In my last part of our Tuscan road trip we departed Parma to head south. It would be fair to say Parma had not lived up to expectations so we decided to leave early and make a detour (on our way to Arrezzo) to take in what is reputed to be the oldest republic (since 301)in the world, San Marino. To add to the oldest, it is also the smallest Republic at 24 sq miles ( the same size as Guernsey) but with half the population of guernsey at 32000. It has a long history of neutrality in political affairs – a sort of Switzerland in Italy, if you likeand like Switzerland its per capita GDP puts it in the top 15 in the world. The historic centre and mount Titano joined the UNESCO world heritage list in 2008.
This was a straightforward 250km journey using the motorways and because the Italian motorway pay device we had on the windscreen worked (unlike the French one!) it was a breeze passing through the barriers.
When we arrived in the outskirts of the old city of San Marino, luck played a part, as I spotted an aerial approach, via gondola. ( no, not the Venice type of gondola). The aerial cars link Borgo Maggiore with the City of San Marino.I would recommend using the aerial car since parking closer to the City of San Marino may prove much more limited, and it means you delivered into the centre of things.
If you are small you travel for free! I love the idea that height not age is the criteria for free travel.The chair lift takes you into the heart of the old city. If you want to shop for crossbows ( and why not, though you may have a problem with American Airlines hand luggage) or gorgeous leather goods, you will be in heaven.
I couldn’t resist planting this lamp post behind my headless maiden.
If you like to look back on the earlier days of my journey you can find them
here Road trip to Tuscany
and hereRoad trip to Tuscany #2
Have a great day and thanks for reading. I love to read you comments.