The city and republic of San Marino is in N central Italy. Probably founded in the fourth century by St.Marinus, a Dalmatian Christian fleeing persecution, the city developed around a hermitage founded on Mount Titano. Made formally independent in 1637 by the pope, the republic has been attacked several times, notably in the 16th and 18th centuries but has remained free. While it has many treaties of friendship with Italy, it was neutral in World War II and was heavily bombed on one occasion.
The state claims to be the oldest continuous republic in the world. It has its own Council General of 60 members, a 10-member executive Congress of State, a 12-member Court of Appeal, two Regent captains, mint, post, police, and 1,000-member army.
San Marino became a member of the United Nations in 1992.