San Marino is the 5th smallest country in the world in both land mass and population and is the oldest republic in the world. It was founded in 301 AD by a stone cutter escaping Christian persecution.
It has stayed independent mostly because it sits on top of a massive cliff and the streets are steep. With the historic town as a walled city and having three towers built looking over this cliff, I figure that when any army that started off trying to invade finally reached the top they would have said “never mind, can we just rest for a bit and have some wine”?
The highlight of any visit here is by far the three towers. The first two were built in the 11th and 13th century and seem like little castles. The third one was built in the 14th century, but is strictly a tower and is the only one you can not enter. It does have an entrance it just happens to be 30 feet up and the wooden stairs that led to it are no long around.
If you ever visit make sure to check out the State museum and the Public Palace is the main square. There are at least 3 different churches worth visiting for the architecture and history and there is a Torture Museum worth visiting.
I had no idea what I had in store when I booked my train here, but it has turned out to be a huge highlight of an already amazing trip.