On the Set of Robin Hood? No, Just a Visit to San Marino

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Amidst a sea of rolling countryside in northern Italy, the rocky slopes of Mount Titano jut skyward, interrupting the reiteration of grassland, a ship on an ocean of plains. Three medieval towers top the mountain’s summit, exuding formidable strength, even from a distance.

Visit San Marino

An ascent to the highest point of the towers is strenuous, rewarding the hearty a

 

ndbrave with a sweeping panorama. Steep cliffs lead downward, unclimable, untamable. Picturesque towns glance upward, smiling with twinkling lights. A curtain of defensive walls wraps around the mountain, marked only with slits just large enough for an arrow to pass through, a safeguard for the storybook town that lies inside.

Visit San Marino

No. This is not Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe. It’s not the Princess Bride, the Sword and the Stone or even Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 

visit san marino

No. This is not a movie. There’s a place in the world like this that really exists, and this place is the Republic of San Marino.

Travel blogger Lauren Salisbury on a visit to San Marino

Visit San Marino

I have to be honest. The only reason I added San Marino to my travel itinerary for my final journey through Europe with Eurail last July was this: San Marino is another country and a visit would aid in my quest to set foot in 25 countries during my 25th year of life.

Yet of all the places I visited on that month-long trek through Europe, San Marino was the most satisfyingly surprising. I spent the majority of my quick visit with my mouth agape in wonder.

visit san marino

The fifth smallest country in the world, San Marino is also the world’s oldest republic, its origins documented as early as 885 A.D. Though there are several cities in the country’s nearly 24 square miles, the epicenter for historical interest and tourism is in the city of San Marino, including the medieval wall city.

visit san marino

Situated on the western slopes of Mount Titano, this capital city is built on a slant that culminates at Mount Titano’s highest point. A walk through the walled city will redefine your understanding of medieval villages. I warn you – after visiting San Marino Fantasyland at Disneyland will never be the same, for this is the real deal. I’ve never been anywhere that is so fully and completely an immersion into the past as San Marino.

visit san marino

Seriously, Sleeping Beauty’s castle. You ain’t got nothing on the interior of the Palazzo Pubblico, or Public Palace, which serves as the official government building and site of official State ceremonies.

visit san marino

I was lucky enough to visit during Medieval Days, an annual festival that pumps the city full of a medieval atmosphere.

visit san marino

Archery competitions, theatrical performances and royal processions take place amid the backdrop of splendid architecture, making the immersion into the past even more complete. Medieval Days put every single Renaissance Faire you frequent to shame.

visit san marino

Ladies, I even got to meet a “medieval man.” Wink. Wink.

visit san marino and see medieval man

Streets are lined with quaint shops and restaurants, at a variety of price points.

No visit is complete without walking the grounds to Guaita, Cesta and Montale, the three famous towers of San Marino. La Rocca o Guaita is the most impressive (and famous of the towers).

visit san marino

Another must-do while visiting San Marino is a ride down (or up) the mountainous terrain on the Cable Car.

visit san marino

For more information on things to do in the Republic of San Marino, visit www.VisitSanMarino.com. But seriously, add this as a destination on your European or Italian itinerary. Now.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dorothy Crocenzi

    Beautiful pictures…..my husband was born and raised there….glad you enjoyed the beauty and culture of S.Marino

    1. Lauren

      Dorothy I’m so glad you enjoyed my photos. San Marino truly is a beautiful place!

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