The Republic of San Marino is the world's fifth smallest country, and is located in the central part of Italy and borders the regions of Emilia Romagna and Marche. San Marino is, despite its small size with only 30,000 inhabitants, an independent nation. The Republic is located on Mount Titano, with wonderful views over the rolling countryside. The ancient fortress La Guaita dating from 1253 sits at the top of San Marino, only approx. 20km from the seaside resort of Rimini.
San Marino extends over 61 square kilometres and is controlled by the so-called Great Council, which is slightly reminiscent of government in ancient Rome. Every year around 3 million tourists visit San Marino for several reasons, partly to experience the atmosphere of this small, independent country and partly to shop. It is a popular shopping spot as it is VAT free as opposed to the usual Italian VAT at 20%. There are plenty of shops and you will find lots of branded products such as exclusive watches, handbags, shoes and clothing, as well as CDs, DVDs , alcohol, food, etc.
San Marino has a cosy historic centre with small picturesque alleys and lots of cafés and restaurants. If you go there in the summer especially on weekends and holidays, be prepared to meet the crowds!