San Marino is a state within a state. The third smallest state in Europe (after the Vatican and Monaco) also claims to be the world's oldest republic. According to tradition, it was founded by a Christian stonemason named Marino in 301 A.D. San Marino has its own mint, produces its own postage stamps and has an army numbering about one thousand.
The country operates as a tax haven. Tourists come primarily to visit a new “country” but the tourist industry is very active, accounting for over 50% of GDP, with imitations of just about everything available from the shops which line the streets, particularly cheap alcohol, jewellery and clothing.
5 things not to miss :
1 Tax free Shopping -
The droves of visitors come primarily for tax free shopping opportunities and there are bargains to be had.
2 Get your passport stamped –
For a small fee you can amaze all your friends with the official border entrance stamp to one of the world's smallest countries.
3 Take in the views –
As a hilltop republic San Marino has stunning views of the surrounding Italian regions. Mount Titano dominates the state and you can see as far as the Adriatic coast on a clear day.
4 Find a Sammarinese –
This is the name of the local population, since the local population is officially given at just over 28,000 most of the people you come across will be Italian or foreign tourists and not natives.
5 Get some stamps or coins –
These are real collectors items.