Visit San Marino
Have you considered visiting the independent Republic of San Marino while you’re in Italy? Here is the easiest way to get from Rimini to San Marino, as well as cheap eats while in San Marino and top attractions to see to maximize a day trip or a weekend getaway.
Getting to San Marino from Rimini
The easiest way to get to San Marino is by bus from Rimini. The bust stops in front of Hotel Napoleon (by the train station). You can buy tickets online or you can purchase them from a nearby tabacchi. You can also purchase directly on the bus with cash or credit card, but this depends on availability. During the peak season, this may be difficult. Tickets are €6 each way.
Things to Do in San Marino
San Marino is a great day trip or weekend getaway from Rimini or the nearby Italian countryside. The republic is the oldest in the world and as such it feels a bit like taking a step back in time. The small country only has 33,000 residents, so it feels more like a quaint town. There is no border control, so you don’t even realize as you make you way up the hills and into the independent state.
San Marino was originally a large fortress, so be sure to visit at least one of the towers during your visit. The First Tower (Guaita Tower) is the largest and most famous of the three. While I was there, construction was going on around Towers 2 and 3, but you can walk between them if you prefer.
Wander around the First Tower through the Old Town, including down to Piazza della Liberta. This square has a changing of the guards (including FEMALE guards) during the summer. The streets are filled with tax-free shops selling perfumes, guns??? And sunglasses. It sometimes felt like walking through Duty-Free at the airport but keep looking for local boutiques.
From here you can easily reach the Basilica of San Marino. Entrance is free but be sure to dress respectfully. A statue of Saint Marino stands in the middle of the church altar – proudly displayed.
If you come in late July, be sure to check out the Medieval Festival. The town celebrates big with lots of free events, including free entrance to the towers, a falconry station, archery and live music and performances throughout the weekend.
If you want a passport stamp, head to one of the visitor centers. For €5 you can get a San Marino stamp. I’d say save your money and buy a postcard instead, but you know, to each their own.
Places to Eat in San Marino
While San Marino also uses the Euro, prices are a little higher than the nearby Rimini. I found a few great cheap eats along the Old Town for a quite bite or a great view. Here are my 3 favorite places to eat while in San Marino:
Strapizzati – This is a little shop family run offering cheap piadinas or pizza slices. They only have one picnic table just outside, so be aware you may have to wait or take it to-go. But the price can’t be beat for a quick lunch, and I watched him slice my meat and cheese to order.
Guaita Food Drink & Fun – Off the main streets, but with a nice valley view, Guaita offers tables on the street with views or covered service. I ordered (I know I know) the cheeseburger and fries, which was a large portion and very tasty. There is a service charge €1.50 per person, but the food prices are reasonable and it’s away from the main touristy areas.
Spingarda – This little restaurant is tucked away with the size hidden by the small entrance. They offer reasonable prices, great service and good views. The pasta was good, and pizza looked excellent. I’d recommend for a dinner with a sunset view.
San Marino is a fun destination for a quick day trip or weekend getaway. The bus is so easy and comfortable, just 45 mins from Rimini. Visit San Marino on your next trip!
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