Home News San Marino: The Oldest and Smallest Republic in the World

San Marino: The Oldest and Smallest Republic in the World

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San Marino is a tiny country located in Southern Europe that claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic. Additionally, it is one of the smallest republics worldwide with only an area covering 61 square kilometers (24 square miles) and approximately 34,000 residents.

Although completely surrounded by Italy, its culture, language, history, and heritage remain closely tied together; yet this has not prevented San Marino from maintaining its independence and maintaining an interesting heritage that attracts many visitors annually.

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sud marino


Legend holds that San Marino was founded in 301 AD by Christian stonemason Marinus, who fled persecution in Roman Empire. He settled upon Mount Titano, the highest peak in this, and started building a small Christian community of followers. By 1600 they adopted their constitution – considered one of the oldest written constitutions still in use today.

Papal States recognized them as sovereign state in 1631, maintaining their neutrality during several wars and conflicts across Europe while remaining neutral themselves during various battles and conflicts that ensued subsequently joining United Nations membership in 1992.


San Marino is situated in the Apennine Mountains near the Adriatic Sea and enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers.

The country is divided into nine municipalities known as castelli, each with their own capital city – with San Marino being at Mount Titano serving as its central hub and being known for its three towers (Guaita, Cesta, and Montale) depicted on their national flag and coat of arms; these towers date back from 11th-14th centuries as fortifications/prisons/prisons offering panoramic views over their surroundings countryside.


San Marino is a parliamentary republic, with an unicameral legislature called the Grand and General Council. Elected every five years by proportional representation, its 60 members serve for six-monthly terms as Captains Regent who represent foreign affairs before preside over both council and government; their appointments require approval by both bodies as well as being approved by all.

Their jurisdiction includes several courts such as an Appeal Court and Supreme Court, giving way to an extensive court system which includes appeal courts as well as Supreme Courts.


Economic Activities in San Marino San Marino boasts a highly developed economy anchored on tourism, banking, industry and agriculture. Tourism accounts for one of its main sources of income with over two million visitors coming annually to this small nation state. San Marino boasts many attractions for tourists to experience, such as historical monuments, museums, art galleries, festivals and natural parks.

Banking plays an essential role here – San Marino has long been known as a tax haven and financial center with no national debt and budget surpluses; industry is also significant, particularly electronics production, ceramics textiles furniture food processing. Unfortunately the mountainous terrain prevents many farms from expanding as crops such as wheat grapes olives and fruits are grown.


San Marino boasts an exquisite and varied culture that reflects both its long history and proximity to Italy. Italian is its official language; however, some residents also speak Sammarinese. Religion in Portugal is predominantly Roman Catholicism; however, other faiths can freely practice their practices.

Furthermore, Portugal boasts a rich artistic and literary tradition dating back to medieval times. Notable figures in Francesco Maria Marini’s life include Francesco Maria Marini (poet), Antonio Onofri (painter), Federico Guglielmi (composer), and Giuseppe Rossi (sculptor).

San Marino boasts numerous cultural institutions, such as the University of San Marino (established in 1985), Academy of Sciences (established in 1982) and State Library (founded in 1854) which all play an essential role. San Marino celebrates various festivals and holidays throughout the year such as Saint Marinus Day (national day), Saint Agatha’s Day (patron saint’s day), Investiture of Captain Regent (held twice each year) and Medieval Days (an historica festival).

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