Friday, April 1, 2016

Above the Clouds in San Marino - One of the Smallest Countries in Europe

This is an excerpt from my journal as we were traveling from the Cortona area in Tuscany to San Marino:

Leaving our lovely airbnb run by Anna Marie and Aldo we took a crazy drive up and down 2 or 3 big mountains on our way to San Marino. Beautiful landscape, huge stone mountains and lush velvety hills. Cows grazing, tiny villages, stone houses, row after row of freshly turned soil, bare grapevines, and twisty, hair pin turns. We stopped on the side of the road and ate egg salad sandwiches. Only a few cars passed by. Nice and quiet countryside...

This is just one of the many old stone buildings we past on our drive.  Surrounded by vineyards or freshly plowed soil many of the building were vacant.

San Marino

On our loop through Italy we found ourselves too close to San Marino to pass up a visit. How could we miss a visit to one of the smallest countries in Europe? You can even stop in the post office and for 5 euros they'll stamp your passport a rarity for those who covet such things.

The tiny country of San Marino is completely landlocked within Italy. This 24 square mile country sits high above the clouds in the rugged Appennines Mountains,  For spectacular views take the cable car up to Mt. Titano the highest point in San Marino.

Cable car through the clouds.

It was an eerie experience riding the cable car up through the clouds. We couldn't see anything out the windows except white misty clouds. At least I couldn't see the ground. A plus for someone afraid of heights!

Terror in the cable car!
 Well not really but it did make for an interesting ride.

It  was such a strange sensation looking out over the sea of clouds below the city. Like we were in some mystical city above the clouds.

We arrived late in the day so the town was pretty deserted. It made for a peaceful, unhurried walk but we did miss out on seeing the cross bowman and the flag exhibition.  Also most of the stores and restaurants were closed.

Main square with the Liberty statute and the Palace of the People.

Getting Lost is Half the Fun!

Don't be fooled into thinking that you can't get lost in San Marino. I mean how can you get lost in a country that's only 24 square miles? It's easy as we found out. Has to do with the fact that San Marino is 24 square miles of up and down and round and round mountains!

Fortunately we came across a bus driver who spoke a little English and he helped us find the way to our hotel. (As you can see it involved a lot of hand signals!) "Do not get off the main road!" was his very precise command!

The sun had set by the time we took the cable car back down the mountain. As you can see it was a lovely evening with the moon rising over the clouds.

It was a wonderful visit above the clouds in San Marino.

Travel Monkey


  1. I have wonderful memories of San Marino, it was where I wrote the first post of my blog :D
    We actually spent 2 days there, and it was an incredible experience to see it at night when all the tourists left.
    We drove up and down, so I was glad I didn't have to take the cable car!
    Beautiful pictures of the clouds!!

    Thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes :D

    1. Yes San Marino is a beautiful place especially at night. We try to stay over night or at least into the evening in most of the 'touristy' places. You really get a view of the place you wouldn't get with all the crowds.


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