The New Student's Reference Work/San Marino
San Marino (mä-rē′nṓ), the smallest independent state in Europe and a republic, lies among the Apennines. It covers but 38 square miles, and contains some villages besides the town of San Marino. The town, which is built on a mountain crag, can be reached only by one road. Farming and cattle-breeding are the main occupations. It claims to be Europe's oldest state. Its independence was recognized by the pope in 1631, when the duchy of Urbino, a part of which it had been since the 13th century, was annexed to the papal states. It is governed by a grand council, the members of which are chosen for life, one third of whom are nobles. Two captains-general are chosen, each holding office for six months. Population 10,489.