San Marino Is the Least-Visited European Country and It's Absolutely Breathtaking

It's only 23.6 square miles.

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(Image credit: san marino)

With distinctive food, architecture and natural wonders, and thanks to decently-priced airfare (opens in new tab), it's no wonder Europe was the most-visited continent in 2016 (opens in new tab).

It's for that exact reason that both major cities and the more quaint seaside towns are often flooded with tourists.

Not everywhere on the continent is a tourism trap, though. Take the least-visited country in Europe, for example: San Marino. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (opens in new tab), the micro-state saw the fewest amount of tourists, despite being located in north-central Italy, one of the continent's busier travel destinations.

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(Image credit: san marino)

The 23.6-square-mile country is known for being one of the oldest republics in the world, with exceptional mountain views and three medieval fortresses. Mount Titano and the historic city center are UNESCO heritage sites (opens in new tab), for being a free republic since the 13th century and boasting incredibly historic architecture, from 14th-century convents to a 19th-century neoclassical basilica.

If you aren't much of a history buff, there are plenty of other reasons to make a trip to the tiny country. Due to its proximity to Italy, San Marino is unsurprisingly a foodie paradise, with its own unique culinary scene. Sammarinese food is rich and fresh, known for its pasta and meat dishes, as well as desserts (like the Torta Tre Monti or "Cake of the Three Mountains/Towers") and locally-sourced wines.

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(Image credit: san marino)

You can also make a visit to the local beaches (opens in new tab) (although, they are technically in Italy) in-between meals and rides up the mountain in a cable car.

We predict San Marino won't be off-the-radar for much longer, so make the trip now to enjoy a European adventure...without the crowds.

h/t: Travel + Leisure (opens in new tab)

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Sara Tardiff