San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino and also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy, situated on the Italian Peninsula on the north-eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. Its size is just over 61 km2 (24 sq mi) with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino. San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe.
San Marino claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, as the continuation of the monastic community founded on 3 September 301, by stonecutter Marinus of Rab. Legend has it that Marinus left Rab, then the Roman colony of Arba, in 257 when the future emperor, Diocletian, issued a decree calling for the reconstruction of the city walls of Rimini, which had been destroyed by Liburnian pirates.
The constitution of San Marino, enacted in 1600, is considered by some to be the world's oldest written constitution still in effect.However, San Marino has no formal constitution, but instead is governed by the Leges Statutae Republicae Sancti Marini, a series of six books, written in Latin in the late 16th Century that dictates the country’s political system, among other matters.