Historical centre, San Marino
Basilica of St. Marino was built on the begin of XIX century. Before there was an another church. There is the statue of St. Marino, wich is the work of Adamo Tavolini ( a student of Canova). In the mai altar there is a urn with reliquary of the Saint Marino.
There are many smal lanes. And many tourists. They walk and make shoping in many of little shops with souvenirs, juwelery, alcohol... The prices are really profitable.
And there are of cours many nice restaurants and cafes.
I like very much the little gardens on the roofs.
Built in 1894 on the remains of a medieval building, the Palazzo Pubblico is the place for state ceremonies and similar official events. It remains the see of most governmental instituations with the only larger exception being the congress in a modern building to the southwest. The neogothic style of the building makes it somehow look like a medeival castle. Some rooms in the building can be visited, most of them were restored back to its 19th century style after a renovation of the building in 1996.
A popular event is the changing of the guards which takes place every hour in front of the building. Piazza della Libertá (liberty Square) is the main square very popular with tourists. On most times, there is something going on there. At the time I was there, Ferrari was presenting a Formula 1 car for the upcoming Grand Prix of San Marino (which takes place in Imola, Italy).
This Neo-gothic palace was built in 1894 by architect Francesco Azzurri on the foundations of the original Romanesque Parva Domus Communis which was probably built at the end of the 14th century. The building, where official State ceremonies take place, is the seat of the Republic’s main institutional and administrative bodies: the Captains Regent, the Great and General Council, the Council of the XII, the Congress of State.
Open: From 20 March to 20 September: 8.00am – 8.00pm From 21 September to 19 March: 8.50am – 5.00pm
Admission: Adults € 3,00
After entering the door of San Francesco this is the thing you have to do: a long walking! Unfortunately the way to Palazzo Pubblico and Piazza della Libertà is hard, becuase of the slope of the street and also the fact that is completely made with disconnected cobbles..
Along the way there are many little café and shops where you can stop to take a breath; you have to suffer a bit before enjoying the beautiful panorama from Piazza della Libertà.
This is the Piazza della Liberta ( Place of Freedom). In the background there is the Palazzo Publico ( Gouverment Palace). Every hours there are the change of the guard. This monument in front of palace this is the Freedom`s Statue of San Marino.
At the entrance of Palazzo Pubblico stands a member of La Guardia della Rocca, the guardian of the Rocca, that protects it since the middle of the 18th centuries.
I don't like to take pictures to the "men at work", I think is embarassing for who is doing his job to be disturbed by a tourist! In San marino instead I found a polite guard that was completely at his leisure when people takes a picture of him, so I did it too. His uniform is very nice to see and with bright colours, resembling, in my opinion, to the Monte Carlo's guards uniforms.
On your way to the top of the hill where stands the Rocca, you will pass the main gate to the centre Main acces to the historical centre, called San Francesco door. This door represents an ancient guard-post and it was built in 1361. From here you start the visit into the down part of the city.
After arriving in a parking area your visit to San Marino will start and you will take a long breath...why? Because you have to walk untill the top and I can assure you that is not so easy! Anyway walking is the only good way to discover the Rocca of this Republic. Take a pull over if you see some fog (it happens to me as you can see in this picture), the temperature goes down slowly in this case and it may rains in few minutes. The best period to visit the Rocca is springtime untill june; after you could find high humidity and hot weather. Late autumn is also a good period of time to travel around there.
This picture shows better the San Francesco's door. As you can see it is not a big gate, and in fact everything in San Marino seems to be little to my eyes ;-). This picture shows two of my three travel-mate to San Marino, starting their long walking to the top! I remember that after entering the gate I realized how different was the town before and after the entrance; before you can only imagine the medioeval atmosphere, after you will find a world where the time stopped years ago, that means no cars for example!!
Every year during the five "Medieval days", this place called Cava dei Balestrieri (balestriere in italian means man that is able to use a cross-bow), becomes one of the main attractions in San Marino. There begins the " Grande Palio della Balestra" that hosts the challenge between the balestrieri and the knights of Arbe, a famous medieval battle with the inhabitants of San Marino fighted against the invader army of Arbe, leaded by Malatesta.
The basilica dates from 1826 using the designs of an architect from Bologna called Antonio Serra. It sites on the site of the old parish church that was demolished to make way for the new one. The bell tower dates back to the 7th century. The high altar holds an urn containing the remains of Saint San Marino.
I don't have an idea about this building.. What it is being used for.. But it's a good example of tipical architecture of San Marino... Also what I really liked here was the buildings on the hills, their balconies are looking to the view and the ppl who live there should feel like on an airplane everyday!!! The ones who has aerofobia should avoid these apartments.. ;))
Ok this is another building from the place.. But you'll ask, why this is under "must see activity"? Should I see it? And I give the answer: Where we are talking about is so small you can't miss it.. So everything here is a must seen activity... 8))
By the way, I really like this style.. ;)) Neo Classic should be..
Do you remember the "Asterix" comics where they talk about a small village in Gaul which was no occupied by the romans? In San Marino, there's one small area which is not occupied by the masses of tourists. Although there are soma places worth to see (Museum of the Emigrants, monastery), almost no souvernir shops are there. At the time I was therre, it was even quiet! You will find this "paradise" in the northwestern corner, somewhere between Piazzale Genga and the Cava dei Balestrieri. Walk around the old, narrow streets and get an idea of a more authentic old San Marino.