Liberation Day in San Marino is observed on February 5 every year. A public holiday in the Republic of San Marino, the full title of the holiday is the Anniversary of the Liberation of the Republic from Alberonian occupation (1740) and the Feast of St. Agata, patron saint, along with San Marino. As this title suggests, the patron saint St. Agatha is also celebrated on this day.
History of Liberation Day San Marino
San Marino has an interesting history. Given the territory’s small size and location in Europe, a continent subjected to political power struggles over time, the landlocked republic has been invaded just a few times in history. The first invasion was in 1503 when Cesare Borgia, better known as ‘Valentino,’ attacked, threatening San Marino’s independence until his plans were foiled by his own death in 1507.
Then, 200 years later, the next incursion was by Guilio Alberoni, an Italian cardinal who attempted to subjugate San Marino. He planned to expand the power base of the Papal State in the region, and so, at the age of 75, Alberoni conquered San Marino on October 17, 1739. His leadership was aggressive, and considering he had invaded the country, the unhappy people of San Marino protested his rule by appealing to the Vatican. Justice was sought from Pope Clemente XII, who recognized the sovereignty of San Marino, and restored its independence on February 5, 1740.
The day, February 5, has been dedicated to Saint Agata or Agatha since the medieval era. Agatha is a famous Christian martyr who was put to death for refusing to abandon Christianity during the persecution of Decius in Sicily. She has long since been recognized as the patron saint of San Marino. Liberation Day is celebrated with various civic events and festive processions from the city of Borgo Maggiore to the capital city.
Liberation Day San Marino timeline
The patron saint of San Marino is born in Sicily.
The independence of the Republic of San Marino is confirmed by Pope Urban VIII.
Cardinal Giulio Alberoni uses military force to occupy San Marino.
Pope Clement XII confirms the country's independence once again.
Liberation Day San Marino FAQs
Why is San Marino not part of Italy?
San Marino has chosen to be independent over the centuries even though it is landlocked. One reason for this decision is because of its hilly location.
Is Liberation Day the same as Independence Day?
Liberation Day is a public holiday that commemorates the liberation of a country. It is similar to an independence day.
What does Liberation Day celebrate?
Liberation Day is a day to celebrate the gift of living freely in your country of birth. It is also a good day to reflect on the fact that there are countries with citizens who don’t live freely.
How to Observe Liberation Day San Marino
Discover San Marino
Not only is San Marino the oldest existing country in the world, but its constitution is also the oldest still in use. There is a lot to learn about the country, such as its coins and postage stamps which are also collectibles.
Read about the Feast of Agatha
The Feast of Agatha is celebrated on Liberation Day. Learn more about this feast on this important holiday.
Try San Marino dishes
Celebrate Liberation Day by indulging in some of the most popular savory dishes the country offers. This includes ‘fagioli con le cotiche,’ ‘pasta e ceci,’ ‘nidi di rondine,’ and roast rabbit with fennel.
5 Facts About San Marino You Should Know
San Marino is small
It is the fifth-smallest country in the world by land area and has a small population too.
It has never lost
San Marino has surprisingly always managed to maintain its sovereignty despite numerous invasions.
Abraham Lincoln was a fan
In 1861, Lincoln wrote a letter to the Captains Regent of San Marino expressing his admiration for the little country.
A political sanctuary
San Marino has served as a political sanctuary throughout history.
It has two languages
San Marino citizens speak Italian and Romagnol.
Why Liberation Day San Marino is Important
A small country with big surprises
San Marino is small and independent but has so much to offer. Its history is a testament to its greatness and uniquely holds its own despite being landlocked.
A powerful country
Not many countries can boast about successfully overcoming every single attack attempted on them. San Marino does!
Holidays celebrating liberty are important
Countries need to celebrate their liberty with independence holidays or liberation days. It is a mark of their resilience for the world to see.
Liberation Day San Marino dates