Discover San Marino

The Republic of San Marino is located in Southern Europe, a territorial enclave in central Italy overlooking the Adriatic Sea. It is surrounded by Italy on all sides.

Its surface area is 61 km2. It has approximately 33,000 inhabitants and around 12,000 citizens residing abroad. It is the oldest constitutional republic in the world: the date of its founding is considered to be AD September 3, 301.


San Marino can be easily reached from Italy thanks to a variety of highways and roads and its nearness to the international airport of Bologna.

San Marino enjoys a privileged position to reach various art cities; a one-hour car ride will lead to Ravenna, Urbino, Bologna. A two–three hour car ride leads to Florence or Venice.
Getting to San Marino San Marino is easy to reach: here’s how to arrive using one of the following means of transportation. How to get here

San Marino is easy to reach: here’s how to arrive using one of the following means of transportation.

Getting to San Marino

San Marino is easy to reach: here’s how to arrive using one of the following means of transportation.

How to get here
History and Institutions

Legendary origins

The Republic’s origins are inextricably linked to its founder, Saint Marino, who is celebrated for having established the small republic at the foot of Mount Titano. According to legend, Saint Marino was a stonecutter.

In AD 257 he left his native home on the isle of Arbe (now in Dalmatia) and reached Mount Titano where he founded a small community of Christians, persecuted for their faith while Emperor Diocletian was in power. 

An initial group of settlers gathered around Saint Marino in AD 301, which then gave rise, over the years, to the first community and then to the first municipality, and ultimately to an independent and sovereign state which is today the Republic of San Marino.

Freedom and independence

What is certain is that this area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Information and testimonies grew in number starting in the mid-13th century, when a small community of inhabitants began looking for independence from the political powers controlling the entire geographic area. In the 14th century, San Marino continued its slow battle in gaining autonomy from external powers by taking part in battles, forming alliances, and continuing to gradually expand its borders. In 1463, it successfully took part in a war against the Lords of Rimini, the Malatesta family, thus securing, in exchange, authority over a few villages and its overall expansion, which reached its definitive and present surface area of 61 km2. Over the centuries, the territory and autonomy of San Marino have been challenged, but thanks to wise diplomatic agreements and successful alliances its independence has always been safeguarded.


San Marino is a parliamentary Republic with two Captains Regent (Heads of State) and a Parliament composed of 60 members. The official language is Italian and the currency is the Euro thanks to a monetary agreement with the European Union.

Declaration of the rights of citizens

The Republic of San Marino does not have a written constitution but acknowledges its own framework and policies in its statutes, laws, common law, and customs. A “Declaration of the rights of citizens and fundamental principles of San Marino constitutional order” was promulgated in 1974: it defines the functions and duties of the constitutional authorities. The “Declaration” was amended in 2002. The Guarantors’ Panel on the Constitutionality of Rules, which is the Constitutional Court of San Marino, is the competent authority to solve any conflicts of jurisdiction that may arise between the Court for trust and fiduciary relationships and the Single Court of the Republic of San Marino.

Captains Regent

The Captains Regent are the Heads of State. There are always two and they serve together. This mandate entrusted to two people has rather ancient origins and is emblematic of the attention on the part of San Marino’s citizens to avoid an abuse of personal power gained from positions of authority. This is made even more explicit by the duration of their mandate that was established, in the Statutes from the 13th century, to 6 months and not repeatable for at least 3 years. The Captains Regent are elected by the Great and General Council (the Republic of San Marino’s Parliament) from among its members. Each semester, on April 1 and October 1 every year, an impressive ceremony of investiture is held with the participation of an accredited Diplomatic and Consular Corps together with the highest authorities of the State. For the occasion, a noteworthy figure from the worlds of science, culture, politics, and history gives a speech. Only citizens from San Marino who are at least 25 years of age can become a Captain Regent. The Captains Regent cannot relinquish their mandate; it prevails over all others, and personal careers and professions must be abandoned for the entire term.

The Captains Regent have the right to the title “Excellency.”


San Marino’s legislative body is the Great and General Council (Parliament), the most important single-chamber assembly where the political life of the Republic is established and where laws are approved and the main choices for its social evolution are put into action. The Government of the Republic of San Marino is called the “State Congress” and is normally composed of 10 Secretaries of State (Ministers) chosen and appointed from within the Great and General Council, that is, from among the members of the political coalition that won the election. Their mandate lasts 5 years. San Marino also has other important political institutions like the Council of XII, which is also very ancient and plays a juridical role related to administrative justice. It also possesses a judiciary system aimed at implementing the laws as well as a complex bureaucratic, administrative, and fiscal system, thanks to which this entire small state is governed.


The territory of the Republic of San Marino is administratively divided into nine “municipalities,” each taking the name of its largest town, called a “Castle.” Each Castle is presided over by a Castle Council, whose duties are related to managing and controlling services in its geographic area, to promoting and coordinating cultural, recreational, and social activities, to its upkeep and management of public works, parks, etc.


UNESCO Heritage

In 2008 the historic center of San Marino and Mount Titano were declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. This recognition pertains to an intangible legacy, that is, to the idea of a “Republic,” of its long tradition of democracy and freedom based on self-governance and democratic and republican principles.

“San Marino is one of the world’s oldest republics and the only surviving Italian city-state, representing an important stage in the development of democratic models in Europe and worldwide . . . San Marino and Mount Titano are an exceptional testimony of the establishment of a representative democracy based on civic autonomy and self-governance, with a unique, uninterrupted continuity as the capital of an independent republic since the 13th century. San Marino is an exceptional testimony to a living cultural tradition that has persisted over the last seven hundred years.”


Declaration of Outstanding Universal Value, Quebec, Canada, July 7, 2008

Come visit us

Attractions and events

Each year the Republic of San Marino welcomes over 2 million visitors and, among the foreigners, Italians are the most numerous, followed by tourists from Russia, Germany, Poland, and France. Those who visit San Marino discover the pleasure of strolling down the quaint streets of its historic center, making their way along a stone-paved panoramic road up to the three towers of Mount Titano. Tourists can also enjoy a special day devoted to shopping in the center’s traditional stores or in its new fashion outlet, “The Market,” which will open this summer. They can take part in numerous cultural events, like historical re-enactments, sports matches, or concerts organized during the year, or instead savor local specialties in the many restaurants scattered across the Republic.

Institutional ceremonies and festivals

In San Marino traditions and ceremonies are especially important and evocative. Every year celebrations, unchanged over the centuries, are held for the most important institutional events, such as on April 1 and October 1, when the Captains Regent are installed into office. On September 3, the feast day of the patron, Saint Marino, is celebrated along with the founding of the Republic. The Crossbow Palio held on September 3 and other historical re-enactments involve the Federazione Sammarinese Balestrieri (crossbow federation), which represents for San Marino a way to enhance its own historical roots and its millenary tradition of freedom.

Summer music festivals

As regards music, San Marino always offers a series of music events and festivals of all kinds: from jazz to rock and classical music. Also during the summer historical re-enactments take place along with traditional country feasts organized by the “Castles” across the Republic offering characteristic music and a wide variety of local food and beverage.

Christmas events

The great Christmas tradition is celebrated in San Marino in the magical atmosphere of its center, with a rich line-up of events lasting from early December to mid-January, including the traditional Christmas market with music plus a Christmas concert and streets decorated with beautiful ornaments and lights.

Sports events

For sports lovers there are many major international events, like the MotoGP world championship that takes place nearby at Misano; the Mille Miglia, a historic race with vintage cars; the Tennis Atp Challenger Tour that attracts thousands of fans and enthusiasts. The San Marino Rally Legend is a must for all lovers of this sport in which each year great champions and vintage cars gather here.

Conferences and meetings: Why choose San Marino?

A unique way to experience conferences, conventions, and work meetings, in the oldest republic in the world.

San Marino offers state-of-the-art facilities, top-level services for every need, and much more: those who organize events in San Marino will enjoy the comfort of modern accommodations and savor local delicacies in award-winning restaurants. Or they can relax by practicing sports or strolling along the quaint streets of the center, or even spend hours on a shopping spree or have a massage in a lovely spa.


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San Marino stamps and coins

San Marino is known for its extraordinary production of stamps and coins prized by collectors around the world. The postal system began in May 1833 but an actual post office was opened in November 1862 and San Marino began using its own seal. In January 1863 it adopted stamps, already in use in Italy, at first unilaterally and then in agreement with the Italian Postal service. The first San Marino stamps appeared, following a new agreement with the Italian government, on August 1, 1877. Since then, each year the Stamps and Coins Office issues stamps and coins dedicated to all kinds of themes or events and anniversaries. Tourists can purchase coin and stamp series directly in San Marino or at the San Marino Pavilion in Dubai.ù


Series dedicated to the Expo


In the previous edition of Expo 2010 Shanghai, San Marino issued two stamps and one coin, while for Expo 2015 Milan it issued one stamp and one coin. All previous productions are for sale at the San Marino Pavilion. For this current Expo, the Stamps and Coins Office of the Republic of San Marino has planned to issue a stamp and coin dedicated to Expo 2020 Dubai.

Tie the knot in San Marino

Getting married in San Marino has a great moral value and is a choice that embodies freedom: San Marino is today a symbol of millenary traditions handed down over time, and for this reason it represents the best wishes for a couple who wants to unite forever.


Its past, culture, food/wine traditions, and nature embracing both the mountains and the sea make San Marino an unforgettable location to celebrate your wedding. The view is one of the most stunning features in ceremonies held in San Marino, which offers a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding landscape. The quality of the food and wine are perfectly in tune with its geographic location at the center of Italy and therefore you can enjoy a wedding ceremony and reception in the name of excellence.


Historic wedding venues are timeless places and can include San Marino’s medieval towers, the crossbow quarry, or the government palace for unforgettable memories. San Marino is also the perfect place for those who enjoy the playful aspect of weddings in that you and your guests can enjoy partying and music up until the early morning hours.

FOOD AND WINE The Terra di San Marino brand: the value of traditions

Enhancing this Republic through its traditional products is a goal the State of San Marino embraced in 2003 by establishing the Consortium and the “Terra di San Marino” brand, so as to protect and enhance the flavors and authenticity of its local traditions, joining professional associations as well as sector cooperatives and groups. The safety and traceability of food, the rediscovery of local traditions, and the importance of rural culture are the three pillars upon which the Consorzio Terra di San Marino is based.

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Living in San Marino

High quality of life and lifestyle

San Marino is not only the ideal place to open a business; it is also a paradise for families and entrepreneurs. In fact, San Marino can boast an enviable record for quality and efficiency in various sectors:

- One of the highest life expectancies in the world;

- A universal and free healthcare/hospital system, and one of the best according to the World Health Organization;

- A high level of safety and low crime rate in the world;

- Respect for human and political rights;

- Fiber-optic cabling across the entire Republic, now being completed;

- Not vulnerable to the risk of war or revolutions;

- Lively culture and art scene;

- Squares, parks, and nature paths for outdoor living;

- State-of-the-art sports facilities with access to international world championships.

Real estate and residency

For some years now San Marino has opened itself up to real estate investments on the part of foreign nationals who can now purchase property in San Marino to live here on a permanent basis and establish their residency.

Today, a foreign national can obtain residency, in a simpler way with respect to the past.

Elective residency in San Marino can be obtained by buying one or more real estate properties, for an overall value of € 500,000 Euro, or by depositing € 600,000 in the Banca Centrale, or by purchasing government bonds worth that amount.


The foreign national who opens a business here can obtain residency for economic reasons if he purchases property and/or with an occupational business plan. They can also obtain residency for their spouses or administrators in their companies.

Retired foreign nationals can obtain residency in San Marino if they satisfy all the conditions established by law; their income will be taxed for 10 years at a favorable tax rate of 6% each year.

Study with us: University of San Marino

San Marino has its own small university, founded in 1985.

A prominent figure in Italian and world culture played a pivotal part in opening a university here in San Marino: Umberto Eco. He embarked upon this project with an internationally acclaimed historian, Luciano Canfora, Director of History Studies. Small but excellent, the university’s size makes it perfect for students who want close contact with their professors. It is a place where students become the focus around which classes and initiatives are organized.


It offers three-year and teaching degrees, master’s, specialization courses, and PhDs in history, in which the select number of students and direct relations with teachers create a dynamic environment open to dialogue. There are many students who attend the degree program in Design and the master’s in Sports Management.


The diplomas issued by the University of San Marino are recognized in Italy and the European Union, and are issued jointly with respective partner universities.


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Invest with us

Invest in San Marino and conquer the future

San Marino is open to foreign investments by also promoting ad hoc agreements and conventions with possible international investors. Its favorable geographic location, the excellence of its services and products as well as its potential for economic and technological growth make San Marino a solid partner in business initiatives.

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Agency for Economic Development – Chamber of Commerce

The Agency for Economic Development –Chamber of Commerce is a mixed public/private capital organization promoting investments from and into the world’s oldest republic, providing services for the internationalization of local companies, and attracting resources and talents. It therefore represents a modern and effective tool to exploring investment opportunities in the Republic of San Marino and is the trait d’union that allows and fosters communication, collaboration, and positive results for all stakeholders involved.

San Marino Innovation

The Innovation Institute promotes a new business culture and attitude aimed at innovating and supporting employment in key sectors for economic development, favoring a more solid ability to attract talent and capital from abroad, and strengthening bonds between institutions and enterprises. It is intended for individuals, start-ups, and company spin-offs that share resources and skills aimed at researching specific technologies.

For more information