By Shereen Shabnam
With the Dubai Expo on the horizon, we are excited to find out more about San Marino, the oldest Republic and the fifth smallest country in the world. For the first time ever, San Marino showcased the country’s unique attractions and heritage at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) and will offer insights about the country’s participation at the upcoming Dubai Expo later this year where visitors can see a piece of San Marino in the UAE as a unique Fibula – a brooch in form of an eagle currently exhibited at the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the inspiration for the country’s pavilion.
The Republic of San Marino clings to Mount Titano, in the heart of the Italian peninsula and its liberty and independence has been recognised over centuries by Popes, potentates and even the emperor Napoleon. In 2008 Mount Titano, the historic centres of San Marino and Borgo Maggiore were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Republic of San Marino is a must-see tourist destination nestled within Italy and easily accessible via key airports such as Rome and Bologna. San Marino is located in Northern Italy and is an independent country founded more than 1700 years ago with a territory of 24 sq miles and 33.000 inhabitants. It offers tourists cultural sites, natural areas, retail and wholesome cuisine.
The Ambassador to the UAE and Commissioner General Expo 2020, Mauro Maiani recently unveiled the main theme and title of the San Marino Pavilion at the Expo located in the Opportunity area. The Pavilion will be dedicated to the replica of the “Treasure of Domagnano” found in San Marino in late 1800. The most important piece of the treasure, the fibula is now at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The pavilion will also tell the History and tradition of the country as well as its modern economic system based on tourism but also in innovative companies. The national day of San Marino at Expo 2020 will be on 10 December 2021.
San Marino is a destination for different types of travellers where Tourists can enjoy the classical Italian tourism tour, attend cultural and festival events in summer time and it caters to the wedding tourism i ndustry as well. San Marino is also a shopping destination with its old town full of stores and the brand-new San Marino Outlet Experience, one of the biggest Italian fashion outlet malls in Northern Italy is opening later this month.
The highlight of San Marino is Mount Titano which offers a wide-angle view of the surrounding area: from the Upper Marecchia Valley and Montefeltro to the Adriatic Coast and on to the coastline of Croatia, visible on clear days. Evocative sunsets from Mount Titano is a spectacular sight.
Walking is the best way to experience the sights and sounds of San Marino. The best are the views of the Romagna coastline when walking along the ridge of the mountain, surrounded by greenery.
The Old Town
The original settlement of San Marino is located on the top of Mount Titano, 750 m above sea level enclosed by imposing medieval walls, narrow streets for walking and lined with building and monuments built entirely of local stone. The tree Fortresses on the top of Mount Titano give San Marino a majestic feel.
Other notable buildings in include the Basilica del Santo, Church of San Pietro, Church of San Francesco dating back to the 14th century, Church of the Cappuccini and the State Museum housed in the recently-restored Palazzo Pergami. The Piazza della Libertà is the heart of the country’s institutional life with the Public Palace (1894), where the the Parliament sits. The building was restored for the 1994.
The San Marino National Gallery exhibits a selection of works of art from the Contemporary .Art Collection of San Marino, and has over a thousand pieces. Some of them were created by the most renowned Italian artists of the 20th century: Renato Guttuso, Emilio Vedova, Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Corrado Cagli, Giuseppe Spagnulo, Enzo Mari, Luigi Ontani and others, together with the most distinguished local painters and sculptors.
Crafts and shopping
San Marino’s old town is a dream-like setting, with hundreds of stores and restaurants for tasting local food and wine. This is the perfect place to discover truly unique products: typical artistic craftwork, rare stamps, precious coins of the Republic of San Marino and traditional pottery. It is the best place for ancient old objects to be coveted, bought and preserved. Ten kilometers from the historic centre, the San Marino Outlet Experience offers an exclusive shopping experience among international luxury brands.
The flavours of San Marino
The culinary traditions of San Marino are those of Romagna, with some influx from the Marche region, as close ties have always existed with Montefeltro. On San Marino tables, piadina and homemade pasta are never missing, nor are vegetables prepared in various ways.
San Marino products include extra-virgin olive oil, cheeses, meats, milk, wines and honey. All the products are guaranteed by a quality seal which identifies San Marino manufacturers through a single food certification mark called “Consorzio Terra di San Marino.
How to get there
There are no border formalities. Anyone visiting Italy with a visa can enter San Marino. Located in central Italy, San Marino is easily reached through its road links to Italy. The nearest airports. are Federico Fellini” International Airport, Rimini, 27 km from San Marino and “Guglielmo Marconi” International Airport, Bologna 132 km from San Marino.
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