Posted by: Consulate of the Republic of San Marino | June 12, 2021

San Marino Culture Series: Sports

By: Estelle Via Perello

Playing sports in our lives is very important. It is very essential for our growth and development, not only as individuals but as a team, community, and society. This competitive physical activity is what makes societies healthy and fit while building strong communities and boosting morale and values.

In this San Marino Culture Series, we are going to talk about the Sports in the Republic of San Marino.

The country of San Marino, just like any other, also has their favorite sports of their own which is football, volleyball, and basketball. These sports are the most popular in the country and have their own federations; the San Marino Football Federation, the San Marino Basketball Federation, and the San Marino Football Federation. 

Along with this, San Marino also enjoys other sports. Let’s check out each of these games altogether!

Soccer (Football)

This is the most popular sport in the country having the San Marino National team in which was organized the National Championship Cup, the Federal Trophy (Super Cup), and the Titano Cup. 

This national team has been taking part in international competitions ever since the year 1986, in which it is its unofficial debut having been defeated by the Canadian Team (1-0). The first official outing on November 14, 1990, also ended in a 4-0 defeat by the National Swiss Team. With this, a pattern was already established back then. San Marino’s national team isn’t considered as one of the strongest among Europe. 

“However, in San Marino it is not about the glory and money to them but the passion and love for the beautiful game.” 

Aside from being one of the lowest ranks in the nationals, a very spectacular and ironic episode has happened among San Marino’s national soccer team; a player named David Gualteri have goaled during the match against England on November 17, 1993 after only 8 seconds of play, this makes the fastest goal in soccer history. Andy Selva is considered as the country’s best scorer with 8 goals in which he scored from 1998 until now, he has the most appearances for San Marino. Another is Massimo Bonini who was also one of the famous soccer players in which later in his career he became the coach of the National Team. 

Home games are all platey the Stadio Olimpico in Serravalle where the San Marino’s National Team plays its games at–having the capacity of seven thousand. This is also where the football club San Marino Calcio plays its games. It is the country’s best club by far competing in the Italian league system and considered as San Marino’s only professional football club. 

All other amateur soccer clubs play in the Campionato Sammarinese di Calcio anamateur league competition for football clubs located at the only level of the Sammarinese football league system. The most successful amateur clubs are Tre Fiori having 7 titles, followed by current champions: La Fiorita, Folgore, and Domagnano who have all four titles. All that something that they are proud of.


    The country of San Marino also has great energy and enthusiasm towards the sport of Basketball, having their own San Marino National Basketball team. Both the national team and the internal league are all organized under the San Marino Basketball Federation, which was founded in the year 1968. 


In San Marino, there is an annual international basketball tournament held every summer which is called the San Marino Basketball Cup.

    Just like in Basketball, San Marino also enjoys Volleyball, having the San Marino Volleyball Federation. It is the governing body of volleyball and beach volleyball in the country, forming in the year 1980 thanks to the initiative of some teachers, fans, and athletes. It organizes the internal league and the San Marino National Volleyball Team.

The San Marino Volleyball Federation has been a member of the International Volleyball Federation since 1986 where San Marino takes part in the B1 Series of the Italian Male Championship and in C Series of the Female Championship. 

They have received great significant results in the games of the small European states and Beach volleyball where Alfredi and Francesco Tabarini stood out among others


    As for the sports of baseball, San Marino has a successful baseball team called T & A San Marino which plays in the top division of the Italian professional baseball, the Serie A1, the Italian Baseball League. The team also participated in the European Cup Tournament for top professional baseball teams several times–being the champion in 2006 and was a runner-up in 2010. 


    San Marino also enjoys motorsports in which it is a sport that involves the racing of motor vehicles, especially cars and motorcycles. 

Unfortunately, accidents occurred especially in the Formula One race, the San Marino Grand Prix (named after the state) was held in Imola Italy, 100km northwest of San Marino. Racer Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna suffered a fatal crash a day apart during the 1994 Grand Prix. The international event was removed from the calendar in 2007. 

Moreover, in the year 2007 the San Marino Motor-cycling Grand Prix returned to the Misano Autodrome World Circuit in Misano Adriatico, locality at the foot of Mount Titano. There are notable two Sammarinese drivers who competed in the world championship races: Manuel Poggiali, winner of two world titles and Alex De Angelis.


    There are also Sammarinese who enjoy competing in Cycling races. In the Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy) Stage Races, San Marino has one various stages: the 1997 ç was won by Pavel Tonkov, the 1998 stage was then won by Andre Noè, and the 1999 Women’s Italian Tour Stage Race was won by Daniela Veronesi.

A lot of people participate in the popular bicycle race Placci Cup. This takes place every September starting from San Marino to Imola in Bologna,Italy. 

Shooting Sports

There are also Sammarinese who have won competitions related to shooting. It is with great pride for San Marino that its people are competitive when it comes to shooting sports. 

  • In the Prone Carabine Speciality of the Olympic Games 1984 in Los Angeles, Francesco Nanni obtained 5th place. 
  • In the Trap Shoot Competition in Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004), Emanuela Felici placed 7th.
  • In the Skeet Shooting in Athens, Francesco Amici obtained the 7th place.
  • In the X edition of the Mediterranean Games in Syria in 1987, Gian Nicola Berti won a Silver Medal in Skeet Shooting.
  • In the XII edition, Stefano Selva arrived second in Skeet Shooting.
  • In the XV edition in Almeria, Daniela Del Din won a Silver Medal in Skeet Shooting.

Rugby Union

The country also has a San Marino team that represents its nation in the International Rugby Union, and is also the member of its board there. The Rugby Club San Marino also plays in the Italian Leagues.

Altogether, the Sammarinese enjoyed a lot of these sports, gathering together forming teams and clubs, always appreciating the beauty of each sport, and at the same time having their own ways in making their small country proud. 


A. (2021, March 18). Importance of Sports – Why Sport Matters? IMPOFF.

V. (2014, November 20). Sport in San Marino: activities and athletes. San Marino Site Turismo.

tracksuitTV. (2018, February 4). The Story of Football in San Marino: It’s NOT always about Money or Glory [Video]. YouTube.

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