Towns are founded to succeed. Some do and grow out of all recognition. Some fail and disappear into the ground. Some few fall into a vegetative state and keep going without growing. They are the ones to visit like Palmanova in Italy. Like a time capsule, the town remains almost unchanged since the time of Napoleon. It was founded by the Republic of Venice as the ideal Renaissance town.
San Marino is the oldest existing Republic in the world. This is not just some boast, but historical fact. The beginnings of San Marino, as befits any good story, are shrouded in legend, putting the founding of the city into the hands of a saint, St Marinus. Like most of the early and many of the later Catholic saints, he is mythical but features a nice story.
Among the dwarf states of Europe, the Principality of Andorra is the largest. Until quite recently, it was an absolute monarchy. It was governed not by one, but two princes, and both are not citizens of Andorra. They don't even live in Andorra. To make the case even more curious, it is not a hereditary monarchy.
Painters are used to dealing in colors but Ambroise Louis Garneray lived a more colorful life than most painters. To add even more color, he published various articles and books on his biography which were even more colorful than the reality. Meet the painter mentioned in Moby Dick and The War For All Oceans.