Europe is full of iconic sites unknown to the vast majority of people, but it also has a country, a small Republic founded in 301 by a Christian stonecutter, that many have never heard of. This is San Marino, a 61-km-square state located inside Italy, which always surprises visitors from all over the world with its uniqueness.
The capital town and original settlement are located on the top of Mount Titano, 750 meters above sea level. The old town center, enclosed by imposing medieval walls, is crisscrossed by narrow streets that are closed to traffic and lined with buildings and monuments built entirely of local stone. The Three Towers at the top of Mount Titano and the Public Palace are the most visited and photographed attractions, but the hidden, lesser-known attractions may astonish visitors.
If you are passionate about modern art, the San Marino National Gallery is your spot. The Gallery opened on 7 July 2018 and is hosted at the Logge dei Volontari (Volunteers’ Loggias), a wonderful building erected at the end of the 1930s and recently restored for this purpose. Getting there couldn’t be easier because it is located right in the historical center. What can you see inside this gallery? A fascinating and amazing collection of works of art and books of modern art from the second post-war period to the ’70s, a trip among renowned Italian artists of the 20th century, such as Renato Guttuso, Emilio Vedova, Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Corrado Cagli, Giuseppe Spagnulo, Enzo Mari, Luigi Ontani and others, together with the most distinguished local painters and sculptors.
Last but not least, the real hidden and most unknown work of art that you can find in the Montale Tunnel: the installation created in 1991 by Maurizio Cattelan, the best-known and most recognized Italian artist worldwide. The artwork was part of a project entitled Via Crucis and represents his own signature with three ‘T’s. At first glance, they recall the Three Towers of San Marino, yet they clearly intentionally represent Mount Golgotha. This unmistakable testimony of the artist’s calls to mind the former Galleries of San Marino and the historical blue and white train which welcomed and gave asylum and shelter to 100,000 displaced people from nearby Italy during the Second World War.
Have a surprising modern art experience while visiting the oldest and smallest Republic in the world!