Photo Essay: Defending one of the World’s Smallest Countries

By March 30, 2013Photo Essays, San Marino
san marino guards

National Parliament, San Marino

These soldiers are guarding the Parliament Building in one of the world’s smallest countries – the Republic of San Marino.

Perched on the slopes of Mount Titano in central Italy, San Marino has an area of only 23 square miles.  I’ve been to shopping malls nearly as big.

Small, yes, but San Marino’s ancient castles, spectacular views of the countryside below, and status as an independent nation make it hugely popular with tourists.  Some people visit just to have their passport stamped.  Indeed, this tiny country attracts more than two million visitors each year.  That’s a lot of tourists when you consider that only 30,000 people actually live here and San Marino has no airport or train service.

The weather on this particular day was miserable.  Not long after I took this picture, it began to pour.  Moments later, the guards abandoned their posts and scurried inside for cover.

Foreign powers take note.  If you’re going to invade San Marino, your chances are much better on a rainy day.

Copyright © Dan Fellner 2013