San Marino

San Marino is a country situated in the Apennine Mountains. San Marino is a landlocked enclave , completely surrounded by Italy. It borders to the Italian region Emilia Romagna to the north-east and Marche Montefeltro to the south-west. It is one of the smallest countries in the world, its total area is just 24 square miles. The capital is City of San Marino but the largest city is Dogana. San Marino is divided into nine municipalities, known locally as castelli.

San Marino is a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Captains Regent is the heads of state. Executive power is exercised by the government, Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Grand and General Council. The Grand and General Council is the parliament of San Marino, it has 60 elected members. Social and political trends of the Republic are into line with those of Italy.

San Marino is just a little country, but it has a lot of beautiful buildings. Palazzo Pubblico is a Romanesque building in the Gothic Revival style. It is built on the foundations of the original “Parva Domus comunis”, architect Francesco Azzurri designed it in 1894. The building was recently reopened after being restored by the architect Game Aulenti.

Another beautiful building is the Guaita fortress, the first fort built in the XI century and restored several times. Some of the rooms were used as a prison. On the left side of the entrance is the Chapel of the Rocca, dedicated to Saint Barbara. And then there is Cesta fortress, the second fort, it dates back to the XIII century. It is found on the high peak of Mount Titano. The inside houses the Museum of Arms containing arms from the XIII to the XIX centuries. The third fort, Montale fortress, is a watchtower. It can only be viewed from the outside, it provides a highly suggestive panorama.

San Marino cuisine combines traditions with quality, to keep alive the huge rural heritage of the country. It contains for example tagliatelle, ravioli, cappelletti, passatelli, roast meats and extra-virgin olive oil. Famous are their red wines, Brugneto and Tessano aged in large cherry wood barrels or in oak barriques, or still white wines, Biancale and Roncale.

San Marino has many traditions and culture festivals, which are wonderful to experience, such as:

The Nucleo Uniformato della Guardia di Rocca, Uniformed Guards of the Fortress, perform honors service at the Palazzo Pubblico in Piazza della Libertà, and the ‘changing of the guard’ ceremony is performed every hour on the half hour from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the summer months. The Guardia di Rocca guard, was originally founded in 1754, and currently has two departments, the uniformed guards they guard the borders and public order and the Compagnia d’Artiglieria, on the other hand, for national holidays and ceremonies. The uniform worn by the Guards of the Fortress when on duty and during the changing of the guard is quite suggestive with a dark green double-breasted jacket decorated with red and white braiding, red trousers with a green stripe and a cap with red pom-pom and white spats. The ceremonial uniform also has golden epaulets and a leather helmet with red and white ostrich feathers.

The San Marino Crossbowmen’s Federation ,called The Federazione Balestrieri Sammarinese, was founded in 1956 thanks to its Chairman and Founder, Prof. Giuseppe Rossi. In times long past, it was the crossbowmen who defended the city walls-and the freedom-of the Republic of San Marino. To ensure that the Crossbowmen were quite adept in use of their arms, the Statues, Ledger XXXVIII, established that once a year, on the 3rd of September, a festival dedicated to the Founding Saint Marino would be celebrated with the ‘Palio delle balestre grandi’. This tradition is still continuing today, the ‘Palio’ is even bigger with costumed figures, musicians and flag-wavers to complete the pageantry of the crossbow competition.

There are no frontier formalities, anyone visiting Italy with a visa can enter San Marino. In Tourist Information Office, you can get your passport stamped.


Russia is a country located on two continents: Europe and Asia, with the Ural Mountains as a dividing line. In the west the country borders to Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus and Ukraine. In the south it shares borders with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and North Korea. In the east the boundary is the Atlantic Ocean and in the north the Arctic Ocean. The Russian exclave Kaliningrad is wedged between Poland and Lithuania. At 6,592,800 square miles, Russia is by far the largest country in the world, covering more than a ninth of the Earth’s land area. The capital and largest city is Moscow.

Russia is a federation consisting of 83 areas. These areas have an equal representation in the Federation, but are different in autonomy. 21 of them are autonomous republics and have in theory the right to separate. Each of these areas is a homeland for a specific ethnic minority. Russia is also divided into eleven economic regions, this format is different than that of the federal districts and is intended for economic and statistical purposes and even weather forecasts.

Kaliningrad Oblast has a special status and is sometimes shown as a separate economic region
Most of Russia is Asian, yet the politics includes it to Europe, because the capital Moscow is situated in that continent. Russia is a federal semi-presidential republic, it now has an elected president, free elections and a multiparty system. The parliament consists of the two chambers, the lower house composed of representatives of parties and the upper house which consists of representatives of all 83 areas.

In Russia you still can see many typical Russian peasant houses, built in ancient times, according to traditional principles and use of wood. These Izba’s are a heritage, and therefore they are remaining in the countryside The window frames and eaves often have carvings, because of the skilled carpenter working ,with a hatchet is also referred to cutting rather than building a izba.

Russians are very musical. Quantities in classical music are for example, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky, there are many music festivals in honor of these great composers. The ballet of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow is world famous There are a lot of different types of dance and singing styles. In the folk plays the balalaika, a triangular stringed instrument, an important role.

The Russian cuisine is a farmer’s kitchen, sober, but nutritious. Famous is borsjtsj, a soup of beets, cabbage and meat. And Russians eat pirosjki, stuffed pasta pillows, for all occasions. In hotels, they often finished each hour of the day, they are also sold in street stalls, made of different dough types and with different fillings.

Russians drink much tea and kvas, a light drink from flour and fruit juice is prepared. Vodka is the national alcoholic drink the alcohol content is often very high. There are many types of vodka: plain or lemon-flavored, chilies, ginger, cloves and juniper.

Major tourist routes in Russia, include a travel around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big rivers like Volga, and long journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway. Moscow contains a great variety of impressive Soviet era buildings along with modern skyscrapers. In the center of Moscow is the famous Red Square, with on one side the Kremlin. Saint Petersburg, nicknamed Venice of the North and former capital, boasts of its classical architecture, many rivers, channels and bridges.

The rules for passports and visas are regularly updated, so always ask in advance for timely information to embassy or consulate. In Russia you must have the possibility to identify at all times, so always take along passport and visa.


Romania is a country located in Southeastern and Central Europe, Romania shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova to the northeast, and Bulgaria to the south and has a coast on the Black Sea. Its total area is 92,043 square miles and almost all of the Danube Delta is located within its territory. The capital and largest city is Bucharest. Romania is divided in 41 counties, and one municipality capital Bucharest, with a special status. Eight regional divisions were created in 1998,in order to better co-ordinate regional development as Romania progressed towards accession to the European Union, and consist of several counties each.

Romania is a semi-presidential democratic republic, where executive functions are shared between the president and the prime minister. The president resides at Cotroceni Palace, the Prime Minister with the Romanian Government is based at Victoria Palace.

The northeastern Romania, the Bukovina region, is famous for its many painted monasteries, such as: the Voroneţ Monastery which is famous for its painted walls, with a special color blue, known as Voroneţ blue. This monastery was built in 1488 and is still totally original. On the north wall is a fresco of the creation story of Adam and Eve to Cain and Abel and the Last Judgment is on the west wall.

The Maramures region in the northwest is known for its wooden churches and rural villages, its traditional lifestyle, and the local colorful dresses, still in use, make Maramureş as near to a living museum as can be found in Europe.

The Romanian cuisine often revolves largely meat, mutton and pork are often eaten. Each region has its own specialties, such as Pastrami - often made of sheep meat, Mititei - a sharp spicy minced sausages, or Piftea - meat in gelatin. A traditional alcoholic beverage is a homemade plum brandy, particularly in rural areas in Wallachia very popular.

In Dobrogea are wide sandy beaches on the Black Sea coast, with tourist places like Mamaia and Neptun. In Mamaia there are many shops and terraces along the promenade, in the evening a visit to a nightclub may bring some fun. For more family fun you can go to the aqua magic, a big aquatic park with large slides, or to the telegondola, a cable car.

The Danube delta is the largest river delta in Europe, this area is very popular with fishermen and for making boat trips. The Transylvanian Alps and Eastern Carpathians know in winter ski tourism and an ice hotel, a temporary hotel made up entirely of snow and sculpted blocks of ice and therefore an example of new architecture. The lobby of the ice hotel is often provided with ice sculptures, staying in this hotel is an unusual experience .In the summer there are mountain walks from the many mountain huts in this region.

For EU residents, no longer a visa is needed, only a valid passport. Citizens from other countries can require a visa at the Consulate or Embassy.


Portugal is a country located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are also part of Portugal. It’s total area is 35,645 square miles, with Lisbon the capital and largest city. The mainland Portugal is divided in 18 districts. Each district takes the name of the district capital. Mainland Portugal is split by its main river the Tagus.

Portugal is a democratic republic. The four main governing components are the President of the Republic, the Parliament, the Government and the courts. The current President of Portugal is Aníbal Cavaco Silva. The government is headed by the prime minister, which currently is José Sócrates.

Portuguese architecture, like all aspects of Portuguese culture, is marked by the history of the country and the several peoples that have settled and influenced the current Portuguese territory The earliest examples of architectural activity in Portugal date from the New Stone Age and consist of structures associated with Megalith culture. A megalith is a large stone which has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones.

Traditional Portuguese late Gothic architecture is the sumptuous, composite architectural style of the decoration, also called the Manueline Style. The Cloisters of Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, built in the 1520s, is a perfect example. There are also beautiful remains from the Roman period, such as Roman Temple of Évora and bridge of Aquae Flaviae, today’s Chaves.

Portugal has some beautiful areas that are protected. As the National Park ,several natural parks and natural reserves, 5 natural monuments and some protected landscapes, ranging from the Parque Nacional da Peneda – Gerês, the Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela to the Paul Arzila. Fauna in Portugal is diverse and includes the fox, badger, Iberian lynx, Iberian Wolf, wild goat, wild cat, hare, weasel, polecat, chameleon, mongoose, civet, brown bear and many others.

Portuguese wines are very well known, especially outside of Portugal are the port, vinho verde and madeira very popular. In Portugal many fish and rice is eaten, but pork is regularly on the menu. Portugal is the only European country where cilantro is traditionally part of the kitchen.

Portugal tourism includes incredible diversity and beauty, the people are very friendly. Common sights during Portugal tourism are attractive whitewashed houses topped with red-tiled roofs, golden, sandy Portugal beaches, traditional fishing villages, or an expansive stretch of rugged coastline. There are many activities for a holiday in Portugal. Horse riding and diving are favorite sports or deep sea fishing . You can learn how to surf and there are beautiful championship golf courses. Holiday in Portugal can include a Douro River cruise where visitors opt for a half day to one weeks cruise and more to the river and the valley and into the ancient ruins to explore.

Nationals of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Korea, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela do not require a visa when entering as a tourist, for a stay less than 3 months. Visitors from other countries can request a visa at the Portuguese Embassy.


Poland is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north. The total area of Poland is 120,726 square miles and the capital and largest city is Warsaw. Poland’s current provinces, called voivodeships, are largely based on the country’s historic regions. Poland is divided into 16 provinces.

Poland is a democracy, with a president as a head of state, current president is Lech Kaczyński. The government structure centers on the Council of Ministers, led by a prime minister, current prime minister is Donald Tusk. The president is elected by popular vote every five years and has extensive powers, he may dissolve parliament, has veto power and can unsubscribe elections.

In Poland there are many beautiful buildings, but there are also many lost, mainly in the Second World War. Some of them are again restored or completely rebuilt. As the center of Warsaw, to make it historically accurate, the city’s archives were consulted, and also old photographs, postcards and paintings, and the remaining residents helped them, they gave evidence from their memory, as there was a balcony and it looked like this. The result is a beautifully restored old city center that serves true, but it is not. Even some of the old city walls, which before the war had disappeared, is restored. Warsaw is now on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Also an interesting aspect of the architecture are the traditional Polish wooden buildings.
St. Mary’s Church in Gdańsk is build in characteristic for Poland Brick Gothic, a specific style, the buildings are built more or less using only bricks. St. Mary’s Church is the largest brick church in the world.

Artists from Poland, including famous composers like Chopin or Penderecki. Polish dance music, especially the mazurka and polonaise, were popularized by Frederick Chopin, and they soon spread across Europe and elsewhere.

In the Polish cuisine are meat and nutritious soups central. They love to celebrate, preferably with family, they dance and sing, and the food is washed down with large amounts of Polish vodka. Bigos is seen as the national dish: braised beef with sauerkraut, tomatoes, honey and mushrooms. The Poles also like to put spicy sausage on the table. One of the best known is the Krakowska sausage, another is the Wiejska, something similar to the Dutch smoked sausage.

In Poland there are 20 National Parks, most parks are free and open access to a natural history museum, at the edge of the parks are often simple campsites. In the vicinity of Bialowieza is the Bialowieza National Park, this is a pristine primeval forest area, unique in Europe, which is protected with great care.

In Gdansk is the main port of Poland and the birthplace of the Solidarity free trade union. The port is best viewed by a boat trip, then you come along the Lenin Shipyards, where Lech Walesa urged the workers to stop work to protest against the Communists. Dlugi Targ, Long Market, is the shopping area of Gdańsk, you reach it by going through the Golden Gate. The town contains numerous shops and galleries who have specialized in the Polish silver and amber jewelry, which are famous, amber is fossilized tree resin.

Citizens of the EU don not need a visa for a stat less than 90 days, only a valid passport. Citizens off other countries are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.


Norway is a country in Northern Europe occupying the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula and bordering on land by Sweden, Finland and Russia. In the north and west are the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean and on the south side by the Skagerrak. Bouvet Island and Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land are dependent territories of Norway, but are not considered part of the Kingdom. The total area of Norway is 148,746 square miles. From north to south measuring Norway crow flies nearly 1116 miles, the breadth of the country in some places only 49,6 miles. Norway is divided into 19 provinces, headed by a governor. The provinces or counties are further divided into municipalities.The capital city of Norway is Oslo.

Norway is a unitary constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. The King of Norway is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government. The current king, Harald V of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg is the first in many years who has actually been born in the country.

Rock carvings have been found on several sites around Alta, in the county of Finnmark in northern Norway. They are part of an archaeological site, contains around 3000 individual carvings and has been turned into an open-air museum. The site was placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites on 3 December 1985. It is Norway’s only prehistoric World Heritage Site. The earliest carvings in the area date to around 4200 before Christ.

Norway has always had a tradition of building in wood. many of today’s most interesting new buildings are also made of wood, reflecting the strong appeal that this material continues to hold for Norwegian designers and builders. In the early Middle Ages, stave churches were constructed throughout Norway. Many of them remain to this day and represent Norway’s most important contribution to architectural history. Like the Stave Church at Urnes, which is now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The world famous symbolist/expressionist painter, Edvard Munch, known for The Scream, which is said to represent the anxiety of modern man, is a Norwegian.

Since the 1990s, Norway’s biggest cultural export is Black Metal. The lo-fi, dark and raw form of heavy metal exploded in Norway during the 90s and launched the worldwide acclaimed careers of bands such as Mayhem, Burzum, Emperor, Darkthrone and Immortal.

Norway’s culinary traditions show the influence of long seafaring and farming traditions with salmon, herring (pickled or marinated), trout, codfish and other seafood balanced by cheeses, dairy products and breads predominantly dark/darker.

The main tourist attractions of Norway are the fjord-indented coastline and its mountains, the unspoiled nature of the inner parts of the country, and the cities and smaller towns. The west coast of southern Norway and the coast of northern Norway are among the most impressive coastlines in the world. Norwegian fjords are, by National Geographic, the most important tourist attraction in the world. Because of Norway’s high latitude, there are large seasonal variations in daylight. From late May to late July, the sun never completely descends beneath the horizon in areas north of the Arctic Circle that’s why it’s called the “Land of the Midnight Sun”, and the rest of the country experiences up to 20 hours of daylight per day.

Conversely, from late November to late January, the sun never rises above the horizon in the north, and daylight hours are very short in the rest of the country. Numerous prehistoric glaciers and fjords are found in Norway. The longest is Sognefjorden at 127 miles and Hornindalsvatnet is the deepest lake in Europe. Frozen ground all year can be found in the higher mountain areas and in the interior of Finnmark county, the Dovrefjell where you can ski even in summer.

The Norwegian highway system includes ferry transit across waterways, numerous bridges and tunnels, and several mountain passes. Some of these mountain passes are closed during the winter months, and some may close during winter storms. With the opening of the Oresund Bridge and the Great Belt Fixed Link, Norway is connected to the European continent by a continuous highway connection through Sweden and Denmark. The Norwegian rail network is also connected to the Swedish network. The cruise ferry Hurtigruten connects the cities on the coast between Bergen and Kirkenes.

For a stay less than 3 months citizens of European Union, USA, Canadian, Australian and Japanese do not need a visa in Norway. If you need a visa you can contact the Norwegian Embassies in your country.


Montenegro is a country located in the Balkan in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west with across the sea Italy and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east and Albania to the southeast. Its total area is only 5,019 square miles. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica. Montenegro is divided into 21 municipalities and two urban municipalities, subdivisions of Podgorica municipality.

Montenegro is an independent and sovereign Republic. The President of Montenegro is the head of state. The Government of Montenegro is headed by the Prime Minister.

The turbulent history of this small country has left behind a lot of historic monuments. Montenegrin towns are rich in architecture, from various periods. The old town of Kotor is one of the best preserved medieval cities of southern Europe. The asymmetric structure of the many narrow streets and squares, combined with valuable monuments of medieval structure, have ensured that Kotor was placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The old city walls around and above the city have made Kotor’s old city was protected.

Cetinje is the historical and the secondary capital of Montenegro, with the official residence of the President of Montenegro. The Cetinje Monastery is the most famous Serb Orthodox monastery in Montenegro, a center of historical and cultural importance. In the middle of the monastery is a church dedicated to the birth of the Virgin, in this church are the works of Greek artists available from mid 1900. Access to the monastery is free, but there are dress codes. For men, the arms and breasts covered, women should minimize skin visible.

A traditional form of cooking in Montenegro is ispod , means under the coal, in a pan known as Sac. Montenegrins often eat meat, but also carp, trout and eel. The real national drink is Rakia, a white grape brandy.

In 2006, called the World Travel and Tourism Council, Montenegro into “world’s fastest growing travel and tourism industry”. Proof of this appointment is clearly visible in the rapidly expanding construction along the 300 km long picturesque coastline. Montenegro is a land of contrasts and natural beauty. The clear and clean Adriatic Sea combines with numerous beaches of sand, pebbles or stones, creating unique places. Some have a view to the open sea other are secluded in coves, some are equipped with all the accessories for a pleasant stay, while others are wild, intact, isolated and accessible only by boat. Montenegro provides magnificent opportunities for walking and trekking, with trails varying from easy to challenging. The Durmitor massif has numerous peaks over 7216 feet, accessible without the use of special equipment. Other activities are skiing, hiking, hunting, fishing, windsurfing, scuba diving and wild water rafting.

The citizens of the EU Schengen countries, Andorra, Australia, Israel, Canada, Korea, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, San Marino, Singapore, the United States of America, Switzerland and the representatives of Vatican may enter and stay within the territory of Montenegro up to 90 days and may visit Montenegro on the basis of a valid travel document. Visitors of other countries are advised to request a visa at the Embassy or Consulate.

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