What's in San Marino

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I've long wondered exactly what is in San Marino. Just what keeps such a small state afloat and what goes on there?

In my recent trip around Italy, I decided to stop overnight in San Marino. Perched high on a mountain, San Marino city overlooks the rest of the tiny republic. The San Marino flag features three towers on three peaks, the symbol of San Marino.

San Marino panorama II

Cesta tower, San Marino

Guaita tower, San Marino

Tower, San Marino

There are also a variety of tacky-sounding museums (the Museum of Torture, and the like). Mainly, it seems tourism is the prime industry here with souvenir shop after souvenir shop.

Sadly, when the final bus leaves at half past six, San Marino empties. I walked around the town, seeing closed shops, empty bars, empty cafés and empty restaurants. It was all rather disheartening.

Empty street, San Marino

Empty restaurant II, San Marino

Empty restaurant, San Marino

Happily next morning, everything was busy again and San Marino seemed a happy place. So happy, indeed, that the police wear delightful mustard yellow shirts. Lovely San Marino.