San Marino is a microstate in Europe, surrounded by Italy. Although it is one of the smallest countries in the world, it is full of history and culture. The country has a rich heritage dating back to the days of the Roman Empire. In this guide, we will share all about Florence to San Marino day trip itinerary with practical tips.
Florence to San Marino Day Trip Itinerary
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San Marino is a great destination for those who love to hike and explore the outdoors. The country has many beautiful hiking trails that offer spectacular views.
There are also several ancient castles and fortresses that can be explored.
If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle, San Marino is the perfect destination.
The country has several beaches where you can sunbathe and swim. There are also many restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy the local cuisine.
Getting to San Marino from Florence Italy: Step by Step Guide
Being surrounded by Italy, there are a lot of options to start for San Marino from this country.
We explored San Marino from Florence, but you can also visit this European microstate from other Italian cities such as Bologna, Venice, and Padua.
- 130 km to Bologna (80.7 miles)
- 245 km to Padua (152 miles)
- 250 km to Florence (155 miles)
- 272 km to Verona (169 miles)
- 277 km to Venice (172 miles)
- 411 km to Rome (255 miles)
If you are planning a day trip to San Marino to get a taste of the least visited European country, then visiting it from the Emilia-Romagna region/northern or Central Italy is your best bet. It will be a long day, but it is doable to explore the main highlights in one day in San Marino!
Note that there is no train network, airport, or flight to get to this microstate.
You can get there by car/drive. When traveling by car, you will be covering a distance of 250 km or 155 miles from Florence to San Marino one way.
Via public transportation, you will have to split the journey into two – one leg of your trip is by train, followed by bus.
- Travel from Florence or Bologna to Rimini in Italy by train. Travel time is 40 minutes from Florence to Bologna. And then another one hour to Rimini Station from Bologna.
- Then travel from Rimini to San Marino by bus. Travel time is 20 minutes.
We will share all the details and important information below,
Step 1: Florence to Bologna by train (to Rimini)
Located in Tuscany Italy, Florence is one of the popular destinations in Europe.
Starting from Florence, head to the Firenze Santa Maria Novella Train Station. If you have arrived in Florence via public transportation, you won’t miss this central train station.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when taking trains in Italy:
- Train tickets can be purchased in advance, either online or at the station. It’s generally best to buy your tickets as far in advance as possible, as prices tend to go up the closer you get to your travel date.
- Tickets can be bought from the following websites – Trenitalia, or TrainLine
- When boarding the train, make sure you validate your ticket by stamping it in the little yellow box. If you don’t, you risk being fined.
- Italy has high-speed trains (known as Frecce – Frecciargento, Frecciarossa) that can get you around the country quickly. These trains are comfortable and efficient, but they’re also more expensive than the regular regional trains. The fastest train for Rimini from Florence is under 2 hours (1 hour and 49 minutes)
- If you’re traveling on a budget, regional trains are a great option (Regionale). They may not be as fast, but they’re much cheaper and you’ll get to see more of the country along the way. (Florence to Rimini will be around 3+ hours)
- Note: Most trains to Rimini from Florence, Verona, Milan will have a change in Bologna. If traveling from Bologna to Rimini, you can easily book a fast train (with no change)
So you have to book a train ride to Rimini from Florence and change to Bologna.
Firenze Station > Bologna Centrale > Rimini Station (train journey)
Your journey will look like this, Florence to Bologna – the travel time is 40 minutes. And then one hour and 5 minutes to get to Rimini Station.
In a nutshell,
- Florence to Rimini by train (Duration is 1.75 to 3.50 hours).
- The fastest trains take 1.75 hours. There is usually one change (at Bologna)
- You can book tickets here
Note: Remember to validate your ticket before you get on the train.
Step 2: Bologna to Rimini by train
From Florence arrive at Bologna Centrale (train station), and change for the next train for Rimini.
You will arrive in Rimini in about an hour.
Your arrival station is Stazione Rimini. And this is where you will find cafes, washrooms, and connections to the rest of Italy.
We located the San Marino Info Centre inside the train station and they helped us with the next steps to get to San Marino.
Step 3: Rimini (Italy) to San Marino by bus or cab
From the Rimini Train Station, you can get to San Marino by bus or taxi.
Taxis will cost about 40-50 euros, and it takes about 15-20 minutes, one way.
If you are planning to catch a bus like us, you have to buy tickets at the Info Centre at the Rimini Train Station.
The tickets cost 6 euros per person (one way). When we traveled the tickets cost 5 euros per person.
You can pay for your tickets and then make your way to the bus stop.
The bus stop and the schedule may change (seasonally) so we do recommend checking with the representative at the station, upon your arrival.
But rest assured you will find help there.
When we traveled to the Rimini train station, we had no idea where the bus stop was. The online schedule was also not updated at that time, so we took a photo of it (plus grabbed an info sheet) before leaving.
Our stop was located right across the street from the station – in front of the Napoleon Hotel.
You won’t miss this hotel, as there is a stop sign with details (departure times for various destinations including Bologna, Rome, and more).
Note: The bus frequency for San Marino is not that great – it ranges from 45 minutes to an hour or more. We recommend starting from Florence early so that you have enough time to figure out the bus stop/buy tickets.
If you miss the bus, you can sit at a cafe and then return to the bus stop for the next one.
Buses to San Marino are operated by Bonelli Bus. You will see their sign written on the bus. Buses were clean and spacious for the quick journey.
Time taken to get to San Marino City (last stop) from Rimini station is less than 20 minutes.
The bus has one driver/operator who checks your ticket/s and lets you in. You will see the route on the front of the bus.
There are no seat reservations onboard – you take the seat you like/available.
Step 4: Arriving (and leaving from) San Marino
The last stop on this ride is Piazzale Calcagni in San Marino’s old town. And this is where you will have to get down.
During our ride, there were 3 other stops along the way.
All the primary tourist attractions are within a quick walk away. We actually took a longer way and stopped for coffee (as it started to rain).
Note: There is no border security, or checking of passports or stamps when you enter San Marino from Italy.
Departure from San Marino: The spot where you are dropped off, is the same as where you have to get on the ride back.
So from Piazzale Calcagni (P.le Calcigne) in San Marino, you will take the bus back to Rimini Station. Get down at the Rimini Stazione (Rimini FF.SS.) and then catch the train back to Florence.
Here is the updated schedule for both (arrivals and departures to/from Rimini to San Marino)
Note: At the bus stop, there are no restaurants/cafes, etc. so you have to get away from the area towards the Old Town to find rest areas.
Day trip to San Marino from Florence: Itinerary areas
You can surely cover the primary attractions on a day trip.
To be honest, of all the European microstates we visited, we actually liked San Marino a lot. This place is special – one of the oldest nations, set on a hilltop with wonderful views around you.
San Marino is perfect for both culture and outdoor/nature lovers. And this combination is rare, you have either or, and not both.
So here is what you can visit in one day in San Marino,
Wander the City of San Marino:
The capital city of San Marino is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of historic buildings and landmarks.
Wander the streets and explore the many shops, cafes, and restaurants. Along the way stop for views from up there!
Check out the Three Towers of San Marino:
The three towers of San Marino are one of the most iconic landmarks in the country.
Dating back to the 11th century, these towers offer stunning views over the surrounding countryside.
These three fortresses are seen along the long ridge of Mount Titano.
The oldest of them all is the Rocca Guaita. This tower was constructed in the 11th century and was used as a prison and later rebuilt many times.
Hike in the San Marino Mountains:
If you like to hike, the mountains of San Marino offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
There are numerous hiking trails to explore, with something to suit all levels of fitness.
Or ride the cable car:
If you prefer not to hike, head to the cable car station, and get to the top of Mount Titano and the fortress. Of course, you will be greeted with amazing views of the Adriatic, and the picture-perfect green hills and mountains.
Note that you can park your car at the station if arriving by vehicle.
Visit the Basilica di San Marino:
The Basilica di San Marino is a beautiful church located in the city of San Marino.
Built in the 19th century, it is one of the most important religious buildings in the country.
Explore the Museums of San Marino:
There are several museums located in San Marino, covering a wide range of topics such as art, history, and culture. The Museum of Torture will be on your way to Main Street.
Other must-visit museums include The National Museum, Ferrari Museum, and Wax Museum, to name a few. You can add 1-2 museum stops on your San Marino day trip, and learn more about the country.
Stroll along the Piazza Della Libertà, and get duty-free shopping done in San Marino. Buy clothing, jewelry, ceramics, and more.
Whether you want to explore the historic city center or spend time in the stunning countryside, there are plenty of things to do in San Marino.
With so much to see and do, you’ll never be bored during your stay in this beautiful country.
More travel tips for visiting San Marino
About 155 miles or 250 km (road distance)
The only way to get to San Marino is by road (car, bus, train) from Italy. Buses operate from Rimini in Italy, and this is where the closest train station is also located.
So, Florence/Bologna > Rimini (by train) > San Marino (by bus or taxi).
Things to do in San Marino in one day,
Wander the San Marino Old Town
See San Marino’s Three Towers – Guaita Tower (first tower) Cesta Tower (second tower) Montale (third tower)
Soak in San Marino’s epic views by hiking or on a cable car ride
Go shop at duty-free stores
Visit the San Marino Basilica or the Basilica del Santo Marino
Explore 1-2 museums
To get to San Marino, you can rely on public transportation (trains and buses or taxis).
Once you are in San Marino City, most of the tourist attractions are within walking distance from each other. In fact, a lot of the lanes are pedestrian-only access.
If you don’t wish to hike from the lower level to the top (or vice versa) then you can either catch a bus or hop on the cable car.
The Cable Car single ticket (with TuttoSan Marino Card) is 2 euros. The return trip is 4.50 euros.
Most travelers to San Marino spend about 4-6 hours exploring the city highlights. This includes wandering the pedestrian-only streets, climbing the towers, shopping, and some sightseeing at museums. And pretty much that is what you will need.
Only because you are traveling from Florence, you have to start early to get in, and out of San Marino.
We recommend carrying your passport to visit San Marino. Your passport won’t be stamped, but you can get a touristy stamp for a fee!
There is no border control between Italy and San Marino.
Know that San Marino is not a member of the European Union or European Economic Area. But Italy is. So depending on your passport (or visa) requirements for Italy, you will have to follow the same for San Marino.
If you need a Schengen Visa for Italy, then you will need to have the same for San Marino.
San Marino’s geographical location and hilly terrain have allowed it to stay independent over the centuries. Also, a lot of the citizens of this small European country are actually its native residents.
In 1862 a friendship treaty was signed between Italy and San Marino, guaranteeing its independence from the Italian state.
Is San Marino worth visiting?
San Marino is the oldest sovereign state in the world, dating back to 301 AD. It is also the third smallest country in Europe after Vatican City and Monaco.
Despite its small size, San Marino has a lot to offer tourists.
The capital city of San Marino, also called San Marino, is home to a number of historical sites such as the Palazzo Pubblico, the oldest government building in continuous use in the world, and a walled fortification dating back to the 11th century.
Nature lovers will enjoy hiking in the nearby mountains or exploring one of the many caves in the area. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or nature, San Marino is definitely worth a visit.
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