Explore tiny European countries: San Marino

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There are several pocket on the European continent countries, it is curious that in these countries for hundreds of years empires compete even has retained. These countries, though small land area, but most of them are very rich, but also the political system is unique, mostly monarchy. So many, I can not help but have the urge to find out. Finally in mid-February, I went to San Marino.

Enter San Marino

San Marino (San Marino) is a country within a country, the country is surrounded by Italy, the Italian peninsula in the eastern Apennines, near the Adriatic Sea where, but not to the sea. First heard that this country is in the list of Chinese passport visa on, it is the only country in Europe ordinary Chinese citizens visa-free passports. The problem is that San Marino does not have regular flights civilian airport, they can only enter by land from Italy, and Italy, and it is no border checks. Therefore, also located in San Marino, "do not fly" on China VWP list. Some say this country is no airport, this is wrong, because San Marino does have an airport, or a private aircraft club ( Aeroclub San Marino ), for private planes taking off and landing.

San Marino is small, there are nine administrative divisions, the capital city of San Marino (Città di San Marino). Except to drive, otherwise enter San Marino is the only public transportation from Rimini (Rimini) starting price of € 5 one-way from the train station to the city of Rimini San Marino. Rimini is Italy's Adriatic coastal cities, there are over 15 km of beaches, is itself a super resort, many visitors to San Marino are in fact in Rimini beach holidaymakers. Rimini in Roman times called "阿里米努姆" (Ariminum), was the first colonial city of the Roman Republic era, there is " Via Flaminia " (Via Flaminia) connection to Rome.

Via Flaminia

When the bus entered the San Marino no sense, because it is a transit line and Italy almost no stop, unwittingly entered the San Marino. If not, the cell phone signal to the San Marino roaming network, I do not know from another country. But after a while, appeared in front of a mountain, this is the legendary city of San Marino. City of San Marino is completely built on a hill, very steep road, presumably very easily defensible. Moreover, San Marino as well as the tall walls and three towers, three towers of San Marino has become a symbol of the national emblem printed. San Marino is the national emblem of the mountain Mount Titano, which is where the mountain city of San Marino, following the state motto in Latin "Libertas," which means "freedom" is the Roman goddess name (God is the Statue of Liberty in New York image).

Coat of arms of San Marino

San Marino steep, narrow roads, if the tourist season, many cars were banned open to the mountains, only to stop parking in Yamashita, and then take tramway up the mountain. But when I went to was in February, no one seaside Rimini, San Marino that is almost a ghost town. I wanted to ride the cable car up the mountain, but found the cable car can be shut down, it is because too few visitors, and had to continue to take the bus up the hill.

San Marino City Tram

Bus stop to the small parking lot in the mountains, just outside the walls of San Marino, a few minutes walk to see the gates of San Marino. Into the city, as if into a medieval city, is covered with shiny polished stone on the narrow streets of the ground, right hand side is a tall St. Francis of Assisi Church. Although the church is small, very a long history, and a rare preserved. This is also thanks to the city of San Marino location is not important, and easily defensible, so that a thousand years no one is willing to put the attack it. Next to the church there is a small museum, which sold five San Marino Attractions Pass (including three towers), the price of 12 euros, much cheaper than bought separately. Porcelain museum there are many, it is based on three towers of San Marino for the image of the product group.

San Marino Three Pagodas porcelain

San Marino Three Pagodas

The so-called three towers of San Marino, in English, "tower" or Italian "torre" translation. The concept and the Chinese "tower" is not completely equivalent, not so much the tower, as it is in fact a collection of towers and fortress tower around. I remember I used to visit the Tower of London (London Tower) time, been wondering how you do not see the expected tower. In fact, the Tower of London is a fortress, which has many small towers. In addition, the "tower" can also be translated as "buildings", such as "Trump Tower" is the "Trump Tower" or "Trump Tower."

City of San Marino steep terrain, from below the gate to the top of the three towers still have to climb a distance not less. Continue up the hill, and finally came to the first tower. Three Pagodas distributed to the southeast from the northwest, the first tower in the west. The tower is called Guaita (Guaita), built in the 11th century, it is a three-tower built in the first one. San Marino where Mount Titano side vertical cliff, the three towers will be built on the edge of this side, the other side, although a little flat, but also very steep. I went just northeast of fog, so he saw a very strange sight, the mountain mist completely blocked, so just like clouds in the Three Pagodas. Guaita photo I shot on the second tower.


From the first tower down, ten minutes walk to the southeast on the second tower, 德拉弗拉塔 (De La Fratta). The tower is located at the highest point of the mountain, built in the 13th century. The fort which was transformed into a museum of medieval weapons, because I was not interested in simply skipped. Here is a photo I shot on the Guaita.


Continue walking ten minutes to the southeast, we saw the abandoned third tower, Montale (Montale). The tower has a long history, built in the 14th century, is the only three towers were abandoned a safe, and even the entrance are gone.


From the three towers down and walked back to the center of the city of San Marino, which is the Town Hall Square. Town Hall Square area is not large, but the scenery is very good, the mountain overlooking the entire city of San Marino. Roman middle of the square is the Statue of Liberty statue. Hall interior is very nice, but can not take pictures.

Economic and historical

I have always been curious about how to make money such a small country, it is, in addition to tourism, a major source of income is the San Marino stamps and coins. Although San Marino is not a euro-zone countries, but the European Central Bank and the euro reached an agreement, and even won the right coins. Many coin collectors in order to obtain a set of coins issued by San Marino, hesitate to spend lots of money to buy. The figure is 50 euro cents coin of San Marino, on the back of the Three Pagodas image.

San Marino 50 cents coins

There are sites on the European Central Bank of San Marino full range of coin design .

And other small countries like San Marino banking is an important source of income, it is said there are many Russians here hiding assets. San Marino has the lowest unemployment rate in Europe, and there is no national debt, in addition to huge financial surpluses every year, so the personal income tax rate is much lower than in San Marino, Italy. So many people want to get Italian nationality and resident in San Marino San Marino, San Marino but almost the most difficult countries in the world naturalization.

San Marino name of this country is part of its history, its name comes from 圣马里努斯 (Latin: Sanctus Marinus). Marinus is a Dalmatian stonemason from Albert Island, the early Christians of the Roman Empire. In the 3rd century, Marinus order to avoid the Roman Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians fled to the other side of the Adriatic 阿里米努姆 (Rimini), later continued fled Titano mountain, and established a monastery. Later he was later known 圣马里努斯 surrounding mountains and established many monasteries. Beginning of the thirteenth century, the monastery gradually became a city, which is today's San Marino.

Before the unification of Italy in San Marino city lined with age can also independently be forgiven, but it is not how the Italian unification movement had wiped out? The reason is that the father of one of the three Italian Garibaldi in the 1860s when a unified Italy, was in San Marino to avoid enemy kill, also received funds to help San Marino, San Marino ensure he later kept separate in return. This is why the San Marino can remain independent to this day.

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