A day in San Marino
Well okey, I admit it, when I realized San Marino was quite near the other places I was going to visit on my trip in Italy, I saw my chance to check another country of the list, it would be my 34th country. I didn’t know anything about San Marino but soon started to google it. The first thing that popes up on Google is the stunning images of castles on hills and views over a beautiful landscape. After seeing those I definitely had to go! I am a sucker for good views. San Marino is a microstate entirely surrounded by Italy. It’s the fifth smallest country in the world with 61 km2 and a population of around 33 000 people.
My journey began in Bologna. I said goodbye to my friends that I had spent a week with (great week) and went to the train station to buy a train ticket for Rimini. Long story short it didn’t go as smooth as I had planned. The tickets for the train I was going to take was sold out and there were a lot of delays. The platform changed several times, people were running everywhere and it was 36 degrees Celsius and the train ended up being 1 hour late to Rimini. Fortunately I could catch the last bus from Rimini and arrived in San Marino 21.30, only 2,5 h later than initially planned. The bus took 50 minutes and takes you up high on winding roads to Monte Titano. Monte Titano is the highest peak and where all the sights in San Marino are. It was getting dark on my ride, but I think that made the view even more beautiful. I had no troubles finding my hotel, I checked in after a long hot day, bought some water, took a shower and went to bed. Oh and yeah, on my way in to the hotel I slipped on the stone stairs and hurt my ass pretty bad.
The next day I started with a good hotel breakfast and managed to start my sightseeing aka photo tour around 8.15. I was all alone in the hotel restaurant and a little surprised to see that there were no people out and about either. Well, fine by me, it’s really nice to have the streets to yourself. I made my way to my first stop which was the first tower, Torre Guaita, which opened at 8 and had it all to myself for a while. When you enter the castle you get to a small courtyard and a platform with a view. The castle was built in the 11th century and is the oldest of the towers in San Marino.
From here I had my first look of the second tower, Torre Cesta, and the surrounding hills and landscape. I was amazed by the view! It was so beautiful. I went around for a while and then went inside and up the tower. The views you have are in my opinion incredible. You see all the way to Rimini and the ocean and also the mountains on the opposite side. I was so happy to be the only one there to take my time to get the best shots and also being able to play around with the self timer and tripod. I actually stayed here for 50 minutes just enjoying the view!
When I was done with the first tower I went on to the second one. The path between the towers offers great views as well and my camera continued to do some hard work.
The first tower.
The second tower, Torre Cesta, is located around 300 m from the first one. It has a smaller courtyard than the first and also a modern weapons museum inside the tower. The exhibition shows old armory and weapons from the medieval era to modern times. I can’t believe people actually wore those kind of body armors and heavy swords.
Unfortunately the tower was closed for restoration so I couldn’t go up to the balcony there and take the shot of Gauita tower, the old town and mountains in one picture. Oh well, the ones from the pathway is good enough.
From the second tower you can see there is a third tower even further away, Torre Montale. It is much smaller than the other ones, and it’s only just one building that you can’t go inside.
After all the towers I went to look at all the other sights in town, cause yes, there are other things to see here. The old town is quite big actually. When I got here the bus loads of tourists had arrived and I was no longer alone at the sights. I walked around the old town for a while and saw, I think, all the sights from the outside. It is a lot of walking up and down since it isn’t flat anywhere here. The houses are beautiful and old and there are a lot of souvenir shops. I found only one small supermarket.
I got hungry and sat down for a lunch in the lower parts of old town. I had a very good piadina filled with serrano, cheese and arugula. The piadina is a popular dish in San Marino and you can get it with all kinds of fillings. I was very tasty. I didn’t find it very expensive, both my lunch and dinner were 10 euros each.
After lunch I decided to go back to the hotel to cool down before it got too hot outside. I sat on the balcony just outside my room and read for a while. Had a pretty good view from there, don’t you think?
Later after dinner and such I was trying to catch a good view of the sunset since I heard they can be amazing here. But unfortunately it got cloudy. I then decided to wait for the blue hour to take some evening photos of the towers. I went to the pathway between the towers and waited for the sun to set to get my shots.
It was really fun to take some evening photos and I thought they turned out pretty good, so I went down town to take some pictures there as well.
And so, that was my day in San Marino. I had a nice day here and I would really recommend going there if you, like me, like great views and historic buildings. Maybe a day trip is enough, but for me it was just perfect to be at the towers early in the morning and in the evening with less tourists.