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San Marino

The Most Serene Republic of San Marino or San Marino (Italian: Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino or San Marino) is one of the smallest nations in the world. Located in southern Europe, it is completely surrounded by Italy and has a population of less than 29,000 including 5,000 Sammarineses living in foreign countries and 1,000 foreigners living in San Marino.

Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino
Flag of San Marino San Marino: Coat of Arms
(In Detail)

National motto: Libertas (English: Liberty)

Location of San Marino
Official language Italian
Capital San Marino
Largest City San Marino
Captains Regent: Giuseppe Arzilli and Roberto Raschi
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 190th
61 km²
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 189th
Independence 3 September 301
Currency Euro (€) (²)
Time zone
 - in summer
National anthem Inno Nazionale
Internet TLD .sm
Calling Code +378 (+0549 from Italy)


Main article: History of San Marino

San Marino claims to be the world's oldest republic still in existence, being founded in A.D. 301 by a skilled builder referred to as St. Marinus . Its written constitution was adopted on October 8, 1600. The tiny nation was recognised by Napoleon's France in 1797, and by the other European nations at the 1815 Congress of Vienna.

Although a sovereign nation, it is strongly dependent on Italy, by which it has been completely surrounded since that country's unification in the 19th century. In 1996 San Marino and Sweden ended a war status that had officially lasted between them since 1648 (under the Peace of Westphalia).


Main article: Politics of San Marino

The Consiglio Grande e Generale, or Grand and General Council, is elected by popular vote every five years. This parliament selects two of its members to serve as Regents for periods of six months. The two regents and the cabinet form the executive branch of the government.

The Council also elects the Consiglio dei XII (Council of Twelve), which forms the judicial branch during the period of legislature of the Council.


San Marino is divided into nine municipalities, known locally as castelli, that are also towns. See list of cities in San Marino.


Main article: Geography of San Marino

San Marino is an enclave of Italy, on the border between the regioni of Emilia-Romagna and Marche. Its topography is dominated by the Apennines mountain range, and has a rugged terrain. The highest point in the country, monte Titano , is situated at 749 m above sea level. There are no bodies of water of any significant size.

The climate is Mediterranean, with warm summers and mild winters.

Map of the Republic of San Marino

San Marino is the third-smallest country in Europe, with only Vatican City and Monaco being smaller.


Main article: Economy of San Marino

Although San Marino is not an official European Union member, it is allowed to use the euro as its currency by virtue of arrangements 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 coupled to and exchangeable with the Italian lira. The small number of Sammarinese euro coins, as was the case with the lire before it, are primarily of interest to coin collectors.

The tourist sector contributes over 50% of San Marino's GDP, with more than 3.3 million tourists visiting in 1997. The key industries are banking, electronics, and ceramics. The main agricultural products are wine and cheese.

San Marino's postage stamps, which are only valid within the country, are mostly sold to philatelists and also form a source of income.

The per capita level of output and standard of living are comparable to those of Italy, which supplies much of its food.


Main article: Demographics of San Marino; see also Demographics of Italy.

Being completely surrounded by Italy, there is no significant difference between the population of San Marino and Italy and many Italians live in San Marino.

The language spoken is Italian, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion.


Main article: Culture of San Marino

Miscellaneous topics

External links

  • Visit San Marino - Official San Marino Tourism Site
  • San Marino Site - A portal on San Marino, partly in English
  • Musei di Stato della Repubblica di San Marino

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Last updated: 02-07-2005 05:43:25
Last updated: 02-21-2005 12:04:57