San Marino: city-state perfect for Expo theme

By Susan Tart
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, April 28, 2010
Adjust font size:

Davide Righi, San Marino's pavilion supervisor

Davide Righi, San Marino's pavilion supervisor [Susan Tart/]

The world's smallest and oldest republic is leaving a big impression at the World Expo in Shanghai. With a population of 30,000 and a geographic size of 61 square kilometers, San Marino's pavilion is naturally quite small. Just 422 square meters, it is situated inside the joint pavilion for European countries.

While it might not be as easy to locate as some of the bigger, free-standing country pavilions, San Marino's pavilion supervisor Davide Righi says the pavilion has already been receiving lots of visitors. "We are very, very famous in China because we have the stamps and coins," he said.

San Marino is the only country besides China to issue Expo stamps and coins this year. Expo host countries typically issue stamps and coins, but Righi says San Marino's long history associated with the collectible items makes it a great way to show off the small country.

Davide Righi, San Marino's pavilion supervisor
Expo stamps issued by San Marino [Susan Tart/]

"Stamps travel all over the world on a letter. You don't know what's inside the letter, you don't know what's inside the envelope, but you can see the stamp. It's a kind of way to cut, to destroy every barrier, every wall around the world," he said.

San Marino has not participated in many World Expos apart from a few hosted in Europe. As the city-state is located in the middle of Italy, some people might wonder why such a small country is traveling so far to participate in Shanghai's World Expo. Righi says the theme of this year's Expo, "Better City, Better Life," makes it hard for the city-state not to participate.

Expo coin issued by San Marino
Expo coin issued by San Marino

2010 Expo coin issued by San Marino" [Susan Tart/]


"From the 12th century we have been a city-state, so we are really independent. And from that time, we have managed our country as a perfect city. So everything is perfect to show," Righi said.


In addition to wanting to share the city's experiences at the Expo, Righi says tourism is a vibrant industry between the two countries. In fact, Chinese tourists are the most populous in San Marino, excluding the Italians. "San Marino and China have a very strong and long relationship because San Marino was one of the first countries to recognize the People's Republic of China."


While San Marino people might not make up a large percentage of China's tourists, they do get to enjoy free entry into China without having to obtain a visa.


"And Chinese people of course can enter San Marino without a visa," Righi said, adding with a laugh, "The problem is that we have no international airport in San Marino."



Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from