There are so many great things to do in San Marino that you may need a bucket list! San Marino is most famous for the ancient fortresses, Rocca Guaita and Torre Cesta, the Basilica di San Marino and its quirky museums. Whether you prefer to explore the town of Montegiardino, hike Mount Titano or just browse the charming arts and crafts shops and boutiques, San Marino has something for everyone. Foodies won’t be disappointed either, with Passatelli and Strozzapreti on most menus. So without further ado, here is what we consider to be the top things to do in San Marino, worthy of being on your San Marino Bucket List that’s for sure.
Here’s our pick of the top things to do in San Marino
Rocca Guaita and Torre Cesta
Maybe the most acknowledged of all San Marino’s attractions are the two fortresses, Rocca Guaita and Torre cesta, situated at the highest point of Mount Titano. The two towers are a part of the official flag of San Marino. Visitors can take a tour of both the magnificent towers and bask in the beauty of the medieval era. The older of the two is Rocca Guaita dating back to the 13th century. The top offers wonderful views stretching from the nearby Apennine Mountains to the Dalmatian Coast.
Guardia di Rocca
The Piazza della Libertà is a city square in San Marino and it’s here that the traditional San Marino ceremony takes place of the changing of the guards at Guardia di Rocca. The Guards have a signature green uniform and wear a red pompom hat. This ceremony takes places multiple times every day and is a sight to see. Once you have enjoyed this taste of authentic San Marino custom, walk down the street that leads away from Piazza della Libertà and enjoy the many boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
Basilica di San Marino
The Basilica di San Marino was constructed from the remains of a Roman Church that dated back to the 4th century. The Basilica is famous as it has the bones of San Marino’s patron saint, Saint Marinus, stored in an urn. It also features a statue of the Saint on a high altar. The seven alters of the Basilica are beautifully adorned, visitors should take the time to explore the exquisite paintings of the Basilica while here.
The University of the Republic of San Marino is in the town of Montegiardino. It’s believed to be the most beautiful town in San Marino and has a peaceful and ‘bookish’ ambience, common in most small university towns throughout Europe. The town is drenched in history and has some excellent cafes and food joints to keep the students (and tourists) happy.
Apart from the path leading to all three towers, you will find rugged walking trails taking you through scenic and abundant woodlands offering an entirely different view of the bustling city center below. Old stone benches intersperse like dots across the mountain where you can sit and absorb the beauty of the landscape and breath in the fresh air. Since Mount Titano is at an altitude of 750 meters above sea level, the air is very crisp and invigorating. Be prepared for a much cooler climate up here and bring a sweater.
San Marino Museums
The Museums in San Marino are impressive, and one or two are rather unusual, so if you are an exhibition enthusiast, San Marino’s will keep you entertained for at least a day. Other than the National Museum, there are many other quirky niche museums to explore. For example the Museum of Torture has an array of torture devices on display: a bit gruesome but entertaining.
Torre del Montale
The third tower on the top of Mount Titano, followed by Rocca Guaita and Torre Cesta, is Torre del Montale. You can reach Torre del Montale by taking a little walk from Rocca Guaita and Torre Cesta. Unfortunately this tower is not open to the public, but despite this you can still photograph the spectacular and picturesque panoramas of San Marino while en route.
San Marino National Museum
The San Marino National Museum is located near Palazzo Pergami Belluzzi and contains an assortment of Neolithic pieces, Byzantine and Egyptian historical works and Roman Artifacts. It also has on display artwork from the 17th century and some samples of the old currency of San Marino. The National Museum has about 5000 well preserved and displayed curiosities that will guide you through the history of San Marino and all the nearby towns.
You can easily recognize the Palazzo Publico because of its Gothic style and its highly decorated façade. It is the official town hall, and all the major government ceremonies and events take place here. The construction of the building took place in the 1800’s with stone from Mount Titano. Take a closer look and you will see a square clock tower that stands tall on the top and a staircase inside the building leading to the tower.
With an estimated population of around 10,000, Serravalle is the most populated Municipality of San Marino and its location at the base of the Apennine Mountains. This old town is called ‘The Village of the Elm Trees.’ The Serravalle Castle is the highlight of the town, and the Olympic Stadium is a sample of modern architecture that the city holds.
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There is so much more to see and experience in this amazing country. Plan ahead so that you can take your time exploring and be prepared to be flexible because sometimes travelers you meet along the way will have the best suggestions for undiscovered gems and awesome things to do here.
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