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San Marino is one of several European microstates, hidden in the northeast region of Italy. With less than 70 kilometers, it claims to be the oldest republic in the world, dating back to 301 BC.

It came under its own sovereign rule when a Christian named Marinus fled his home island of Rab, in what would be modern-day Croatia, to Mount Titanus, in an attempt to escape religious persecution. It was on the mountain that he built a chapel and monastery, later proving to be the very foundations of San Marino. Although landlocked by Italy, San Marino has its own proud history and identity – passport stamps and all.

While San Marino isn't the kind of place that will scream your name, it is somewhere that leaves visitors glad they experienced it. The main tourist area is Città di San Marino, or, to use its English translation, the city of San Marino, which sits on Monte Titano, towering above the surrounding terrain.

This is where you can admire incredible views, visit the Three Towers, see where the country is ruled from Palazzo Pubblico, explore the UNESCO-listed historic center and visit its incredible basilica. Most of the country can be seen in one day and can be done as part of an Italy trip.

The three towers are a national symbol for San Marino. They appear on the flag and can be found carved in stone on various walls around the city. Once used for defensive measures, the three towers are no longer used for strategic purposes. The first tower - Guaita - is built directly on the rock, without a foundation, and is the main visiting point for tourists. Here you can look inside the former prison, which comes complete with a small chapel, and climb the tower for more incredible views. The second tower - Cesta Castle - now houses the Archaeological Weapons Museum, which has approximately 535 pieces dating back to the Middle Ages, while Montale, the third tower, is closed to the public.

Before you travel: you didn't forget about travel insurance, right?

If you're so anxious that you forgot to take out travel insurance , don't worry, there's still time! Travel insurance , although not mandatory for entry into American soil, can be your best friend. This is because any medical care or emergency, no matter how simple it may be, has very high costs in the land of Uncle Sam. Insurance with good coverage prevents a huge headache (not to mention in your pocket) and also gives you that hand in case your suitcase being lost, for example. We suggest that you take out insurance that covers any type of incident on the spot! We at Ideias na Mala recommend and do not travel without insurance from Seguros Promo , a Brazilian company that works as an insurance comparator, seeking the best cost-benefits on the market without giving up excellent coverage! Get a quote here and insert the discount coupon as soon as you click on the link to receive a % discount on the purchase of your travel insurance .

Being surrounded by a single country is a distinction San Marino shares with only two other nations - Vatican City and nearby Lesotho, encapsulated by South Africa. We go crazy for this tiny country.

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