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Geography of San Marino

Learn Information about the Small European Nation of San Marino

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San Marino Flag

The San Marino flag has two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and light blue; the national coat of arms has a shield (featuring three towers on three peaks) flanked by a wreath, below a crown and above a scroll bearing the word LIBERTAS (Liberty).

Source: CIA World Factbook, 2007
Updated February 14, 2014

Population: 31,817 (July 2011 estimate)
Capital: San Marino
Bordering Countries: Italy
Area: 23 square miles (61 sq km)
Highest Point: Monte Titano at 2,477 feet (755 m)
Lowest Point: Torrente Ausa at 180 feet (55 m)

San Marino is a small country located on the Italian Peninsula. It is completely surrounded by Italy and has an area of just 23 square miles (61 sq km) and a population of 31,817 people (July 2011 estimate). Its capital is the City of San Marino but its largest city is Dogana. San Marino is known as being the oldest independent constitutional republic in the world.

History of San Marino

It is believed that San Marino was founded in 301 C.E. by Marinus the Dalmatian, a Christian stonesman, when he fled the island of Arbe and hid on Monte Titano (U.S. Department of State). Marinus fled Arbe to escape the anti-Christian Roman Emperor Diocletian (U.S. Department of State). Shortly after he arrived at Monte Titano he founded a small Christian community that was later became a republic called the Land of San Marino in honor of Marinus.

Initially the government of San Marino consisted of an assembly made up of the heads of each family residing in the area. This assembly was known as the Arengo. This lasted until 1243 when the Captains Regent became joint heads of state. In addition, the original area of San Marino only included that of Monte Titano. In 1463 however San Marino joined an association that was against Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini. The association later defeated Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta and Pope Pius II Piccolomini gave San Marino the towns of Fiorentino, Montegiardino and Serravalle (U.S. Department of State). In addition, Faetano also joined the republic in the same year and its area expanded to a total of its current 23 square miles (61 sq km).

San Marino has been invaded twice throughout its history - once in 1503 by Cesare Borgia and once in 1739 by Cardinal Alberoni. Borgia's occupation of San Marino ended with his death several months after its occupation. Alberoni's ended after the Pope restored the republic's independence, which it has maintained ever since.

Government of San Marino

Today the Republic of San Marino is considered a republic with an executive branch consisting of co-chiefs of state and a head of government. It also has a unicameral Grand and General Council for its legislative branch and a Council of Twelve for its judicial branch. San Marino is divided into nine municipalities for local administration and it joined the United Nations in 1992.

Economics and Land Use in San Marino

San Marino's economy is mainly focused on tourism and the banking industry, but it relies on imports from Italy for most of its citizen's food supplies. The other main industries of San Marino are textiles, electronics, ceramics, cement and wine (CIA World Factbook). In addition agriculture takes place on limited level and the main products of that industry are wheat, grapes, corn, olives, cattle, pigs, horses, beef and hides (CIA World Factbook).

Geography and Climate of San Marino

San Marino is located in southern Europe on the Italian Peninsula. Its area consists of a landlocked enclave that is entirely surrounded by Italy. San Marino's topography mainly consists of rugged mountains and its highest elevation is Monte Titano at 2,477 feet (755 m). The lowest point in San Marino is Torrente Ausa at 180 feet (55 m).

The climate of San Marino is Mediterranean and as such it has mild or cool winters and warm to hot summers. Most of San Marino's precipitation also falls during its winter months.

To learn more about San Marino, visit the Geography and Maps section on San Marino on this website.

References

Central Intelligence Agency. (16 August 2011). CIA - The World Factbook - San Marino. Retrieved from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sm.html

Infoplease.com. (n.d.). San Marino: History, Geography, Government, and Culture- Infoplease.com. Retrieved from: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107939.html

United States Department of State. (13 June 2011). San Marino. Retrieved from: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5387.htm

Wikipedia.org. (18 August 2011). San Marino - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_marino

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