The territory of San Marino is organized into 9 Castelli (litterally castles) municipalities similar to Italian provinces that are granted administrative autonomy.
The name comes from the latin “castra subdita” and was first used in 1463 to refer to the cities annexed after taking them from the Malatesta of Rimini.
Today each municipality (Castello) is headed by a council “Giunta di Castello”, which, in addition to managing citizen and local public services, has the duty to involve the inhabitants in promoting and organizing cultural, recreational and social activities and carrying out public works for the welfare of the community.
At the top of the Giunta di Castello is the Captain of municipality, the Office of Giunta di Castello deals with coordination between the local organs and statal organs.
Every 5 years, all residents over the age of 18 are called to the polls to elect their district council and Castle Captain.
As of 2020, the Castles with more than 2,000 inhabitants have juntas composed of 8 members, those with fewer inhabitants have 6.
The map shows the division of the territory into Castelli:
- Città di San Marino is the capital city
4054 inhabitants in a territory of 7.09 sq. km,
is the oldest residential core, here is the historic center accessed by 4 gates.
Its armorial represents the three towers with the inscription “Libertas”.
- Borgo Maggiore
6871 inhabitants in a territory of 9.01 sq. km,
is the second largest castle by number of inhabitants after Serravalle. In ancient times it was called Mercatale because markets and fairs were held here.
It was here that Anita and Giuseppe Garibaldi stopped briefly during their escape.
11035 inhabitants in a territory of 10.53 sq. km,
is the lowest part of the San Marino territory that closes the valley before the neighboring Romagna municipalities.
The San Marino Stadium (former Olympic Stadium) is located here.
2144 inhabitants in a territory of 4.86 sq. km,
according to legend this is where the Saint Marino found refuge, in a cave on the Baldesserona cliff.
Also here at the foot of Mount Cerreto was a spring and was the place where the Placito Feretrano was drafted.
1147 inhabitants in a territory of 5.46 sq. km,
is a Castle included almost entirely on the left side of the upper valley of the Rio San Marino.
In 1320 the inhabitants chose to spontaneously join the Republic of San Marino.
3568 inhabitants in a territory of 6.62 sq. km,
inhabited since the time of the ancient Romans, here stood the Malatesta fortress of Monte Lupo.
Its coat of arms features a white wolf and a mountain surmounted by a tower.
1192 inhabitants in a territory of 7.75 sq. km,
was one of the former Malatesta castles subjugated in 1463.
Its name derives from the beech tree that is also present in its coat of arms.
2563 inhabitants in a territory of 6.56 sq. km,
a rather wild territory in its origins owes its name to this very characteristic derived from “florente” a latin expression that means flourishing. It was also called Castellaccio as it was the Malatesta outpost closest to the borders of San Marino before its conquest.
83 inhabitants in a territory of 3.31 sq. km,
is the smallest and least populous castle, with a verdant and hilly territory, as indicated by its coat of arms.
Data on the number of inhabitants per Castle are updated to 2020.
In 2014, San Marino’s municipalieties (Castelli), were celebrated with a series of art stamps created by Leonardo Casali in which the symbolic elements of each Castle are portrayed: Borgo Maggiore with its bell tower (also shown in its coat of arms) and in the background the cable car, Acquaviva and its fountain, the church of Faetano, the Castellaccio of Fiorentino, the clock tower of the Castle of Serravalle, the Castle House of Chiesanuova, the church of Domagnano, the bell tower of the church of San Lorenzo di Montegiardino, and the Public Palace of the City of San Marino.