San Marino is a charming mountainous microstate fringed by north-central Italy. This third-smallest state in Europe is renowned for its historic architecture. San Marino is one among the world's oldest republics.
Kick-start the trip by heading out to the three fortresses, including the 11th-century Guaita, the 14th-century Montale and Cesta - a 13th-century edifice rising from the ancient rock, perched at the tallest point of Mount Titano. Explore the eight scenic villages dotted around the countryside that are also worth viewing. One will get to see old battlements and old religious sites including the church and convent at Valdragone, the fort at Pennarossa, Malatests Castle at Serravalle, and the stamp and coin museum at Borgo Maggiore.
San Marino is home to a plethora of gorgeous churches. One of them is the ethereal Basilica di San Marino. It was constructed in the same site in the 19th century in neo-classical style and is replete with remarkable Corinthina columns. The church houses relics of Saint Marno himself, who has been given the credit for founding the Republic of San Marino in the 4th century.
Do take some time out to wander about the beautifully preserved medieval centre with its narrow, winding lanes, churches and ancient homes. History buffs can head over to the neo-gothic Palazzo Pubblico (Government Palace). It features ramparts, clock tower and archways. One of the highlights is the changing of the guard ceremony.
There are many museums worth visiting in San Marino. Some of them are: Museum of Emigration (traces the trials of San Marino's many emigrants and the journey depicted through pictures, writing and various historical records), St. Francis' Museum (ample amount of religious paintings as well as secular art) and National Museum (archaeological finds from the Neolithic Age, artefacts from the Etruscans, Romans and Byzantines, as well as Renaissance paintings and relics of San Marino's own unique coinage).
When it comes to shopping, be on the lookout for locally-made ceramics, stamps and coins purchased from the Philatelic & Numismatic Office, local wines and liqueurs, local jewellery, playing cards and cigarettes. As for cuisine, it would be a shame to visit San Marino and not indulge in their local fare. Do dig into Passatelli (pasta made from breadcrumbs, nutmeg, eggs and Parmesan cheese served in chicken broth), Coniglio con fincchio (Roast rabbit with fennel) and Costolette di vitello (Bolognese-style veal cutlets).
The stay options in San Marino are abundant with the best luxury hotels, cheap accommodations and rental apartments available for the tourists to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget and taste.
San Marino experiences Mediterranean climate. The best time to visit would be during spring, summer and autumn months for the temperatures are relatively pleasant during this period.