SAN MARINO - Day One
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My husband and I love to travel. In April 2004 we decided to visit Tuscany.
Our first stop was:
Mysterious San Marino
Day One
After a six and a half hour drive all the way from my little mountain village of
Praproce in Slovenia and new experiences in driving that included passing cars
between a car that we were passing and the one that was driving in the opposite
direction on a two way street, we reached our first destination: San Marino which
was wrapped in a soft blanket of clouds. We felt like we were transported directly into
the Middle Ages and if we were not careful someone will dump the contents of their bedpan
on our heads and an armored knight will be singing serenades around the corner, but no such luck.

We walked through the narrow, rocky, steep streets that were disappearing in a thick gray fog.
We peeked through the
colorful shop windows,
admired the architecture and a
formula 1 racing car that was
parked in the middle of the
main piazza and as far as we
could tell they had to drop it
from the sky because the
streets were to narrow for
anything but bicycles or an
occasional Vespa. I found a
fabulous clock that was
designed by "Uomo universale"
Leonardo da Vinci which later
became husband's birthday
present.
This great itty-bitty country is a
fantastic stop for its beauty,
history and culture but also for
shopping of items like leather
purses, perfumes, guns, knifes,
swords…, because they have no
sales tax and you can get brand
items for much less than in the
surrounding Italy. Oh, and they
make their own beer…
The Republic of San Marino is considered the third smallest nation in Europe… you know,
a microstate like Vatican and Monaco. It is the oldest constitutional republic in the world
still in existence today. It was founded in 301 AD by Marinus of Rab, a Christian
stonemason fleeing the religious persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian.
The capital city of San Marino is itself called 'San Marino' and sits on a big and steep
rock. It is surrounded by a wall and three distinct castles overlooking the rest of the
country.