Tuesday, September 8, 2009

San Marino

Every year, thousands of tourists flock to San Marino, a privileged point for observing the beautiful surrounding countryside. From the top of Mt. Titano breathtaking views can be enjoyed of the gently rolling hills of the Upper Marecchia Valley, with the mighty fortress of San Leo and Mount Carpegna; the view of the Adriatic coast is truly unique and stretches from Ravenna to Gabicce Mare. Some even say that on clear days, you can make out the coast of Croatia, the native land of the founder Saint.


Lopar Beach at Rab Island - bird's view

The old-city center of San Marino was heavily bombed during the Second World War, despite the country being neutral and having given exile to over 100,000 refugees. Many are the sights of interest: the three Fortresses that trace the profile of the mountain, the Basilica of the Saint, the Church of San Pietro, with the beds of the Saints Marinus and Leo, the Church of San Francesco with adjacent art gallery, the Church of the Cappuccini and the State Museum. Centrally located is the Piazza della Libertà on which stands the Government Building, recently restored by architect Gae Aulenti and home of the Parliament and Their Excellencies the Captains Regent - the two Heads of State of the Republic of San Marino. Walking through the narrow streets of the old-city centre can be pleasantly surprising: medieval houses, small hanging gardens, suggestive corners, balconies full of flowers, obelisks.


The world’s oldest Republic is one thousand seven hundred years old and is located in the heart of Italy, a real quirk of history. Popes, generals and even the emperor Napoleon have respected over the centuries the testimony of freedom of this land which today is a member state of major international organisations. At the UNO and at the Council of Europe, the Republic of San Marino is engaged in defending peace and the rights of man. Every year, on 1 October and 1 April, the streets of the old-city centre form a backdrop to the suggestive Captains Regent investiture ceremony, while on 3 September the country celebrates its founder, Saint Marinus, a native of the island of Arbe, with a great crossbow competition, flag-throwers, and performances of all kinds, during the day and evening.

San Marino Food & Dining

San Marino’s cuisine is very similar to Italy’s, especially the Emilia-Romagna and Marche region; however, it does contain several unique dishes – most famously ,a chocolate wafer cake, La Torta Di Tre Monti, which translates to the Cake of the Three Mountains/ Towers.


While San Marino is attempting to modernize, it is still largely Roman Catholic. While the ban on homosexuality was lifted in 1864, in 1974 a new penile code was adopted which contained Article 274. Article 274 states that punishment with imprisonment from 3 months to a year would befall those “regularly committing lustful acts with a person of the same sex, if from that act public scandal is derived.” Currently, the age of consent for heterosexual or homosexual relations is 14 years old.

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