There are a seemingly endless number of destinations and attractions to visit in Europe, both for newcomers and frequent visitors. From the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Prado in Spain to the Swiss Alps, visitors could spend months touring around Europe and never see it all.
Which might explain why the gorgeous micro-nation of San Marino was the least visited country in Europe in 2016, according the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Situated inside north-central Italy, San Marino is known for its stark mountain views and its three medieval fortresses. The three castles overlook spectacular views, and UNESCO named the historic center a world heritage site, in part for the “castelli.”
Visitors can take a stroll along nearby beaches (which are technically in Italy) or through the historic town center before enjoying a meal of fresh pastas, roasted meats, and wines sourced from local vineyards.
Just 23.6 square miles in area, San Marino is one of the smallest countries in the world. It can be reached by a quick train or car ride from parts of Northern Italy.
Titan Mountain Cable Car
A cable car transports visitors to the historic town center up the Titan Mountain.
Medeival Village of San Marino
A view from the fortress shows the medieval village of San Marino.
The country is still gorgeous in the winter, with snow covering the red rooftops.
Basilica Minore del Santo
This 19th century church was built on the grounds of a 5th-century cathedral.
Fort La Guaita
La Guaita is the main fort and the oldest, dating from the 11th century.
Aerial View of La Guaita
An aerial view shows the inside of the Torre Guaita.
This neo-Gothic plaza is a beautiful place for a stroll.
Flag of San Marino
The flag of San Marino features the nation’s three towers.
La Guaita’s Prison Past
The Guaita tower was used as a prison until 1975, according to Lonely Planet.
Plazzetta Garibaldi is part of the town’s quaint charm.
Porticos of the Basilica
An exterior shot shows the Basilica’s porticos.
The Second Tower
The second tower is called Cesta or Fratta.
Statua Della Liberta
The “Statue of Liberty” was created by Stefano Galletti in 1876.