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A City Within A City: San Marino, Italy

Updated on May 5, 2020

San Marino, Italy

Towers of San Marino
Towers of San Marino
Etruscans
Etruscans

St. Marimus, Founder of San Marino, Italy

St. Marimus c 301
St. Marimus c 301

Streets of San Marino

Street of San Marino
Street of San Marino
Streets of San Marino
Streets of San Marino
Tower Steps San Marino
Tower Steps San Marino

San Marino, Iraly

As you can see from the map of Italy, many earlier inhabitants lived in today's Italy. They included the Etruscans, the Liburnans, the Romans, the Sapians, the Samites, and the Umbrians.

The little city of San Marino was settled in 301, and today is the world's oldest Republic. It is the smallest country, surrounded by Italy. And it is one of the most scenic and beautiful cities that exist. There are only three republic countries in the world. The City of the Vatican, the Kingdom of Lesotho, South Africa, and San Marino. Each has its unique history, but this article will be about San Marino.

High on the mountain of Mount Titano are the Three Towers. They consist of fortification towers, walls, gates, and bastions. The first tower, Guita, was built in the 11th century, the second tower, Ceste, was built in the 13th century, and finally, the Montale, built in the 14th century. The name is derived from the stonemason, Marimus, who was from the Roman colony on the Island of Rab. Marimus was instrumental in harboring Christian refugees escaping Roman persecution.

Visiting San Marino is like stepping back into medieval times of centuries ago.

Legend tells the story of an insane woman who falsely accused him of being her estranged husband. This so upset him he fled to a cave atop Mount Titano and lived as a hermit. He was known from then on as Marius the Monk, and he was also canonized as St. Marimus. He died in 366, and his relics are housed in the Basilica of St. Marino.

The Liburnians occupied the area long before the Corinthians and the Greeks. The Etruscan Kings ruled Rome until they expelled in 510 B.C. They were known for their exquisite art, and one of the best is the sarcophagus of "Bride and Bridegroom." This beautiful work of art is housed in the Rome Museum. They are also believed to have introduced the chariot to Italy.

For centuries, Marino was able to hold off many attempted invasions. Marino had the best defense, that being their location on top of a mountain. And today, they are an example of the testimony of democracy, which they have kept since the 13th century.

The people of San Marino prefer to be called "Sammarinese" rather than Italians. In front of the Palazzo Pubblico, the Changing of the Guard is performed every half hour from 8 AM to 6 PM daily.

The people of San Marino take great pride in their city and every July, a Medieval Day Festival on the last weekend in July. There is music, historical displays, flag-waving contests, archery contests, and all in their vintage attire.

The museums are: the Museum of Ancient Arms, the Wax Museum, the State Museum, and the Ferrari Museum. The streets are dotted with cafes and small shops. And they are known for their famous "Cake of Three Towers," layers of wafers covered in chocolate.


Etruscan Art

Etruscan Tomb Decoration
Etruscan Tomb Decoration
5th King of Rome
5th King of Rome
Bride and Groom Sarcophagus
Bride and Groom Sarcophagus | Source

Etruscan Kings

When the Etruscan kings ruled Rome, there was conflict even among themselves. The 5th King, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus was assinated. After his assassination, he was succeeded by Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. Superbus was the last of the Etruscan kings, and he was expelled from Rome in the 6th century.


Festival of San Marino, Italy

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    • powers41 profile imageAUTHOR

      fran rooks 

      14 months ago from Toledo, Ohio

      Thank you.

    • powers41 profile imageAUTHOR

      fran rooks 

      14 months ago from Toledo, Ohio

      Thanks for your comments. It looks like an awesome place to visit. Hope you'll get to visit some day.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      14 months ago from Chicago

      I enjoyed your article very much. Thank you for the journey. Neat place. I'd love to go there one day. I've been to Italy several times, but never San Marino.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      14 months ago

      Fran, did you see my message on this page? If not, check out my profile page. I have a new article published in my story series, "Keily, the Bookworm". Thanks.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      14 months ago

      Fran, I have published a new article (Part-8) in my story series, "Keily, the Bookworm". Would you like to read it? If yes, please leave your feedback in the comments section of the article. Here is the link:

      https://letterpile.com/serializations/Keily-the-Bo...

    • powers41 profile imageAUTHOR

      fran rooks 

      15 months ago from Toledo, Ohio

      I would love to visit this enchanting, historical city. After researching, I am enthralled and would recommend a visit there for anyone interested in Italy.

      Thanks for reading.

    • powers41 profile imageAUTHOR

      fran rooks 

      15 months ago from Toledo, Ohio

      Thanks for your comments. It sure looks like a great place to visit.

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      15 months ago from California

      You've done my family and their ancestors great justice! I thank you for writing this piece here, Fran, it means a lot to me. Many people ignore the less popular places in Italy, the ones I'd argue have some of the greatest beauty and richest history, and the Marinello family thanks you for bringing attention to our home city!

      One day I hope to visit and walk the streets of our ancestors, but until then I will hold it near and dear to my heart.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      15 months ago

      Nice to know about the little city, San Marino, in Italy. Its history and current times are awesome. Lovely pictures too. Thanks for sharing, Fran.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      15 months ago from UK

      It's a long time since I was last in Italy. I would like to go there again one day. It is a country steeped in history. Where would you recommend for a trip?

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