I took the train to Rimini, in order to take the local bus to San Marino town. I had no idea where to get the tickets, so I just assumed I could get them anywhere. I walked over to the closes ticket-booth I could find.
"San Marino?" I said and looked at the old guy behind the counter with a hopeful smile. He waved his hands in the general direction across the street and said a lot of words in Italian, of which I understood none. Then he continued looking at his smart-phone. I nodded and walked across the street. After walking back and forth, I finally noticed a small sign saying "San Marino, International". I walked into what was basically a small shop.
"San Marino?" I asked the lady behind the counter.
"10 Euro!" she said.
I paid and got two tickets. One for each way. I smiled and left. I found the bus stop a few meters away. The bus was leaving in one hour. So I bought some snacks and waited. And waited. And waited. Together with an increasing crowd of increasingly bored and slightly annoyed people. Half an hour late, the bus finally arrived. We got on board and we were off. I had no idea what to look for, so I just hoped the bus would stop when we arrived. At one point, the bus turned back the same road it drove. Si I was wondering if this was the endpoint. But since nobody got off, I assumed it was not. But after a long drive and me thinking "Are we there yet?" every 100 meters, the bus finally stopped. Way up on a hill. I pulled out my phone and checked the GPS. Indeed! We had stopped on the outskirts of the town.
I got off and looked around. It became clear to be early that this was going to get my heart going. Steep streets all around. And the town clinging to the hills above me.
I took a few photos of the beautiful view in front of the bus station. We were a few hundred meters above the plains below. Then I turned to walk up to my hotel to check in. As expected, the road was steep. And after walking a couple of streets, I arrived at the entrance. A traffic cop was stopping traffic so pedestrians could cross the street to the entrance. Inside, more streets, even steeper, took me skywards to my hotel. Passing souvenir shops and shops that sold all kinds of soft guns, swords and knives. A bit surprising. I have no idea why that was so popular here.
The entrance to my hotel was in a steep (of course) street. I checked in, and the lady in the reception said my room was at the -1 level. One level down. I think that was a first for me. But given that the town was lying on a steep hill it made sense. When I looked out through the window of my room, I was a couple of floors above the street below. The room was wonderful, stylish and cheap.
After dumping my luggage, I went out and wandered around the city and enjoyed the spectacular views from different trails dotted around the area. Simply stunning views from the straight rock faces around the city. At some points on the path, you could literally stand on the edge. No fence or anything. And look straight down to the village below. The spectacular views in themselves would be reason enough to go to this place. They had some great restaurants and some nice shops. And great icecream...
What can I say? Highly recommended to detour into this small country in the middle of Italy. If only just to take in the scenery.
|My hotel. The Titano. Smack in the centre of the tourist stream.|
|U stop right there, and let these pedestrians pass!|
|Elevator to the street level below...|
|This train used to run down inside the mountain and down to Rimini.|
|Walking path through the small forest.|
|Where the world cup football team trained?|