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San Marino is a Country in the Apennine Mountains

The Most Serene Republic of San Marino is a country in the Apennine Mountains. It is an enclave, completely surrounded by Italy. One of the European microstates, San Marino is the smallest protectorate state in the world both by area and by population. It has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe.

The tiny republic of San Marino is completely surrounded by northern Italy and claims to date from around 301 AD. The climate is Mediterranean and its geography is dominated by the Apennines mountain range.

San Marino is the only surviving Italian city state. Like Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monaco, it is an anachronism, a reminder of the times when Europe particularly Germany, Italy and the Pyrenees was made up of tiny political units, often extending no further than a cannon could fire from a cities walls.

Set on the lower slopes of Mount Titano, the medieval centre of the city of San Marino has been perfectly preserved and must be explored on foot as cars are banned. The three peaks of the mountain behind are capped with fortified towers, linked by a system of walls and pathways that are accessible from the city below. The city itself is enclosed by three walls containing gateways, towers and ramparts. Inside the walls are narrow, winding streets, churches and medieval houses. Places worth visiting are the Government Palace; the Basilica; the State Museum and Art Gallery; St Francisa Church, which also has a museum and art gallery, the Capuccin Friars Church of St Quirino; and the Exhibition of San Marino Handicrafts.

The landscape is for the most part green with rolling hills, dominated by the three peaks of Mount Titano. Within San Marino lie the capital of the same name and eight villages.

On new years day 2002, San Marino, like the other 11 members of the Euro zone, started using Euro notes and Euro coins for cash transactions. Within a few months, the old coins and banknotes in Lire have been withdrawn. We have uncalculated sets from each of the twelve countries in stock now for immediate delivery.

Stamp and coin collecting are popular in San Marino probably because the country is the only one in the Italian area which issues legal tender gold coins and San Marinos philatelic office has been offering information and a new issues and standing order service to collectors for over 40 years.

Moderate snow in winter and some brief showers in summer. The atmosphere is clean, typical of Low Mountain and hill country with sea breezes.

Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The San Marino Rental Site