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San Marino



The Most Serene Republic of San Marino (ˌsæn məˈriːnoʊ ; Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino) is a country situated in the Apennine Mountains. It is a landlocked enclave, completely surrounded by Italy. Its size is just over with an estimated population of almost 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino. One of the European microstates along with Liechtenstein, the Vatican, Monaco, Andorra, and Malta, San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe.

San Marino is the oldest recorded sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, having been founded on 3 September 301 by stonecutter Marinus of Rab.
Legend has it that Marinus left Rab, then a Roman colony, in 257 when the future emperor, Diocletian, issued a decree calling for the reconstruction of the city walls of Rimini, which had been destroyed by Liburnian pirates.

The constitution of San Marino, enacted in 1600, is the world's oldest constitution still in effect.

History




Illustration of Saint Marinus, the founder of the Republic of San Marino, and prominent cultural figure
According to tradition, Saint Marinus left the island of Rab in Croatia with his lifelong friend, Leo, and went to the city of Rimini as a mason. After the Diocletianic Persecution following his Christian sermons, he escaped to the nearby Monte Titano, where he built a small church and thus founded what is now the city and the state of San Marino. The official date of foundation of the Republic is 3 September 301.

By the mid-fifth century, a community was formed; because of its relatively inaccessible location and its poverty, it has succeeded, with a few brief interruptions, in maintaining its independence. In 1631 its independence was recognized by the Papacy.

The advance of Napoleon's army in 1797 presented a brief threat to the independence of San Marino, but the country was spared its liberty thanks to one of its Regents, Antonio Onofri, who managed to gain the respect and friendship of Napoleon. Thanks to his intervention, Napoleon, with a letter delivered to Gasparre Monge, scientist and commissary of the French Government for Science and Art, promised to guarantee and protect the independence of the Republic, offering to extend its territory according to its needs. The offer was declined by San Marino, fearing to provoke future revanchism that might threaten its freedom.

During the later phase of the Italian unification process in the nineteenth century, San Marino served as a refuge for numerous persons who were persecuted because of their support for the unification. In memory of this support, Giuseppe Garibaldi accepted the wish of San Marino not to be incorporated into the new Italian state.

The government of San Marino made United States President Abraham Lincoln an honorary citizen. He wrote in reply, saying that the republic proved that "government founded on republican principles is capable of being so administered as to be secure and enduring."

The front passes Mount Titano in September 1944
In World War I, as Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary on 23 May 1915, San Marino remained neutral and Italy adopted a hostile view of Sammarinese neutrality, suspecting that San Marino could harbor Austrian spies who could be given access to its new radiotelegraph station. Italy tried to forcibly establish a detachment of Carabinieri on its territory and then suspended any telephone connections with the Republic when it did not comply. Two groups of ten volunteers each, however, joined Italian forces in the fighting on the Italian front, the first as combatants and the second as a Medical Corps operating a Red Cross field hospital. It was the presence of this hospital that later caused Austrian authorities to suspend diplomatic relations with San Marino.

From 1923 to 1943, San Marino was under the rule of the Sammarinese Fascist Party (PFS).

During World War II San Marino remained neutral. Despite that, on 26 June 1944 it was bombed by the RAF, which mistakenly believed that the country had been overrun by German forces and was being used to amass stores and ammunition. At least thirty five people were killed during the operation. San Marino was refuge for thousands of civilians who sought safety on the passing of Allied forces over the Gothic Line. It was briefly occupied by German forces in September 1944, who were attacked by Allied forces in the Battle of San Marino. Allied troops withdrew from the country shortly afterward.

The head of state is a committee (council) of two captains-regent. San Marino also had the world's first democratically elected communist government, which held office between 1945 and 1957 and again between 2006 and 2008.

San Marino is the world's smallest republic, although when Nauru gained independence in 1968 it challenged that claim, Nauru's land mass only being . However Nauru's jurisdiction over its surrounding waters is much greater than the territory of San Marino.

San Marino became a member of the Council of Europe in 1988 and of the United Nations in 1992. It is not a member of the European Union.

Geography




Mount Titano.
San Marino is an enclave in Italy, on the border between the ''regioni'' of Emilia Romagna and Marche. Its topography is dominated by the Apennines mountain range, and it has a rugged terrain. The highest point in the country, the summit of Monte Titano, is situated at above sea level. There are no bodies of water of any significant size.
San Marino is the third smallest country in Europe, with only Vatican City and Monaco being smaller. San Marino has no level natural land; 100% of the nation-state is built on top of the range.

Climate


The climate is Mediterranean with continental influences, having warm summers and cool winters. The National Center of Meteorology and Climatology of San Marino provides local forecasts.

Municipalities


Administrative divisions of San Marino
San Marino is divided into the following nine municipalities, known locally as ' (meaning "castles").

*
San Marino (City of San Marino, officially ') is the capital.

There are also eight minor municipalities:
*Acquaviva
*Borgo Maggiore
*Chiesanuova
*Domagnano
*Faetano
*Fiorentino
*Montegiardino
*Serravalle

The largest town of the Republic is Dogana, which is not an autonomous ''', but rather belongs to the Castello of Serravalle.

Similarly to an Italian
', each ' includes a main town, called ', that is the seat of the ', and some even smaller localities known as '.

Hamlets


The republic is made up of 44 hamlets named ''curazie'':

Cà Berlone, Cà Bertone, Cà Chiavello, Cà Giannino, Cà Melone, Cà Ragni, Cà Rigo, Cailungo, Caladino, Calligaria, Canepa, Capanne, Casole, Castellaro, Cerbaiola, Cinque Vie, Corianino, Crociale, Dogana, Falciano, Fiorina, Galavotto, Galazzano, Gualdicciolo, Laghi, La Serra, Lesignano, Molarini, Montalbo, Monte Pulito, Murata, Pianacci, Piandavello, Poggio Casalino, Poggio Chiesanuova, Ponte Mellini, Rovereta, San Giovanni sotto le Penne, Santa Mustiola, Teglio, Torraccia, Valdragone, Valgiurata and Ventoso.

Politics




Former Captains Regent Mirko Tomassoni, Alessandro Rossi, Alessandro Mancini, and Alberto Selva. (from left to right)
The politics of San Marino takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Captains Regent are the heads of state, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Grand and General Council. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

San Marino originally was led by the Arengo, initially formed with the heads of each family. In the thirteenth century, power was given to the Great and General Council. In 1243, the first two Captains Regent were nominated by the Council. This method of nomination is still in use today, .

The legislature of the republic is the Grand and General Council (''Consiglio grande e generale''). The Council is a unicameral legislature which has sixty members, with elections occurring every five years under a proportional representation system in all nine administrative districts. These districts (townships) correspond to the old parishes of the republic.

Citizens eighteen years or older are eligible to vote. Beside general legislation, the Grand and General Council approves the budget and elects the Captains Regent, the State Congress (composed of ten Secretaries with executive power), the Council of Twelve (which forms the judicial branch during the period of legislature of the Council), the Advising Commissions, and the Government Unions. The Council also has the power to ratify treaties with other countries. The Council is divided into five different Advising Commissions consisting of fifteen councilors who examine, propose, and discuss the implementation of new laws that are on their way to being presented on the floor of the Council.

Every six months, the Council elects two Captains Regent to be the heads of state. The Regents are chosen from opposing parties so there is a balance of power. They serve a six-month term. The investiture of the Captains Regent takes place on 1 April and 1 October in every year. Once this term is over, citizens have three days in which to file complaints about the Captains' activities. If they warrant it, judicial proceedings against the ex-head(s) of state can be initiated.

The practice of multiple heads of state, as well as the frequent re-election of the heads of state, are derived directly from the customs of the Roman Republic. The Council is equivalent to the Roman Senate; the Captains Regent, to the consuls of ancient Rome.

San Marino is a multi-party democratic republic. The two main parties are the San Marinese Christian Democratic Party (PDCS) and the Party of Socialists and Democrats (PSD, a merger of the Socialist Party of San Marino and the former communist Party of Democrats) in addition to several other smaller parties, such as the San Marinese Communist Refoundation. Due to the small size of San Marino and its low population, it is difficult for any party to gain a pure majority and most of the time the government is run by a coalition. In the June 2006 election the PSD won twenty seats on the Council and currently governs in coalition with the (liberal) Popular Alliance of Sammarinese Democrats for the Republic and United Left.

On 1 October 2007 Mirko Tomassoni was elected as one of the heads of state, making him the first disabled person to ever have been elected as captain regent.

See also Foreign relations of San Marino

Economy




San Marino Euro 50 cent (2008)
Borgo Maggiore
Although San Marino is not a European Union member, it is allowed to use the euro as its currency by arrangement with the Council of the European Union; it is also granted the right to use its own designs on the national side of the euro coins. Before the euro, the Sammarinese lira was pegged to, and exchangeable with, the Italian lira. The small number of Sammarinese euro coins, as was the case with the lira before it, are primarily of interest to coin collectors.

The tourist sector contributes over 50% of San Marino's GDP, with more than tourists visiting in 1997. Other key industries are banking, electronics, and ceramics. The main agricultural products are wine and cheese.

San Marino's postage stamps, which are only valid for mail within the country, are mostly sold to philatelists and are a source of income. San Marino is a member of the Small European Postal Administration Cooperation.

The per capita level of US$55,449 and standard of living are comparable to those of Switzerland. San Marino imports goods such as food from Italy.

Taxation


The corporate profits tax rate in San Marino is 19 percent. Capital gains are subject to a five percent tax; interest is subject to a 13 percent withholding tax.

In 1972, a value added taxation (VAT) system was introduced in Italy, and was applied in San Marino, in accordance with the 1939 friendship treaty. In addition, a tax on imported goods, to be levied by San Marino, was established. Such taxes, however, were not, and are not, applied to national products. Until 1996, goods manufactured and sold in San Marino were not subject to indirect taxation.

Under the European Union customs agreement, San Marino continues to levy taxes, the equivalent of an import duty, on imported goods. Also, a general VAT was introduced, in replacement of the Italian VAT.

Demographics





The state has a population of approximately 30,000, including 1,000 foreigners, most of whom are Italians. About 5,000 Sammarinese live in foreign countries, predominantly in Italy.

The language spoken is Italian; the Emiliano-Romagnolo dialect is widely spoken, too. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion.

According to the CIA World Factbook men in San Marino have an average life span of 78.52 years, women of 85.72 years, while the combined average life span for the two sexes is 82, making it fifth in the world for longevity.

Military




The Guard of the Rock in dress uniform during the investiture of the new Captains Regent in the Piazza della Libertà
San Marino has one of the smallest military forces in the world. National defence is, by arrangement, the responsibility of Italy's armed forces. Different branches have varied functions including: performing ceremonial duties; patrolling borders; mounting guard at government buildings; and assisting police in major criminal cases.

Crossbow Corps


Although once at the heart of San Marino's army, the Crossbow Corps is now a ceremonial force of approximately eighty volunteers. Since 1295, the Crossbow Corps has provided demonstrations of crossbow shooting at festivals. Its uniform is medieval in design, and although a statutory military unit, it has no military function today.

Guard of the Rock


Three members of the Guard of the Rock
The Guard of the Rock is a front-line military unit in the San Marino armed forces, a state border patrol, with responsibility for patrolling borders and defending them. In their role as Fortress Guards they are responsible for guarding the Palazzo Pubblico in San Marino City, the seat of national Government. In this role they are the forces most visible to tourists, and are known for their colourful ceremony of Changing the Guard. Under the 1987 statute the Guard of the Rock are all enrolled as 'Criminal Police Officers' (in addition to their military role) and assist the police in investigating major crime. The uniform of the Guard of the Rock is a distinctive red and green.

Guard of the Council Great and General


Guard of the Council member
The Guard of the Council Great and General commonly known as The Guard of the Council or locally as the 'Guard of Nobles', formed in 1740, is a volunteer unit with ceremonial duties. Due to its striking blue, white, and gold uniform, it is perhaps the best-known part of the Sammarinese military, and appears on countless postcard views of the republic. The functions of the Guard of the Council are to protect the Captains Regent, and to defend the Great and General Council during its formal sessions. They also provide a ceremonial bodyguard to government officials on festivals of both state and church.

The Army Militia


In former times, all families with two or more adult male members were required to enroll half of them in the Army Militia. This unit remains the basic fighting force of the armed forces of San Marino, but is largely ceremonial. It is a matter of civic pride for many San-Marinese to belong to the force, and all citizens with at least six years residence in the republic are entitled to enroll.

The uniform is dark blue, with a kepi bearing a blue and white plume. The ceremonial form of the uniform includes a white cross-strap, and white and blue sash, white epaulets, and white decorated cuffs.

The Military Ensemble


Formally this is part of the Army Militia, and is the ceremonial military band of San Marino. It consists of approximately fifty musicians. The uniform is similar to that of the Army Militia. Military Ensemble music accompanies most state occasions in the republic.

The Gendarmerie


Established in 1842, the Gendarmerie of San Marino is a militarised law enforcement agency. Its members are full-time and have responsibility for the protection of citizens and property, and the preservation of law and order.

The entire military corps of San Marino depends upon the co-operation of full-time forces and their retained (volunteer) colleagues, known as the ''Corpi Militari Volontari'', or Voluntary Military Force.

Transport




There are of roads in the country, the main road being the San Marino Superhighway. Sammarinese authorities license private vehicles with distinctive licence plates which are white with blue figures and the coat of arms, usually a letter followed by up to four numbers. Many vehicles also carry the international vehicle identification code (in black on a white oval sticker), which is "RSM".

There are no airports in San Marino, but there is an international heliport located in Borgo Maggiore. Most tourists who arrive by air land at Federico Fellini International Airport close to the city of Rimini, then make the transfer by bus.

Two rivers flow through San Marino, but there is no major water transport, and no major port or harbour.

Public transport


San Marino has limited public transport facilities. There is a regular bus service between Rimini and the city of San Marino, popular with both tourists and tourist industry workers commuting to San Marino from Italy. This service stops at approximately twenty locations in Rimini and within San Marino, with its two terminus stops at Rimini railway station and San Marino coach station, respectively.

A limited licensed taxi service operates nationwide. There are seven licensed taxi operating companies in the republic, and Italian taxis regularly operate within San Marino when carrying passengers picked up in Italian territory.

Aerial tramway to Monte Titano
There is a aerial tramway connecting the city of San Marino on top of Monte Titano with Borgo Maggiore, a major town in the republic, with the second largest population of any Sammarinese settlement. For the visitor the aerial tramway gives the best views of Borgo Maggiore, as the cars sweep low over the rooftops of the main town square. From here a further connection is available to the nation's largest settlement, Dogana, via the local bus service.

Two aerial tramway cars (gondolas) operate in opposition on a cable, and a service is provided at roughly fifteen minute intervals throughout the day. A third vehicle is available on the system, being a service car for the use of engineers maintaining the tramway.

Railway


Today there is no railway in San Marino, but for a short period prior to World War II, it had a single narrow-gauge line, connecting the country with the Italian rail network at Rimini. Due to the difficulties in accessing the capital, San Marino City (which has a mountain-top location), the terminus station was to be located at the village of Valdragone, but was extended to reach the capital through a steep and winding track comprising many tunnels. The railway was opened on 12 June 1932.
An advanced system for its time, it was an electric railway, powered from overhead cables. It was well built and well used, but was almost completely destroyed during WW II. Many facilities such as bridges, tunnels, and stations remain visible today, and some have been converted to parks, public footpaths, or traffic routes.

Culture



Photo of Guaita
A painting in the Museo di Stato di San Marino by Pompeo Batoni
The Three Towers of San Marino are located on the three peaks of Monte Titano in the capital. They are depicted on both the Flag of San Marino and its coat of arms. The three towers are: ''Guaita'', the oldest of the three (it was constructed in the eleventh century); the thirteenth-century ''Cesta'', located on the highest of Monte Titano's summits; and the fourteenth-century ''Montale'', on the smallest of Monte Titano's summits, still privately owned.

San Marino has a famous cake known as ''La Torta Di Tre Monti'' ("Cake of the Three Mountains" or "Cake of the Three Towers"), similar to a layered wafer cake covered in chocolate.

Love Orchestra, a Gian Luca "Luke" Mazza new age music project, comes from the Republic of San Marino. During concerts overseas, the San Marino flag is shown on the stage.

University


The ''Università degli Studi della Repubblica di San Marino'' (University of the Republic of San Marino) is the main university, which includes the ''Scuola Superiore di Studi Storici in San Marino'' (Advanced School of Historical Studies), a distinguished research and advanced international study center governed by an international Scientific Committee coordinated by professor Luciano Canfora. Other important institutes are the ''Istituto Musicale Sammarinese'' (Sammarinese Musical Institute) and the Akademio Internacia de la Sciencoj San Marino or ''Accademia Internazionale delle Scienze San Marino'' (International Academy of Sciences San Marino). The latter is known for adopting the Esperanto language as language for teaching and for scientific publications; further, it makes a wide use of e-learning.

Sport



San Marino, along with Italy, enjoy sports and football (soccer) is its most popular sport. Basketball and volleyball are also popular. The three sports have their own federations, the San Marino Football Federation, the San Marino Basketball Federation and the San Marino Volleyball Federation.

The San Marino Championship, founded under the auspices of the FSGC (San Marino Football Federation), is the premier footballing competition in San Marino. The fifteen teams that take part in the competition are split into two groups of eight and seven teams. The top three from each section at the end of the regular season progress into a semi-knockout style Championship Playoff. Prior to 2007, the playoff champion earned a spot in the preliminary rounds of the UEFA Cup. In 2007, UEFA granted San Marino a spot in the 1st Qualifying Round of the Champions League. The domestic cup winner also gets a spot in the UEFA Cup qualifying stages. 2007 league champions S.S. Murata was the first team to represent San Marino in the Champions League when they participated in the 2007–08 competition, losing to Finnish team Tampere United. San Marino also has a representative in the Italian system, with San Marino Calcio playing in the fourth tier of Italian football, Serie C2/B. San Marino play their home matches in the Sanmarinese at the Stadio Olimpico of Serravalle.

The San Marino national football team played its first unofficial international match in 1986, in which it suffered a 0–1 defeat to the Canadian Olympic team. Its first competitive outing was on 14 November 1990, a 0–4 loss against Switzerland in the European Championship qualifier. These defeats set the tone for most of the following outings of the team, who are regarded as easy victories in the qualifying sections of the European Championship and the World Cup.
2005 San Marino Grand Prix held in Imola, Italy
They had a brief moment of glory when they faced England in a World Cup qualifier on 17 November 1993 and took the lead through Davide Gualtieri after just 8.3 seconds—still the fastest goal in World Cup competition. Despite this goal, only San Marino's third at international level, the microstate went on to lose 7–1.

Until recently, San Marino's international record was one of almost total failure, with famous draws against Turkey and Latvia being the only partial successes in an international career that contains over seventy defeats. However, on the 29 April 2004, San Marino recorded their first ever win, with a 1–0 victory over Liechtenstein in an international friendly. Andy Selva scored the only goal in a close game that finally gave this tiny republic a footballing victory.

On 6 September 2006, San Marino suffered their biggest ever defeat, losing 13–0 to world giants Germany in the Stadio Olimpico. It was also the largest goal margin defeat in European Championship Qualifying history. In the same competition on 7 February 2007, they came within eight seconds of the best result in their history. They were level at 1–1 with the Republic of Ireland after ninety-four minutes when Stephen Ireland scored within eight seconds of the final whistle. The goal scored by San Marino was their European Qualifying first goal since losing 4–1 to Austria in 1998.

As of February 2009, San Marino is 201st in the FIFA world rankings—jointly last with seven other teams.

One of the Formula One races, the San Marino Grand Prix, is named after the state, although it does not take place there. It takes place at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in the Italian town of Imola, about northwest of San Marino, along the Via Emilia. The race was etched in infamy after two fatal accidents occurred at the 1994 Grand Prix, when Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger were killed. The race was removed from the calendar in 2007.

The San Marino and Rimini's Coast motorcycle Grand Prix was reinstated in the schedule in 2007 and takes place at the Misano World Circuit.

Manuel Poggiali is one of San Marino's most successful sportsmen. He won two motorcycle World Championships, in 2001 with 125 cc bikes and in 2003 with 250 cc bikes. Another successful San Marino motorcycle rider is Alex De Angelis, a race winner in the 250 cc class, who is currently racing in the premiere MotoGP class.

San Marino has a rather successful professional baseball team, T & A San Marino, which play in the top division of Italian professional baseball, the Serie A1. It has participated in the European Cup tournament for the top European professional baseball teams several times, hosting the event in 1996, 2000, and 2004, and scheduled to host in 2007. It won the championship in 2006 and 2008.

The long climb up to the top of San Marino has become a mecca for thousands of recreational road cyclists who train in nearby Misano every spring and autumn.

San Marino has had little success at the Olympic Games, winning no medals. At the 2004 and 2008 games, three clay target shooters achieved the highest positions. In this sport, San Marino also hosted a competition in the 2009 ISSF World Cup.

Cuisine



The cuisine of San Marino is strongly similar to Italian, especially that of the adjoining Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions, but it has a number of its own unique dishes and products. Its best known is probably the ''Torta Tre Monti'' ("Cake of the Three Mountains" or "Cake of the Three Towers"), a chocolate layer cake depicting The Three Towers of San Marino. The country also has a small wine industry.

LGBT



The total ban on homosexuality was abolished in San Marino in 1864. In 1974 Parliament passed a new penal code containing Article 274, punishing with imprisonment from three months to one year those ''"regularly committing lustful acts with a person of the same sex, if from that act public scandal is derived"''. Article 274 was subsequently repealed in September 2004.

The age of consent is set at fourteen for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. There is no formal recognition of same-sex couples.

UNESCO


The site “San Marino: Historic Centre and Mount Titano” has become part of the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008. The decision was taken during the 32nd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee composed of 21 Countries convened in Quebec.

Music


Basilica of Saint Marino (left) and church of Saint Peter (right) in San Marino City
San Marino entered the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time, in 2008, with the band, Miodio, singing Complice. The group failed to make it to the final from the first semi-final. San Marino gave its first ever highest (12) points to Greece. They were also one of only two countries—along with Ireland—to vote for the United Kingdom. The BBC subsequently published a magazine article on its website about San Marino, entitled "Britain's New Best Friend?".

San_Marino
Source: Wikipedia