|Capital City||Citta di San Marino|
A gap year in San Marino is an unusual choice, but nevertheless it has its charms. So, what does the fifth smallest country in the world have to offer? For a start, there’s 61 square kilometres (24 miles) of entirely hilly terrain, towns and villages alike clinging to their sides. Situated within Italy in the Apennine mountains, San Marino is both a micro nation and the only remaining city state from Italy’s former system.
The Citta di San Marino is the country’s capital, 750 metres high up on Monte Tifano. It’s a medieval settlement which has stood the test of time, and is the main port of call on your gap year in San Marino. Though Citta di San Marino is the capital, the biggest town is Dogana. In both places you’ll find swathes of quaint postcard and souvenir boutiques, ceremonial soldiers, delicious wine and cheese, and the Torta Tre Monti, the Sammarinese specialty cake of three mountains.
You’ll want to look at the Palazzo Pubblico with its elaborate facade, and don’t miss the relics of Saint Marinus in the neoclassical Basilica del Santo. In Montale Tower you can visit the 13th century prison, dug 8 metres deep into the ground. There’s also the Museo della Tortura, which, you’ve guessed it, is home to all sorts of hideous torture devices, including implements used for skinning. No wonder San Marino is the oldest sovereign state still going!
Working in San Marino
If you’re looking to work during your gap year in San Marino, it might not be the easiest place to find a job. With a population of only 32,000, as you can imagine everyone is pretty well employed. However, they do sometimes need seasonal workers for the tourist season, and if you speak Italian you have a pretty good chance. Occasionally there is work teaching English. Alternatively, why not work in Italy and commute from San Marino?
Italy, of course! In fact, unless you’re very rich, you’ll have to go Italy in order to get anywhere else. San Marino only has a private airstrip and heliport, so if you’re looking to move on, you’ll need to make it back to one of Italy’s airports. Within Italy, you’re ideally placed to visit Bologna or Florence, and further afield you can travel by land to France, Switzerland, Monaco (another micro nation!), Austria, Liechtenstein and Slovenia. By air you can get to almost anywhere in the world.