=4>We said reluctant goodbyes to Linda, thanking her for hospitality, easy conversation, and clean laundry. We think we’ll probably see her again in Italy before long, as we continue our respective investigations of possible happily-ever-after spots.
It was another long day on the autostrada, but by mid-afternoon we left the high speed highway for a road that wound 25 km inland and up to the tiny independent republic of San Marino, like a fairy-tale hilltop gem. We splurged on a gracious old hotel within the walled city, rested and cleaned up, and went strolling in the last hour of daylight.
San Marino calls itself the oldest republic in the world, and it is surely one of the most picturesque spots on Earth. Wisely, the citizens of this small paradise keep among themselves alone (all 28,000 of them) the right to own property within their borders. So tourists, like us and the polyglot throng moving through shops, piazzas, cafes, and restaurants, may come to visit but cannot stay. I think that’s wonderful, don’t you?
We ate dinner while the sun set, took one last turn along the ramparts with our gelato, and slept like weary travelers—our last night on the road.