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San Marino
 
The third smallest state in Europe (after the Vatican City and Monaco), San Marino is less a country, more an inhabited mountain peak. There is no natural flat ground – even the famed Grand Prix was held in nearby Imola in Italy until its demise in 2006. It is arguably the oldest sovereign state in the world – founded in 301- and has the oldest constitution – written in 1600 and still in force. Its lofty situation in the Appennines provides spectacular views of mountains in one direction and the Adriatic in the other. Although officially dubbed Serenissima, ‘the Serene’ it possesses a tiny army and briefly declared war on Great Britain at the start of WWII. The army has ceremonial duties such as guarding the seat of Government – the Palazzo Publico – with a much photographed changing of the guard. (It also has a Crossbow Corps.) Cars are prohibited so pedestrian tourism is enjoyable – a regular ‘tour’ is of the three towers, Guaita, Montale and Cesta which surmount the three peaks within the city and feature on the coat of arms and national flag.
 

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