THE SAMMARINESE CULTURAL BACKGROUND
Sammarinese are extremely proud of their country, and their status as citizens of San Marino. However, acquiring citizenship is extremely difficult for those are not born in San Marino to two San Marino citizens. It is also possible to become Sammarinese if one marries a citizen. It is one of the only countries on Earth where the local citizens are predominantly natives.
Food: Food and meals are an important part of life in San Marino. The cuisine is Mediterranean, emphasizing fresh and locally grown produce, pasta, and meat. Although it is similar to that of the Italian Romagna region which borders San Marino, the cuisine of San Marino features its own typical dishes. Traditional recipes include faggioli con le cotiche, traditionally prepared at Christmas; pasta e cece,a soup of chickpeas and noodles; and nidi di rondine (literally, “swallow’s nest”), a dish of pasta with smoked ham, cheese, beef, and a tomato sauce, which is then covered with a white sauce and baked in the oven. Roast rabbit with fennel is also a popular Sammarinese dish. Other popular local dishes include bustrengo. San Marino also produces high quality wines, the most famous of which are theSangiovese, a strong red wine; and the Biancale, a dry white wine. There are many small family-owned restaurants, often providing outdoor seating in the summer, which play an important role in the lives of the Sammarinese, as meals are a daily part of family life and socializing.
Etiquette: Standards of etiquette are similar to those in Italy. Due to the important tourist industry, the Sammarinese are accustomed to welcoming people from all over the world.
Religion: The predominant religion, Roman Catholicism, is still regarded as the principal religion. Historically, the Sammarinese have been against the Vatican’s political control over their republic but have embraced the pope’s spiritual authority on religious matters. The importance of Catholicism in San Marino has led to the involvement of the church in many state occasions; many of San Marino’s official ceremonies are held in the Basilica, the republic’s main church, or in other churches. There are a total of nine Catholic parishes all of which comprise the diocese of San Marino.
Secular Celebrations: There are five official national festivals in San Marino all of which celebrate important events in the republic’s history: 5 February, the anniversary of the republic’s liberation from the occupying forces of Cardinal Alberoni in 1740; 25 March marks the day in 1906 when the Arengo implemented the democratic form of government that exists today; 1 April and 1 October, the two days when the captains regent take office; and 3 September, the feast day of the patron saint and founder of the republic, Saint Marino.
Festival: San Marino’s festivals and events are not the most world-renowned, but they still do pack a punch, entertainment wise. One of the most popular events each year is Medieval Day. During this special event, students can dress up in costumes and re-live the beauty that once dominated medieval San Marino. Another popular event held in the city is the feast-filled San Marino’s Day, which celebrates the establishment of a republic many years ago. Watch out for the fireworks at the end of the evening.