Serenissima Repubblica of San Marino

The oldest republic in the world

Its full name is Serenissima Repubblica of San Marino and it is a sovereign and landlocked State located in the centre-north of the Italian peninsula. On the border between the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Marche. The total land is only 61 km² and has a population of 34,000 people.

This is the oldest republic in the world, going with its roots as far as back to the Roman Empire.

Tradition has that its foundation dates to September 3, 301 AD and they are still counting their years from that date, even in official documents. At that time, in Rome, emperor Diocletian ruled and in China was the emperor Hui of the Jin dynasty.

A pious Dalmatian stonecutter, called Marino, from the island of Rab, escaped from the persecutions of the Roman emperor. And he established a small monastic community on Mount Titano, the highest of the seven hills on which stands the small Republic.

The owner of the area, a rich woman from Rimini, donated the territory of Mount Titano to the small community founded by Marino that called it, who was called, in memory of the founder, “Land of San Marino”.

Before dying, according to legend, San Marino said to his followers: “Relinquo vos liberos ab utroque homine”. That is, I leave you free from both men…namely the Emperor and the Pope. These words are still the foundation of their independence and often recur on documents.

The crisis

The key to its continuous independence?. The rulers of San Marino never wanted to take advantage of the weaknesses of their neighbours. For example, when Napoleon, as a sign of friendship and brotherhood to the citizens of San Marino, offered them a small outlet to the sea.

But they politely refused his offer. At the fall of the French emperor, this refusal allowed them not to be considered one of their allies at the 1819’s Vienna Congress.

It was always a kind of paradise, with a small industry and a lot of tourism. But with the accession to the united Europe and the adoption of the euro. Began its troubles and, especially since the crisis of 2009, they had their share of financial trouble, with their banks.

Never mind, San Marino is still a beautiful tourist destination for those who go to relax on riviera, in Romagna. A perfect day trip from there.