Of all the possible places abroad a person could choose to relocate to, perhaps none other is quite as serene and charming as San Marino. That’s simply because San Marino has a ton of character, and is more inviting than most people would imagine. From the picturesque countryside, interspersed with rolling mountains and broad valleys, to the fascinating little citadels, every where you turn in this tiny little nation is a wonder and an invitation to explore.
Landlocked San Marino is a tiny enclave inside of Italy, on the northern end of the Italian Adriatic Sea coastline a few hours’ drive south of Venice. The country is—to the surprise of many—actually the oldest constitutional regime and the oldest sovereign state in the world: the country itself was actually created in 301 BC by Saint Marinus, who fled the city of Rab in Croatia and crossed the Adriatic to set himself up on the Italian mainland. The constitution, ratified in the year 1600, is the longest lived constitution in the world.
In all of San Marino it is common to speak Italian, though the local language is actually Emiliano-Romagnolo. The country’s economic activity is highly tied into the tourism industry, which represents roughly half of total GDP. The euro is the common currency, and even though it is not technically a member of the European Union this has been made possible through the nation’s presence in the Council of Europe. Resultantly, the country enjoys a fairly high quality of life and is known internationally as a center of “high life” culture.
Whatever way you want to describe, the culture of San Marino is truly astounding, and there is something for everybody to fall in love with. Among the principal attractions, the phenomenal cuisine, which is dominated by the longstanding wine and cheese production that is the local pride, is surely one of the more outstanding attributes. With a lot of commonality with the prevailing culinary traditions of the surrounding Northern Italian countryside, San Marino also has a few of its own specialties, resulting in a sumptuous final repertoire of food options.
Entering San Marino is essentially the same thing as entering Italy, as the customs process of the former is entirely managed by the latter. Nonetheless, in order to live in San Marino indefinitely it will be necessary for expats to contact the nearest San Marino embassy or consulate in their country of origin to get the proper work sorted out, especially when considering buying some of the coveted and hard to come by real estate in the tiny nation. Nonetheless, tourists from the US are allowed to stay for such an extensive period of time that it can be virtually akin to living there. You’ll also want to check out the country’s main visitor portal. Lastly, make sure to have a fairly comprehensive perspective on the country from an expat’s point of view.