What has fewer than 30,000 people, no income taxes, is 23 square miles, and famous for its perfumes? The world's tiniest republic, San Marino whose army uses crossbows, but is its own country. It is a republic that dates back to the 4th century when San Marinus established it after he had fled the persecution of Diocletian. Completely landlocked by Italy, it is in many ways aesthetically Italian, but politically speaking is its own entity.
We had a pleasant drive to San Marino, where I snapped the following two pictures. Grapes, growing on the vines and ready for the harvest.
More vines and olive trees.
This is the Republic of San Marino from a distance. You can see the three famous towers which make up San Marino's coat of arms, which were used to defend the country from attacks.
This sign announced our crossing of the Italian-Sammarinese border.
We drove to the top of the town where the historic center is, and had fun climbing among the crennelations of the towers. Here are Andrew, Dad, Philly and Gus keeping an eye out for any bad guys....
Andrew and Augustin enjoying the view.
This is the tower of Guaita. It's easy to understand why no one ever successfully attacked San Marino.
San Marino is famous for its perfume boutiques. Here, one can buy foo foo juice at much cheaper prices.
The interior was nice, but not overly impressive. Here's a picture of it. The statue in the background is of St. Marinus.
This is the seat of the national Government. There is a statue of Liberty in front of it.
Andrew and Augustin peeking over the edge.
Augustin getting his picture taken with one of the Guardians of the Rock, the border patrol/Capitol guards.
An interesting picture of the traffic circle down below.
Some of the shops in the main piazza.
And one last picture I took as we made our way down to the car. Some tea roses in front of one of the houses. Check out the rocks on top of the roof tiles.