Country point San Marino – caching in a dwarf state

The country point San Marino is not that easy to earn. There are no cheap flights directly to this tiny country, the Italian railways have no direct connection - so it is associated with some effort to get this country point.

We would like to tell you today how we got this country point in a small group on a cacher travel tour in June.

Country point San Marino

First of all, to clarify: we always talk about dwarf states and my dwarf states. Of course we know that. That little play on words crept into our minds, not because we think that dwarf states live in dwarf states and that it should therefore be called dwarf states. Just a play on words because the previous tour groups found it fun to travel in midget states. Small cacher peculiarity…. Now to San Marino:

Arrival

We made it easy for ourselves and came by car. Easy as easy... Coming from Rome, the last third of the tour went up and down in strong serpentines. More on…. That made things a bit difficult for the fully occupied minibuses, but we were rewarded with great views. However, this is a good way to travel. You don't really notice the transition to San Marino - no border controls, no border houses or the like. But of course one of the well-prepared cachers has the first caches in San Marino on the device and so we go to the first country point with “The first (easy) mystery in San Marino” – even before we have seen San Marino City https://coord.info/GC6XZJ1. Definitely fitting.

After the country point was thus secured, it continued uphill in serpentines and it was already in front of us: the old town of San Marino. Those who know the monasteries of Meteora can make a very small comparison. As beautiful and graceful as the castle was to look at in the sunlight, it defies loftiness on the mountain. So we wanted to go up there......well, there are supposed to be shops that somehow have to bring their goods up there. We will find a way...

Some info about this dwarf state

San Marino is one of the so-called dwarf states. The official language is Italian, the currency is the EURO, even if the country is not a member of the European Union. There are no border controls. Measured by nominal GDP per capita, San Marino is one of the richest countries in the world. It has no national debt and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. Geocaching is well known here, but there aren't too many caches in the old town of San Marino. The cache density is even lower when viewed across the country.

Access to the Old Town – cable car or on foot

We also found the entrance - unfortunately the parking lot came as a surprise in a curve, so that we drove past P11. There are also here - as with the journey - many possibilities. We opted for the P 11 car park, from where the train goes straight up. As an alternative, you can also take a nice walk up and collect one or the other cache on the way. Directly behind the parking lot there is also an old railway tunnel that you can visit. Overall, the P11 turned out to be a good choice. There are many options from here, and it is available for the moderate price of EUR 4.50 for 4 hours.

Our group was roughly halved. Half took the footpath up and could report that it wasn't as steep and wasn't as long as expected.

The other half bought a ticket for the cable car and had themselves transported to the top in a comfortable and perhaps more exciting way.

The old town

Both groups met up again at the top and initially enjoyed the beautiful view. Only with caching it was such a thing….. There was a cache quite close, you could almost see it, but there were a few meters of altitude in between, it was hardly possible to get to it without going down again. In the old town of San Marino you can easily reach all places on foot. Cars are not allowed to drive here.

There was still some time until the planned event on the main square of San Marino and everyone let themselves be drifted through the narrow streets of the old town. Many traders offer their goods, we were also able to find 2-3 small hotels. Certainly a special overnight stay if you can experience the sunset up here. And of course there are many cafés, bars and restaurants with many offers for eating and drinking. For almost every taste and almost every budget. Typical souvenirs could also be admired. The best way to describe the old town of San Marino City is with photos.

Country point San Marino – with overnight accommodation

Even if we decided against staying the night in San Marino – not least because of the rather high prices – we took the opportunity to look around for a possible repeat tour. There were hotels, but we weren't even shown them for the travel group because they didn't have enough beds. We met one or the other nice hotel host and the prices were moderate on site. If you consider that the atmosphere on a warm summer evening in the old town of San Marino with a view of the sea and the setting sun is certainly very nice, singles, couples or small groups should definitely consider spending a night here. There is also a parking lot "above" directly at the entrance to the old town. Many a hotel host has promised us a parking space here when we asked. Definitely worth considering. We cannot report from our own experiences.

railway tunnel

There are a total of 17 abandoned railway tunnels in the mountain of San Marino. Some of these can be entered and explored on foot. The easiest to access is the one just behind the cable car parking lot.

The railway between the old town of San Marino and Italy was originally a project by Mussolini, who wanted to set up a listening station on Monte Titano. During the Second World War, the tunnels were closed and converted into a camp for 100,000 (!) war refugees. Today they are deserted, the electric train no longer ran. Supposedly they are to be reopened for hiking and cycling

Anyone who has seen the tunnel of light in the USA will certainly find it rather small here in San Marino. Nevertheless, it is beautifully illuminated and also has some explanations on information boards.

Surrounding caches

After the caches in the old town of San Marino and the first cache in this country we also visited the First Letterbox of San Marino,https://coord.info/GC6V05P

At the end of our stay in San Marino, before our onward journey to Bologna started, we visited the Multi La ferrovia Fantasma - The ghost railway. This is in a really great location, you can take the last great pictures of San Marino City while looking for this cache.

Souvenir

San Marino not only brings the geocacher the San Marino country point in the statistics, but also its own souvenir.

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