Perched atop limestone cliffs overlooking the Adriatic coastline, San Marino is the oldest surviving sovereign state in the world. It was founded in 301 by a Christian stoneworker from Dalmatia (modern-day Croatia) who was fleeing persecution under Diocletian.
The country remains to this day, in many ways, the same bastion of political and economic refuge that it was nearly 2,000 years ago.
Tax rates are comparatively low. Regulation is limited. The government is tiny. San Marino has a long history of budget surpluses and zero debt.
It is no coincidence that this diminutive nation boasts among the highest per-capita GDP, greatest wealth, lowest unemployment, and highest life expectancy in the world.
To boot, San Marino is also gorgeous, safe, clean, friendly, and shockingly inexpensive. The weather is near-perfect with plentiful Mediterranean sunshine, yet you’re an easy drive to the Italian Alps.