Throughout Europe's tumultuous history, this nation persevered.
It is easy to overlook San Marino on a map, as it is the third smallest country in Europe, only larger than Vatican City and Monaco. Nestled in the mountains of Northeastern Italy, this 24-square-mile territory has much that makes it singular: it is the only country in Europe with more vehicles than people; it is the oldest established country in Europe and, interestingly enough, it was founded by a saint.
St. Marinus was a stone mason who fled the island of Rab, now part of Croatia, to escape persecution of his Christian faith by the emperor Diocletian. Once in Italy, he was ordained a deacon by Bishop Gaudentius of Rimini; however, shortly after this he was accused by a madwoman of being her estranged husband. Marinus fled again and climbed Monte Titano, where he built a chapel and monastery and lived there as a hermit for the rest of his life.