The Republic of San Marino
This was our stop for the day after driving a little over 14 hours. It was busy as you can imagine and we had no hotel reservations, Peter had been confident that if we arrived early enough, we would not need a reservation. well we did not, it was approaching 7:15 pm when we arrived and many were returning from work, tourists from the beaches while others were headed for dinner. San Marino is surrounded by Italy, It is situated in the Apennines, a little inland from the Adriatic Sea near Rimini. San Marino is a state of it's own, with a history of independence dating back to 301 A.D. It's certainly the smallest country you're likely to visit; with it's own currency and governance, the total area is about 16 square kilometers only.
The state is predominantly vegetated by tall limestone Monte Titano.
From Florence we drove east to get to San Marino, it was not a long drive at all, Peter wanted to be near the sea and was confident I would love Rimini. We did not get to see much of San Marino as this was only our overnight stop en route to Rome. The little we saw was beautiful and historical; It has a well kept medieval center with museums, narrow streets and churches from another time altogether. Each of the peaks has its own beautiful and medieval castle or fortress. The Palazzo Publico features a costumed changing of the guard and Basilica del Santo contains reliquaries and religious artifacts, you can not drive here, cars are not allowed. For the tourist I would certainly recommend touring the three fortresses; the castles are perched along the cliffs of Monte Titano, where they offer panoramic views of the local countryside, the Italian resort of Rimini, and the Adriatic coast. Did you know that Mount titano is a UNESCO world heritage? well it is.
One of the Castles