A few centuries ago Italy was full of city-states. San Marino is the only one remaining.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes several hundred properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
Country: San Marino
Date of Inscription: 2008
Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 1245:
“San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano covers 55 ha, including Mount Titano and the historic centre of the city which dates back to the foundation of the republic as a city-state in the 13th century. San Marino is inscribed as a testimony to the continuity of a free republic since the Middle Ages. The inscribed city centre includes fortification towers, walls, gates and bastions, as well as a neo-classical basilica of the 19th century, 14th and 16th century convents, and the Palazzo Publico of the 19th century, as well as the 18th century Titano Theatre. The property represents an historical centre still inhabited and preserving all its institutional functions. Thanks to its position on top of Mount Titano, it was not affected by the urban transformations that have occurred from the advent of the industrial era to today.”
Many years before my visit in 2007 I watched a slide-show (yes, dias positive) about the miniature states in Europe. The lecturer had some really old ones from the fifties I guess showing the Monte Titano in San Marino. Italy was actually consisting of a number of such city states back in the 19th century and before. San Marino is the sole survivor.
In any case I now had the time and the car to drive from Tuscany to the Adriatic coast and into San Marino. And what can I say? It was kind of interesting. I have … been there. To be honest there is more to it. Mount Titano proved to be really interesting with fascinating streets, castles and views.