San Marino, officially known as the Republic of San Mario, is a small state located on the Italian Peninsula. In fact, it is the third smallest country in Europe, preceded only by the Vatican and Monaco. Although landlocked by Italy, it is an independent state that takes up a mere 61 square kilometers. Its capital is the City of San Marino. It has a rugged terrain, due to its location near to the Apennine Mountains, There is no natural level ground; it is composed completely of hilly terrain. The highest point is the summit of Monte Titano, which is 2,457 feet above sea level. The climate of San Marino is Mediterranean, with continental influences. It has warm summers and cool winters. The population of San Marino, last recoded in 2010, is 31,534.
San Marino is the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world. Founded on September 3, 301 A.D. by a stonecutter named Marinus, San Marino started out as a small church near Monte Titano occupied by Marinus and his close friend Leo. A community began to form in mid 5th century A.D., and its independence was protected by its location and poverty. There was an attempt by Napoleon to colonize San Marino, but Regent Antonio Onofri’s bond with Napoleon helped to diffuse the crisis. San Marino also served as a religious refuge for people who were victims of religious persecution during the Italian Unification period. The Constitution of San Marino is the world’s oldest constitution still in effect.
The economy of San Marino mainly relies on finance, industry, services and tourism. Other key industries are banking, ceramics, and electronics. Its agricultural exports include wine and cheese; and it imports goods-mainly food- from Italy. It is one of the wealthiest countries in terms of GDP (per capita), with a figure comparative to many well developed areas of Italy, such as Lombardy and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. Although San Marino is not a member of the European Union, it is allowed to...
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