San Marino

Official name: The Most Serene Republic of San Marino

Area: 61 square kilometers (24 square miles)

Highest point on mainland: Monte Titano (755 meters/2,477 feet)

Lowest point on land: Sea level

Hemispheres: Northern and Eastern

Time zone: 1 P.M. = noon GMT

Longest distances: 13 kilometers (8 miles) northeast to southwest; 9 kilometers (6 miles) southeast to northwest

Land boundaries: 39 kilometers (24 miles) total boundary length, all with Italy

Coastline: None

Territorial sea limits: None

1 LOCATION AND SIZE

San Marino is a tiny, landlocked country located entirely within Italy, about 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of the city of Rimini, in the Apennine Mountains between Italy's Marche and Romagna regions. It is Europe's third-smallest independent state (only Vatican City and Monaco are smaller) and the world's second-smallest republic (after Nauru). With an area of 61 square kilometers (24 square miles), San Marino is about one-third the size of Washington, D.C.

2 TERRITORIES AND DEPENDENCIES

San Marino has no territories or dependencies.

3 CLIMATE

San Marino has the mild, temperate climate typical of northeastern Italy. Summer highs rarely rise above 26°C (79°F), and winter lows rarely fall below 7°C (44°F). Annual rainfall averages between 56 centimeters (22 inches) and 80 centimeters (32 inches).

4 TOPOGRAPHIC REGIONS

Mount Titano dominates the landscape of San Marino; most of the irregularly shaped country is situated on its slopes and crest. There is enough level land at the base of the mountain for agriculture, however.

5 OCEANS AND SEAS

San Marino is landlocked.

6 INLAND LAKES

There are no sizable lakes in San Marino.

7 RIVERS AND WATERFALLS

San Marino lies largely within the basin of Italy's Marecchia River, into which the San Marino River drains, flowing northward and forming part of the republic's border with Italy. The Marano and Ausa Rivers drain into the Adriatic Sea.

8 DESERTS

There are no deserts in San Marino.

9 FLAT AND ROLLING TERRAIN

Mt. Titano is bordered by hills to the southwest, and there is also some level land at its base that has been cultivated.

10 MOUNTAINS AND VOLCANOES

The limestone peaks of Mt. Titano occupy the central part of the republic. There are three major peaks, each of which houses ruins of ancient fortifications. The summit of Mt. Titano (755 meters/2,477 feet) commands a panoramic view of the Adriatic Sea, which is only 19 kilometers (12 miles) away.

11 CANYONS AND CAVES

There are no well-known caves in San Marino. The famous Frasassi Caves, which are among the largest and most scenic in Europe, are located within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the country, however, in the Apennines between Ancona and Assisi.

12 PLATEAUS AND MONOLITHS

San Marino's mountains rise steeply from its lower elevations, with no plateaus among them.

13 MAN-MADE FEATURES

San Marino's most famous man-made features are the three medieval fortresses that sit atop the three peaks of Mt. Titano, on steep cliffs overlooking both the Italian town of Rimini and the Adriatic Sea.

14 FURTHER READING

Books and Periodicals

Carrick, Noel. San Marino. New York: Chelsea House, 1988

Catling, Christopher. Umbria, The Marches, and San Marino. London: Black, 1994.

"Now, After 1,600 Years, Time to Join the World (San Marino to Become Member of the United Nations)." New York Times: February 26, 1992.

Web Sites

Lonely Planet: Destination San Marino. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/europe/san_marino/printable.htm (accessed April 24, 2003).

U.S. Department of State: Background note: San Marino. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5387.htm (accessed April 24, 2003).

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