Changing of the guard ceremony is performed every hour (on the half hour from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) during the summer months (mid May till the end of September).
The Nucleo Uniformato della Guardia di Rocca (Uniformed Guards of the Fortress) perform honour service at the Palazzo Pubblico.
The Guardia di Rocca guard, was originally founded in 1754, and currently has two departments: Nucleo Uniformato (Uniformed Guards) and Compagnia d'Artiglieria (Artillery company). First serves to keep public order and guards the Country's borders, territory and its various institutional sites, second, on the other hand, serves for national ceremonies and holidays.
The uniform worn by the Guards of the Fortress when on duty and during the changing of the guard is a dark green double-breasted jacket decorated with red and white braiding, red trousers with a green stripe and a cap with red pom-pom and white spats. The ceremonial uniform also has golden epaulets and a leather helmet with red and white ostrich feathers.
Crossbowmen are the oldest military unit of San Marino. They were the official defenders of the Republik since 1339 (first proofes of existence date back to 1295). Crossbowmen did their job, defending San Marino very weel, as it was never conquered.
The unit is still active and takes part in competitions abroad where they are among the best.
They present their skills each year at a competition during the medieval day in july.
If you leave old town throuhg Porta S. Francesco gate, you'll be able to benefit a service of this nicely dressed officials. Right by the gate pases more or less busy road and their job is to stop all the traffic if somebody wants to cross the street. I think it was right to put somebody to take care of the traffic as it could easily happen that people (specially children) would run on the street.
At the end of july in San Marino take place "Le Giornate Medievali". This year, from july the 27th to july the 31th, for a whole week, the small streets of the historical centre go through a metamorphosis: the many colored daylight tourist path becomes a sort of evening theatre where the protagonists follow one another in parades creating an atmosphere of colors, music and emotions. In the roll of the drums and the blare of trumpets, more than five hundred figurants with splendid ancient costumes, picturesque groups, many colored banners, games of flags, offer every evening very evocative and spectacular moments.
San Marino Euro Coins are all sold out, and are impossible to be found (except than in numismatic specialized shops).
I have attached a picture of them.
Please refer to the Philatelic and Numismatic State Office link to get more information.
Stamps & Co.
Being landlocked within Italy San Marino obviously uses as currency the Euro - but do not mistakenly assume that you can send your postcards using italian stamps: they have their own ones - and only those should be used. Another curiosity is the guards outside the government buinding: they wear funny coloured costumes and do very little except standing still, tapping one foot on the ground when someone leaves the building, and being photographed. For some reason they made me think of toy soldiers...
Photo: detail of San Marino's wall and entrance
The Sammarinesse are a friendly people who are immensely proud of their small country, and who are very willing to help the wayward tourist. The culture is Italian, notwithstanding a bit of Sammarinesse nationalism, and the language is Italian, though English seems to be widely spoken. Bargaining in the souvenier shops - which are unfortunately legion in number - is not expected or appreciated. Also, do not be surprised if the shopkeepers want to pull out all their wares to show you if you express even the slightest interest in their merchandise. Tourism is, after all, San Marino's biggest industry.
Take San Marino seriously---that is to respect it as a country despite its small size. People are proud to be from San Marino. Pictured here is San Marino's government house where you can see the changing of the guards every day.
STONE UPON STONE, THE REFUGE OF A SAINT: THE LEGEND OF SAN MARINO
No documents exist to testify the origins of the Republic and the flow of memory born from the faityh of the people is inclined to run back into the realms of legend.
And an ancient legend it is too!
Even older than that of the Founder Saint who received the mountain as a gift from a noble-woman of RIMINI.
At the time of the early-Christians, all that existed was a gigantic, impenetrable and wild crag dragged into position by the orogenic upheavals of the Miocene age.
A pilgrim mountain then...and an ideal have for travellers, refugees and....saints.
Only the love of a mother could have induced Donna Felicissima to climb those steep slopes to beg the stoncutter, Marinus, a pious and devout man, to save her son, Verissimo.
God listened to this faithful servant and granted the miracle.
Out of gratitude, the noble-woman gave the mountain and the surrounding area to Marinus and his descendents.
It was the year 301 A.D. and a Republic was born.
History or legend??
It does not really matter considering that both the one and the other have reached the threshold of the third millennium not only untouched but actually made more precious by the years!!
PLEASE, DON'T FORGET TO HAVE A LOOK AT MY TRAVELOGUE (TOP RIGHT OF THIS PAGE), YOU WON'T REGRET IT
San Marino is very famous with its stamp. Museo Filatelico e Numismatico is a must visit to all stamp and coin collectors.
Located in the heart of the medieval city, it is the best place for sightseeing you can imagine. It...more
Viale Antonio Onofri 31
Good for: Families
Via L. Cibrario 22/24, San Marino, 47893, San Mari
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo