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San Marino, officially the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, is a country in the Apennine Mountains. It is a landlocked enclave (just 10 km far from the Adriatic Sea), completely surrounded by Italy. One of the continent's micro states, San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe and is the third smallest state in Europe (after the Holy City and Monaco). San Marino is 20 times bigger than Monaco and half the size of Liechtenstein.
San Marino is the oldest sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, having been founded on 3 September 301 by Marinus of Rab, a Christian stonemason fleeing the religious persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian. The Constitution of San Marino, enacted in 1600, is the world's oldest constitution still in effect.
During the early phase of the Italian unification process in the 19th century, San Marino served as a refuge for numerous persons who were persecuted because of their support for the unification. In memory of this support, Giuseppe Garibaldi accepted the wish of San Marino not to be incorporated into the new Italian state. Napoleon refused to take the country. When asked why, he allegedly commented, "Why? It's a model republic!".
The country is made up of a few towns dotted around the mountain sides. The capital of San Marino is itself called San Marino and is situated high up on a mountain top of Monte Titano. The capital is surrounded by a wall and three distinct towers overlook the rest of the country.
Tiny size of the country's territory makes one of the Formula One races, the San Marino Grand Prix, to take place at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in the Italian town of Imola, about 100 km northwest of San Marino.
Also San Marino's foreign policy is aligned with that of Italy; social and political trends in the republic track closely with those of its larger neighbor as well.
Tourism in San Marino contributes over 50% of San Marino's GDP, with more than 3 million tourists visiting country annually.
Named after the saint who is said to have first settled the area, the Sammarinese remain devoutly religious. Holy days fill up the calendar. A less religious, yet wholly entertaining festival is the "Medieval Days" with Antique Crossbow Competition, which acts as an enjoyable reinforcement of the city's medieval image. Besides evoking the aura of ancient times with spectacular staged events and providing the opportunity to relive the most ancient traditions of the San Marino history, the "Medieval Days", according to the Ministry of Tourism, are the most breathlessly awaited appointment on the calendar of events organized by the Republic of San Marino.
61.2 sq km (23.5 sq mi)
City of San Marino
The official language, which is spoken by almost everyone, is Italian; Emiliano-Romagnolo, commonly referred to as an Italian dialect, is widely spoken, too.
Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion.
230V / 50Hz (European, Italian plug)
on the right
Tourists can enter San Marino without any hassle and there isn't even a border or visa control. The only thing they have to do prior is to enter Italy (as a country of Schengen Agreement) legally.
There is no airport in San Marino. The nearest major airport is Federico Fellini International Airport (RMI) in Rimini, Italy. There are some other Italian airports you can land at to get in San Marino: Ancona Airport (AOI), Bologna Airport (BLQ), also known as Guglielmo Marconi Airport, and Forli Airport (FRL).