San Marino in the heart of world history: a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2008

Thanks to its unique history and institutional heritage, on July 7th 2008, the Republic of San Marino was inscribed in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. The inscribed site covers an area of 55 hectares and includes the old towns of San Marino and Borgo Maggiore, as well as Mount Titano with its natural environment of exceptional value.

“San Marino is one of the world’s oldest republics and the only surviving Italian city-state, representing an important stage in the development of democratic models in Europe and worldwide. The tangible expressions of this long continuity as the capital of the Republic, its unchanged geo-political context and juridical and institutional functions, is found in the strategic position on the top of Mount Titano, the historic urban layout, urban spaces and many public monuments. San Marino has a widely recognised iconic status as a symbol of a free city-state, illustrated in political debate, literature and arts through the centuries.
San Marino and Mount Titano are an exceptional testimony of the establishment of a representative democracy based on civic autonomy and self-governance, with a unique, uninterrupted continuity as the capital of an independent republic since the XIII Century. San Marino is an exceptional testimony to a living cultural tradition that has persisted over the last seven hundred years.”*

*From the Declaration of Exceptional Universal Value adopted by the World Heritage Committee.

Historical Insights

San Marino is a unique example of a small state which has remained independent and autonomous throughout the centuries.

The legendary origins talk about a refugee, a Dalmatian stonecutter, Marinus, who arrived in Rimini. But fate had saved shelter for him on Mount Titano. In order to flee religious persecution by Emperor Diocletian, Marinus founded a sort of community, which was based on both lay and religious principles, on the safest part of the Mount. Such foundation is supposed to date back to 301 A.D. After being appointed deacon by the Bishop of Rimini, it is believed that Marinus died in 366.

The first historical document dates back to 885 and describes the quarrel occurred between abbot Stefano from San Marino and bishop Deltone from Rimini. The document stated that the debated territories had always been possessed by the people of San Marino and had to remain under their control.

Over the centuries, the people of San Marino opposed any attempt of expansion. Instead, they developed a careful policy of alliances which led them to gain control over a 61 sq. km large territory after they had won the war against the powerful Malatesta family of Rimini (1463) thanks to the support of the Pope and the Dukes of Montefeltro. Such extension has never changed again in time.

The Republic obtained valuable recognitions from the most important personalities: in 1797 Napoleon legitimated its sovereign power and the Congress of Vienna recognized its independence while redefining the borders of Europe. The people of San Marino particularly appreciated what President Abraham Lincoln said when he was declared an honorary citizen. In a letter dated May 7th 1861 he wrote to the Captains Regent: “Despite being so small, Your State is one of the most honoured countries in the whole history”.

Generous and hospitable, the small Republic repeatedly welcomed people who sought shelter and protection because of the trouble vicissitudes they had experienced in their country.

Useful Data

Capital City San Marino
Government Republic
Founding of the Republic 3 September 301
Geography Southern Europe, an enclave in north-east Italy
Area 61 sq. km.
Climate Mediterranean; mild to cool winters; warm, sunny summers
Inhabitants 33.000
Languages Italian
Currency Euro (EUR)
Country Dialling code from Italy 0549 – from other countries + 378
Time zone Central European Summer Time, GMT + 1
Emergency telephone numbers Ambulance 118 – Police 113 – SOS 112

Tourist Information Office

Contrada Omagnano 20 - San Marino
Tel. 0549 882914 - Fax 0549 882575
opening times: from monday to friday 8.30 am to 6.00 pm
Saturday / Sunday: 9.00 am to 1.30 pm / 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm

How to reach San Marino

The Republic of San Marino is located in Central Italy, 10 km far from the Adriatic Sea. There are only road connections with Italy.

From Rimini, take the A14 highway, exit “Rimini Sud” and then follow the directions indicating “Repubblica di San Marino” (21 km distance).

There are quick and regular rail connections to Rimini railway station from all major Italian cities. For information and time schedules please visit: or

There are hourly public bus services to San Marino from Rimini railway station. (45 min. from 8:00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.). For time schedules, please visit: and

Ticket from Rimini Railway Station: € 4.50

Several airlines operate direct flights from major European airports to the Bologna G. Marconi Airport (BLQ). It is the most serviced airport near the Republic of San Marino.

Bologna Airport "G. Marconi"
132 km -

Logistical Support

Bus transfers form Bologna G. Marconi Airport and from Rimini train station will be guaranteed by the organisers. As soon as the deadline for registration is met, and all the travel details received, an updated list with the departure times will be uploaded on this web-page.