San Marino City – nestled high in the mountains with extraordinary views was some experience. It was the height of winter and there was snow everywhere. It was just amazing. Our bus broke down on the way, we got a replacement bus which climbed slowly but surely to this amazing city. We had crossed the border from Rimini, Italy to San Marino. We stayed in Affitta Camere Franciosi Hostel, San Marino City. We watched Northern Ireland bate San Marino 3-0 away in a lower city called Serravale.
1. Palazzo Pubblico and Piazza della Liberta
These are the two main squares in San Marino city. You can pick up souvenirs here, grab a coffee and a bit and enjoy the views. There was a bar we ended up in here on the match night.
2. Basilica de San Marino
The main church / Basilica is worth a dander. This is one of FIVE countries within Italy, including Italy itself. The complete five are – 1.Italy, 2.Vatican City, 3.Sovereign Military Order Of Malta, 4.Seborga, 5.San Marino. I’ve only backpacked 4 of them so far, hoping to tick off Seborga one day. The churches are all Catholic, and the main Basilica has regular masses.
3. Fortress and Views
Views from most parts of San Marino City were gorgeous. You can pay into the fortress for a tour.
4.Border Bus Hill Snow Mayhem / Welcome Till SMC
The border bus from Rimini up the hill was mayhem. The GAWA had filled the bus not just with music and buck eejits, but with carryouts. The bus broke down. We were out in the snow and some of it was yellow due till urinations. After a while, a replacement bus was sent but we were all sure the match would be called off – the snow was knee deep. The highlight was seeing the “Welcome till that there San Marino City” sign, knowing we were in a decent spot for the night.
5. Post Office
One cool thing about small countries like San Marino is that you can get your passport stamped here in the Post Office for a fee. The Post Office is downtown and easy to find. A lady stamped my passport on 12th February 2009, the day after Northern Ireland bate San Marino 3-0 away.
As a footnote, at the time I announced this was my last ever Northern Ireland away match and I was quitting the SOENISC. It turned out to be true, stories later covered in the book, ChampIAN STEWARTnova.