San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino and also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy, situated on the Italian Peninsula on the north-eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. Its size is just over 61 km2 (24 sq mi) with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino. San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe.
According to tradition, Saint Marinus left the island of Arba in present-day Croatia with his lifelong friend Leo, and went to the city of Rimini as a mason. After the Diocletianic Persecution following his Christian sermons, he escaped to the nearby Monte Titano, where he built a small church and thus founded what is now the city and state of San Marino. The official date of the founding of the Republic is 3 September 301.
By the mid-5th century, a community was formed; because of its relatively inaccessible location and its poverty, it has succeeded, with a few brief interruptions, in maintaining its independence. In 1631, its independence was recognized by the Papacy.
San Marino is an enclave in Italy, on the border between the regioni of Emilia Romagna and Marche and about 10 km (6.21 mi) from the Adriatic coast at Rimini. Its topography is dominated by the Apennine mountain range, and it has a rugged terrain. The highest point in the country, the summit of Monte Titano, is situated at 749 m (2,457 ft) above sea level. There are no bodies of water of any significant size. San Marino is the third smallest country in Europe, with only Vatican City and Monaco being smaller. San Marino has no natural level ground; it is entirely composed of hilly terrain.
Although San Marino is not a European Union member, it is allowed to use the euro as its currency by arrangement with the Council of the European Union; it is also granted the right to use its own designs on the national side of the euro coins. Before the euro, the Sammarinese lira was pegged to, and exchangeable with, the Italian lira. The small number of Sammarinese euro coins, as was the case with the lira before it, are primarily of interest to coin collectors.
Other key industries are banking, electronics, and ceramics. The main agricultural products are wine and cheese.
San Marino is a predominantly Catholic state — over 97% of the population profess the Catholic faith, but it is not the established religion. Approximately half of those who profess to be Catholic practise the faith. There is no episcopal see in San Marino. Historically, the various parishes in San Marino were divided between two Italian dioceses, mostly in the Diocese of Montefeltro, and partly in the Diocese of Rimini. In 1977, the border between Montefeltro and Rimini was readjusted so that all of San Marino fell within the diocese of Montefeltro. The bishop of Montefeltro-San Marino resides in Pennabilli, in Italy.
The popular San Marino destinations are:
- San Leo
- Borgo Maggiore