, built in 1836 in the neoclassical style with the relics of the patron saint Marinus, as well as the Palazzo del Governo, the Tuscan-Gothic government palace on the Piazza della Libertà. From the fortresses, which were built on the three peaks of Monte Titano in the 11th and 13th centuries, you have a wide view of the sea and the Italian interior.


World Heritage

The three fortresses of Guaita, Cesta and Montale crown the ridge of Monte Titano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



The most popular sport in San Marino is football. The country's most internationally renowned sporting event was the San Marino Formula 1 Grand Prix, held in Imola (Italy), but last held in this form in 2006; In 2020 and 2021, a Formula 1 race was held again in Imola under the name Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. San Marino also has a baseball team.

At the 2021 Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, Alessandra Perilli won the bronze in women's trap shooting, the first ever Olympic medal for San Marino since the country's Olympic debut in 1960. Then she also won the silver medal in the trap (mixed) together with Gian Marco Berti.

Although San Marino has just 30,000 inhabitants, there is a national championship organized by the FSGC (Federazione Sammarinese Giuoco Calcio, founded in 1931) with 15 teams. In the first phase of the championship, the teams compete against each other in two groups of seven and eight teams respectively. The three best teams then take part in a final round. The San Marinese champions are taking part in the first round of UEFA Champions League qualifying, but so far no San Marinese side have won the first round.

A San Marinese national team has existed since 1986. The first game against the Canadian Olympic team was lost 0-1. The San Marino team played their first official match as a national team in FIFA on November 14, 1990 against Switzerland in the qualification for the 1992 European Championship – San Marino lost 0:4. A highlight of San Marinese football history was the 1-0 lead against England on November 17, 1993. After just eight seconds, Davide Gualtieri scored the fastest goal in international history. However, San Marino also lost this game (1:7). The team conceded the heaviest defeat in a European Championship qualifier in the Stadio Olimpico in Serravalle against Germany on September 6, 2006 with a 0:13. The team consists almost exclusively of amateurs, currently (2021) several players play in the Italian third division (Series C).

The national team has only won once: on April 29, 2004, under coach Giampaolo Mazza, the Liechtenstein national team was beaten 1-0 in a friendly match. The statistics also show draws against Liechtenstein, Latvia, Estonia and Turkey. On the other hand there are 83 defeats. In the February 2022 FIFA world rankings, the San Marino team ranked 210th and bottom with 780.33 points.

Between 1981 and 2006, the Formula 1 San Marino Grand Prix took place 100 kilometers northwest of San Marino in Imola. In 1980 the Italian Grand Prix was moved from Monza to Imola. Due to many complaints, this decision was reversed a year later. In order not to have to do without Imola and thus Ferrari's home game, the San Marino Grand Prix was created, which has been held regularly in Imola since 1981. In the racing calendar for 2007, the race was canceled together with the Grand Prix of Europe, the second German race. In 1994, during the GP weekend, the two Formula 1 drivers Roland Ratzenberger (Austria) and three-time world champion Ayrton Senna (Brazil) were killed in an accident.

Since 2007, the Grand Prix of San Marino for motorcycles has been held in Misano near Rimini as part of the motorcycle world championship, and the Superbike World Championship also has its San Marino run in Misano every year. San Marinese Manuel Poggiali, who lives in Chiesanuova, was the 2001 and 2003 motorcycle world champion, and Alex De Angelis was the 2003 runner-up.

The Baldasserona Motocross Circuit, internationally approved by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), is the only official motorsport circuit in San Marino.

The AS Juvenes San Marino ran an international professional cycling team under the name of the sponsor Saeco Macchine per Caffè in the years 1989 to 2004, which drove until 1997 with a San Marinese and later with an Italian license.

Alpine sports
Club Alpino San Marino (CASM) is the only association of mountaineers and mountain enthusiasts in San Marino.