SAN MARINO: World's Smallest Crisis

With its crenelated walls and towers, San Marino perches on a mountaintop in northern Italy like some displaced relic of the Middle Ages. The world's oldest and smallest (23 square miles) republic, it was reputedly founded around A.D. 300 by Saint Marinus of Dalmatia as a refuge for persecuted Christians, has survived as a curious, isolated island in time amidst Italy's sweeping political tides. But last week the harsh forces of the 20th century clashed noisily in its cobbled streets.

In 1945 the good people of San Marino made the mistake of electing...

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