San Marino is a mountainous microstate located by the eastern side of Italy. It is considered the world’s oldest republic, founded in 301 AD by the Christian stonemason Marinus of Rab. While vacationing in Italy in June 2022, I took the chance to tour the said mini-state with my aunt. We left Rome early and took the train to Rimini, and then the bus to San Marino. The state was small and we only had the weekend, but a day was enough to capture the beauty of the ancient city sitting high on the slopes of Monte Titano. San Marino is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.
I booked the tickets on trenitalia.com, with the following route: Villa Bonelli to Roma Tiburtina (07:04-07:30), Roma Tiburtina to Falconara Marittima (07:58-11:13), and from Falconara to Rimini (11:54-12:56). The trains were on time, so it was a pretty smooth ride to the seaside city of Rimini. Our accommodation for the night was Villa Mirna, located a few blocks from the train station.
The bus station was also a short walk away from Villa Mirna. We passed by street vendors and restaurants – pretty much like a seaside resort town in the Canary islands. That’s what they reminded me of. Rimini had a few tourists in June, but it seemed teeming with locals as well. Tickets to San Marino can be bought from the bus driver, and you can opt to buy a two-way ticket.
San Marino city was roughly 45 minutes away from Rimini by bus. The city was like an old fortress with cobbled streets and brick walls carved on a mountain slope. Aside from the city, there are 3 castle towers on mountain peaks, two of which require hiking and therefore, dropped from our itinerary. Due to the heat, we decided to take the cute train from the bus stop to the city center, and then enjoyed some refreshments before exploring the main castle. It was a very romantic place, like something out of a movie. So, for this day trip, we went on top by mini-train and down to bottom by foot.
The Adriatic sea was even visible from up there!
As mentioned, San Marino’s top landmarks are the 3 castle towers, which are depicted on the national flag. The first and most accessible one is Guaita, built in the 11th century.
Next to Guaita is Cesta Tower. Only Guaita and Cesta are open for visitors. Already a bit exhausted, we decided to just capture some shots with Cesta from afar. We also had to catch the last bus going back to Rimini!
We started our descent at around 16:50. On the way, we passed by souvenir shops and street artists, churches and museums. I also managed to buy some stamps and send postcards, so I was happy and satisfied.
I think that taking the minitrain up was a good idea. The last bit of the descent could be taken with an elevator. We managed to get to the busstop a few minutes ahead of schedule, so we got to enjoy some lemonade while waiting.
All in all, visiting the microstate was super worth it! The nearest Italian city of Rimini was also a good base. It has beaches and awesome restaurants! I can still remember how good that seafood pasta was.
That Saturday was full of impressions, and I’m happy I got to bond with my youngest aunt. We had a good night’s rest, and in the morning, we enjoyed the breakfast provided by the accommodation, which consisted of lots of cakes!
The train ride back to Rome was not hassle-free at all, sadly. The first train was late, so we missed the second train. Originally, we were supposed to leave Rimini at 09:47 and arrived in Bologna Centrale at 11:01. Instead, we found ourselves in Bologna at 12:45. We were so stressed out – my aunt had to get back for work the next day, but at the same time, we wanted to avoid buying new tickets. And that’s why we were impressed and relieved when in Bologna, the costumer service just booked us a new train with a faster route. Thank you very much. So we reached Rome by 4pm and took the bus back to my aunt’s apartment. It was, by the way, fudging 37 degrees Celsius!
My distant relatives were in the apartment to join us for dinner. They cooked for me – a thing I love about Filipino culture is the big emphasis on “family” and “food”. 🙂
Everything worked out well on that weekend. My soul and tummy was full. ❤ And just like that, I only had 2 nights left in Rome. More about that in the next entry. 🙂 #spreadloveandpositivevibes
ALL PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ON THIS BLOG ENTRY ARE MINE. (c)