San Marino History
The area of present-day San Marino is said to have been inhabited since prehistoric times but the establishment of its earliest known settlement occurred in 301 AD by the Christian stoneman named Marinus. Fleeing the island of Arbe from the anti-Christian persecutions of Roman emperor Diocletian, Marinus managed to travel to Rimini and reached the peak of Mount Titano, where he hid and established a community of Christians.
The area was later called the Land of Marino, which then became the Community of San Marino, and eventually the Republic of San Marino.
San Marino originally only consisted of Mount Titano but due to its alliance with the Pope against the Lord of Rimini, the cities of Florentino, Serravalle, and Montegiardino were awarded to the state in 1463. The city of Faetano was later added. The Papacy recognized the area as an independent state in 1631.
During the Napoleonic Wars, San Marino's independence was threatened. But thanks to one of its Regents named Antonio Onorfi, who befriended Napoleon Bonaparte, San Marino gained the latter's friendship and respect. Napoleon even guaranteed and offered protection as well as an offer to extend San Marino's territory but it was declined due to fear of retaliation from the states.
In the late 19th century, San Marino became the refuge of many people who were supporters of the Italian Unification process. Due to this, Giuseppe Garibaldi - one if Italy's "Fathers of the Fatherland" - granted San Marino's wish not to join the new state of Italy.
During the two World Wars of the 20th century, San Marino remained neutral but it was occupied by German forces in 1944. After the German defeat at the Battle of San Marino, the state became the world's first ever democratically-elected government.
San Marino is an enclave or landlocked country within central Italy. It has no bodies of water, and there is virtually no flat ground within its total land area. Dominated by the Apennines Range, the state is a hilly terrain with only about 17% of its land arable.
San Marino is currently the 3rd smallest country in Europe, coming next to the Vatican and Monaco.
San Marino is a parliamentary representative democratic republic with two Captains Regent as heads of state and heads of government. The practice of Captains Regent follows the customs of the Roman Republic.
Legislative power is vested on the government and the Grand and General Council. Ever 6 months, specifically on April 1st and October 1st of the year, the Council elects the 2 Captains Regent from the opposing parties. This practice is done to ensure that there is a balance of parties in the government.
Over 3 million tourists visit San Marino each year. Most of these tourists are Italian while others are from neighboring European countries. The country is known for its castles, fortresses, museums, and lush landscapes.
Mount Titano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it's filled with gates, walls, towers, and historic architecture. The 3 overlooking towers of San Marino are found here, with the first tower being Guaita, built during the 11th century. The 2nd tower is the Cesta or De La Fratta, which was built in the 13th century and sits at the peak of the Mountain at 750 meters high. Since 1956, it has been the home of the Museum of Ancient Weapons. The 3rd tower is the Montale, which was built in the 14th century, and served defensive purposes as well as a prison.
San Marino's city hall, which is called Palazzo Pubblico, is the state's most representative building - which serves as the seat of government. It is a neo-Gothic castle which was rebuilt in 1894.
Other noteworthy tourist attractions of San Marino are its duty-free shopping, its long list of summer events, and its collection of classic and quirky museums.
Preschool is free in San Marino but it's not compulsory. Primary education starts at the age of 6, and it's free and compulsory. Free and mandatory education lasts until a child reaches the age of 14.
The program of instruction is patterned after the Italian curriculum, which consists of 5 years of primary school, 3 years of secondary school, and 5 years of higher secondary and pre-university education.
There is only 1 university in San Marino, which is the University of San Marino.
Last Updated : July 11, 2018
- San Marino is the 8th most Richest Country in the World based on GDP per capita.
- San Marino is the world's 5th smallest country.
- The people of San Marino are called Sammarinese.
- The state claims to be the world's oldest republic.
- US President Abraham Lincoln was a San Marino honorary citizen.