50 Interesting Facts About San Marino

San Marino is a small enclave surrounded by Italy. It is also known as “the Most Serene Republic of San Marino.” With these 50 interesting facts about San Marino, let’s explore more about its history, geography, economy, tourism and more.

Historical facts about San Marino

1. The last battle in which San Marino actively participated was in 1463.

2. A Christian stonemason named Marinus founded it in A.D. 301.

3. The San Marino flag was officially adopted on April 6, 1862. The blue color on the flag represents the skies and white represents the snow covering Mt. Titano.

4. San Marino did not participate in World War I and World War II, and remained neutral.

5. The first commemorative stamps in the country were issued in 1894.

6. The country has lost all of their 30 World Cup and European Championship qualifying matches since 2008.


7. San Marino, officially, the Republic of San Marino, is a south European country.

8. Geographically San Marino is the third smallest state in Europe, and the landlocked nation also claims to be the world’s oldest republic.

9. The only countries in the world that have a smaller land area than San Marino are: The Vatican state, Monaco, Nauru and Tuvalu. Thus, San Marino is the world’s fifth smallest country.

10. The longest part of the country is between northeast and southwest, stretching around 13 km.

11. In area, the country is one-third the size of Washington, DC.

12. San Marino is surrounded on all sides by Italy. So it just has one bordering country.

San Marino on map
San Marino on map completely surrounded by Italy

13. The country’s capita – “The city of San Marino” is situated on the top of Mt Titano.

14. There is just 292 km of paved roads in the country.

15. “Gendarmerie” is the name by which police force in San Marino is known in the country.

16. San Marino is one of the densely populated countries in the world.

About San Marino’s economy

17. San Marino is devoid of any official state religion.

18. San Marino’s economy is backed by tourism, the banking sector, the manufacture and export of ceramics, paints, clothing, furniture, fabric and wine.

19. Italy imports almost 80% of the goods manufactured in San Marino.

20. With a total internet subscriber base of 17,200; almost 53% of the country’s population uses the internet.

21. Did you know that sale of postage stamps bring handsome revenue to the country as the San Marino’s postage stamps are valued by collectors all over the world?

22. Ayrton Senna, regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time, died in an accident while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. The legendary driver had won a total of 41 Grand Prix before his sad demise.

23. San Marino depends on Italy for its defense as the country does not have its own deference forces. They however have a small military of their own but nothing to fight in the event of a war or dispute.

24. Electricity in San Marino is imported from Italy via electrical grid.

25. In terms of GDP, San Marino is one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

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26. Did you know that San Marino is the only country in the world with more vehicles than people? There were 1263 vehicles for every 1000 people in the country in 2010.

27. San Marino does not recognize dual citizenship ( dual citizenship or multiple nationality, is a person’s citizenship status, in which a person is concurrently regarded as a citizen of more than one state under the laws of those states – wikipedia)

28. With an average per capita yearly income of approx. 36,000 USD, San Marino has a high income economy.

29. San Marino-Rimini railway was constructed in the 1930s. The development of railways at that time helped the country attract tourists from Italy and all over the world.

Fun facts about San Marino

30. People of San Marino are known as Sammarinese.

31. Napoleon also offered to help the country extend its territory (1797), however his offer was politely refused by high ranking officials from the country at that time.

32. For every 1000 females in San Marino, there are 940 males.

33. Mount Titano and the historic center of San Marino is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

34. A commemorative stamp starring 92-year-old Granny Isetta, who could remember all four Italian football championship titles since 1934, was issued by San Marino, marking the Italian victory in FIFA World Cup 2006.

35. San Marino is the only surviving Italian microstate.

36. The statutes of 1600, the first legal documents mentioning San Marino’s institutional organs are misunderstood to be the world’s oldest written constitution.

37. Until 1463, the land area of San Marino consisted only of Mount Titano.

A beautiful view of San Marino
A beautiful view of San Marino. Image credit – fdecomite

38. Foreign militaries took control of San Marino for three times in the history, however briefly.

39. Abraham Lincoln, the then president of the United States, was offered honorary citizenship of San Marino, which the president accepted wholeheartedly.

40. During the World War I, Italy, suspended all telephone connections with San Marino, suspecting that it could harbor Austrian spies who could be given access to its new radiotelegraph station.

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Did you know?

41. In 1940, a false claim was made by press that San Marino had declared war on Britain. It is also said that on account of this false information, the British Royal Air Force bombed the country causing damage to railways and killing 63 civilians. The British government however later regretted their action.

42. During the Battle of Rimini, the country also sheltered almost 100,000 refugees. Interesting to note here is the fact that the country only had a population of 15,000 people at that time.

43. The country is also the world’s only nation to witness a communist government which was democratically elected into power.

44. Despite competing in 12 summers and 7 winter Olympics, San Marino never won a medal.

45. The first international football win came to the country when they beat Liechtenstein 1-0 in 2004.

46. Foreign visitors are not required to show their passport while entering San Marino from Italy.

47. The three towers on the flag of San Marino represent the three towers on Mt. Titano. The towers are included on the flag because of their strategic importance in the defense of the country throughout its history.

48. A large number of Italians live in San Marino.    

49. San Marino has had the highest number of female head of state than any other country.

50. San Marino is entirely composed of hilly terrain and has no flat ground.

Quick/fast country facts San Marino

Capital CityCity of San Marino
43°56′N 12°26′E
Largest CityDogana
Total area61 sq km
Population33,285 (July 2016 est.)
Official LanguageItalian
ReligionRoman Catholicism (predominantly, but not established)
Life expectancy83.3 Years (2012)
ClimateMediterranean; mild to cool winters; warm, sunny summers
Terrainrugged mountains
Natural resourcesbuilding stone
Agricultural land16.7%
Birth rate8.6 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate8.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio0.94 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Government typeparliamentary republic
National symbolthree peaks each displaying a tower
National colorswhite, blue
National anthem"Inno Nazionale della Repubblica" (National Anthem of the Republic)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$63,800 (2015 est.)
Industriestourism, banking, textiles, electronics, ceramics, cement, wine
Exportsbuilding stone, lime, wood, chestnuts, wheat, wine, baked goods, hides, ceramics
Importswide variety of consumer manufactures, food, energy
Time ZoneCET (UTC+1)
Internet country code.sm
Calling Code+378
Drives on theRight