If you’re making the trip to San Marino then you are probably stopping off on the way from Rome, Florence or Venice. My advice is that you make this detour just to hang onto what little sanity you may have left after visiting these three crowded, klusterfuquian destinations if for nothing else, but for the sake of recharging your batteries for the next onslaught of humanity to be endured. Like its fellow microstate, Liechtenstein, it has views galore, but San Marino’s views are the 360 degree variety as opposed to Liechtenstein’s 180 degrees so you get twice the view at half the price!
It’s a bit of a tourist trap, but there is also a good deal more to do with copious museums, historic sites, restaurants and shopping galore, and best of all it’s affordable. In San Marino you can have a nice meal for 20 euros and 30 on a splurge. Café fare at lunch is available at 10 euros with a view that will take your breath away.
The shopping is geared to the ladies and gentlemen in a diametrically opposed fashion. For the ladies it’s jewelry, perfume, sunglasses and handbags, and for the guys it’s watches, pens, knives, guns and other forms of weaponry. Seriously, you have seen so many crossbows in your life! Cheesy cheap crap abounds, but there are a good deal of quality goods so in a couple of days in San Marino could put a serious dent in your credit card due to tax savings and good deals afforded by the geography.
You can probably get away with two days here. Don’t forget the more time you decompress the better you will feel on your next encounter with the Mongol hordes. I’ve had a day and a half here, and I feel like a new man who’s looking forward to repeating his early morning walk to the three towers and back before there is another soul on the trail save the trilling and warbling songbirds. That’s my kind of paradise especially since it’s one that you don’t have to die to visit.
360 degrees of this will put you right at ease. Even the bus station has this vista!
HOTEL JOLI – My Hotel sign hiding through the trees on the left and Tower One visible in the distance.
Windy narrow streets lend charm to the trek upward on this mountain citadel.
VICIOUS DICTATOR BEERS
SCULPTURE AND ART GREET YOU ROUND EVERY TURN
AND SO DO THESE STUNNING VIEWS
ART INSTALLATIONS EVERYWHERE
The funicular is clearly for the poor souls at the bottom of the mountain.
LA CAPANNA – Lunch with a View
This is how I started my day for the two days after I arrived.
After an early breakfast, I headed straight to Tower One at 8:30. This proved to be a winning formula.
TOWER TWO BECKONS IN THE DISTANCE
CUE THE CHIRPING BIRDS
TOWER ONE FROM TOWER TWO
TOWER THREE SEEN FROM TOWER TWO
TOWER THREE – 13th. Century
Heading back to Tower Two
View of Tower One from Tower Two
Heading back for a look at the inside of Tower One.
INTERIOR TOWER ONE